Bruce Thomas Braun, age 69, a longtime resident of St. Charles, MN peacefully passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2022, surrounded by his loving family after a long, courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Bruce was born in September 1952 at Camp Stewart in Georgia to Stan and Carol (Wiskow) Braun. He attended St. Charles High School, graduating in 1970 and was well known for his years on the varsity wrestling team. After high school, he briefly worked for Bishop Welding before attending Riverland Technical College for Heating and Air Conditioning. For the next 21 years prior to starting his own business, Bruce worked for Sears and AB Weis Systems, Inc. In 1994, he decided to be his own boss and started Braun's Heating and Air Conditioning. After 27 years of helping install, repair and build HVAC systems for customers throughout the region, Bruce retired in Spring of 2021.
Bruce married his high school sweetheart and soulmate, Margaret Julie Peterson, in 1972 at Faith Lutheran Church in St. Charles, MN. They lived in Austin, MN for nine years before moving back to St. Charles where they continued to raise their family of three daughters. Bruce loved his family deeply and showed his daughters the importance of growing old in a loving partnership with your best friend through the 50 years of life's small and big adventures shared with his cherished wife Margaret. He valued and supported his girls and grandchildren; always taking the time to attend their sporting events, sharing with them his hobbies and life skills, or helping with many of their household and car repairs.
Bruce was all about the experiences. He had a life full of hobbies and pastimes that he enjoyed with family and his many friends, which have since been instilled into his children, grandchildren, and countless others. Inspired by his grandpa Everett, Bruce was famous for his love of Jeeps. Since before he even had his driver's license, he was either talking about a jeep, driving one, fixing one, traveling across the country to pick one (or a part of one) up, or simply doing a quick u-turn to check out one parked along the side of the road.
Bruce also loved to travel, whether it was on snowmobile trails, to the beach in Isla Mujeres, snow skiing in Colorado, driving the motorhome to Nascar races, road trips for no reason, or hopping on a flight to be at a loved one's celebration, sporting event, or just seeing family and friends.
If you didn't find Bruce fixing a Jeep or traveling, you could probably find him in the woods. Bruce's refuge in the outdoors started early in life when his parents would spend many hours outdoors walking through the woods and playing in the water with him. He filled his spring and fall with turkey and deer hunting. He fully enjoyed his summers by riding his lawn mower, spending endless weekends on the Mississippi River and "up north" on the lake camping, boating, waterskiing, and barefooting. Bruce was a member of several organizations throughout his life, including the Rochester Waterski Club, Austin Stump Jumpers, Whitewater Trail Blazers, St. Charles Moose Club, and a number of hunting associations. Bruce never met a stranger; he enjoyed getting to know everyone.
Bruce is survived by his wife Margaret, parents Stan & Carol Braun, daughters Tricia Braun (John Wichman), Teresa Jo (Lance) Small, Trista (Jhad) Fetting; his 9 grandchildren: Riley, Calia, Charlie, Jack, Tytan, Taelyn, Trestyn Beau, Brecksen, and Pierce; his sisters: Jeri Schoonover, Becky (Jeff) Bailey, Jill (Dan) Christie, Roxanne Bartsch (Dave Zimmerman); his sister-in-law Kathy (Paul) Decker, and his brothers-in-law, Danny (Renee) Peterson and Doug Peterson; and many nieces, nephews and cousins with whom he was also very close. Bruce is preceded in death by his parents-in-law, Lloyd & Dorothy Peterson, and his grandparents, Everett & Rachel (Beske) Wiskow and Peter & Catherine Braun.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Charles Academic Excellence Fund, St. Charles Wrestling Booster Club, or to the family for a future scholarship fund in memory of Bruce.
Memorial Service will be 2 p.m., Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Faith Lutheran Church in St. Charles with the Reverend Christopher Chatelaine-Samsen officiating. Visitation will be 11 a.m., until the time of the service. He will be laid to rest at Saratoga Cemetery at a later date. Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service - St. Charles is assisting the family with arrangements. www.hofffuneral.com