Irene Bruess, 84, of Protivin, passed away Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at home following a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. A funeral mass was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church with Father Nick March officiating. Burial was at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Protivin. Visitation was 3-7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Visitation continued one hour prior to the service at the church. Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home 123 North Main St. in Protivin, was in charge of arrangements.
Irene Caroline Huinker was born April 10, 1929, to Leo and Mathilda (Einck) Huinker in Festina. She attended school in Festina and then helped out on the farm while also babysitting in the neighborhood. She was united in marriage to Art Bruess Nov. 22, 1949, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Festina. Art and Irene farmed west of Protivin until 1964. They started Art's Milling Service that same year and moved their family to Protivin in 1965. Irene worked in the office until 1979. She was an active member of the Rosary Society and American Legion Auxiliary, holding many offices and was also a Cub Scout leader. She enjoyed sharing her talents of quilting, sewing, gardening and baking her famous rohlicky and kolaches. She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren's sporting events. Irene was an avid fan of all sports. She always enjoyed her ladies day at the South Winn Country Club and playing cards uptown with her friends.
Irene was survived by nine children: Donna (Doug) Reiseck of Waterloo, Diane Sullivan, Kathy (Dale) Ryan, Jan Hansmeier, Connie (Keith) Lukes, Larry (Diane) Bruess, Randy (Zita) Bruess, all of Protivin, Betty (Doug) Soukup of Calmar, Cindy (Ed) Behr of Mason City; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one sister, Shirley Kuennen; one brother, Art (Ann) Huinker; two sisters-in-law, Lori Huinker and Aileen Huinker; and brothers and sisters-in-law: Gus Lechtenberg, LaVerne Bruess, Arlene (Steve) Lensing, Clarence (Mary Lou) Bruess.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Art; one son, Lawrence John in infancy; one daughter, Susan Bruess; one son-in-law, Bill Sullivan; her parents; two brothers, Linus and Kenneth Huinker; mother and father-in-law, John and Caroline Bruess; brother-in-law Al Kuennen; and brothers- and sisters-in-law: Alice (Al) Bullerman, Lucille Lechtenberg, Cornell, Don (Evelyn), Jim (Betty) Bruess, Wilma (Stanley) Franzen and John Bruess. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the charity of the donor's choice.