Farming Rural 17

Bennie Henry William Krueger

June 4, 1931 ~ March 22, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Bennie Krueger Obituary

Bennie Henry William Krueger was reunited with his Heavenly Father the morning of March 22, 2024.

Bennie was born to the late Paul and Anna (Butt) Krueger at their home in Wausau on June 4, 1931, beginning a long life of determination and laughter. A faith-filled man from the start, Bennie was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau. He attended and proudly graduated from Trinity Lutheran School and then went to vocational school for woodworking, which became a lifelong passion. Bennie did all this while working hard as a milk hauler and farm hand for his late cousin, Lorenz Breitenfelt, and as a paperboy and shoe shiner.

Bennie’s care and resolve shined through in his work. At a young age he got his driver’s license with a dump truck so that the next day he could start a route on one of Lorenz’s milk trucks. In his work as a farm hand for Lorenz, Bennie’s sense of duty was demonstrated when one day lightning struck and the barn caught fire. While others feared that he died in the fire, Bennie – with a sacrificial and enduring spirit – fought to save a calf from the flames. 

At 20, Bennie married the love of his life, Doris Krueger, on June 9, 1951. They met at a dance in Nutterville. When Bennie showed up at her doorstep to ask her on a date, Doris already had plans to go out with another man, so she tried to convince Bennie to go on a date with her sister, Edith, instead. In his stubborn fashion, Bennie had eyes only for Doris and refused to go out with Edith. Passionately determined, he kept at it until his resolve paid off and Doris was his wife. With Doris by his side, Bennie worked at Lake Wausau Granite and on a Red Dot Potato Chip farm in Rhinelander before he and Doris started at their own farm in February of 1956.

Despite Doris’ initial desire not to live on a farm and Bennie’s city upbringing, Bennie was set on becoming a farmer. They began by renting their farm, but Bennie was determined to purchase it and improve it to the point of replacing most of the buildings and even giving Doris a new farmhouse. Passionate about his work, he also became one of the first dairy farmers in Marathon County to learn the technique of artificial insemination so that he could apply those techniques to his own herd. Doris and Bennie went on to spend 33 years at their farm in the town of Easton before they decided to retire in the spring of 1989.

Bennie carried the spirit of the farm with him despite moving into town. Putting his green thumb to use, he cultivated large gardens with many different crops. He particularly loved to grow raspberries and blackberries, filling buckets full of them and faithfully recording his daily harvests on a calendar. He began to cook roasts and can garden produce, and he continued to make maple syrup. Bennie also finally found the time to dig into his love of woodworking. He was a skilled craftsman, and he generously shared that passion with his grandchildren as he built each of them a gift upon their high school graduation.

Bennie and Doris also loved to travel together. During their time on the farm, they would take trips to Las Vegas to get away for a much needed break. Over the years, they went on 17 trips to Las Vegas, often enjoying the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. Upon retirement, they purchased a motor home and traveled throughout the U.S.. Bennie’s favorite trips, however, were the two Panama Canal cruises that he and Doris took.  He was fascinated by the canal locks and loved to see how they were built and operated when the ship passed through.

Their motor home became an avenue for travel and community in retirement. They joined a motorhome club, attending monthly rallies and meeting new people. Bennie even served as president of the motorhome club. Happy to talk to and tease just about anyone, Bennie found close friends, and even in his last years, these same friends joined Bennie and Doris for card games, especially Sheepshead.

The church also remained a pillar in Bennie’s life. After being baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bennie remarked that moving back to Wausau and Trinity with Doris was like coming home. He was actively involved at Trinity as he ushered, attended Bible study, and helped count the offering money. With faithful worship and a life of service for the church and the Lord, Bennie was a role model of faith for his family. In turn, Bennie’s life was enriched by his church family.

As Bennie aged, he remained determined to be productive and active, continuing to blow snow, mow his lawn, and fire up the fireplace. From young heroic feats to winning Doris over and developing their farm, Bennie was determined to provide and care for others at any cost. Likewise, his sense of humor never wavered. Even in his final days, whenever someone asked “How do you feel?”, he would reply with a smirk and his infamous answer: “With my hands!” Bennie’s humor, resolve, and dedication to his family made him a good, beloved father and husband.

Bennie is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Anna (Butt) Krueger; his siblings James, Melvin, and Raymond;  brothers-in-law Eldor Brunow and Bert Wiesman; and sisters-in-law Delores Krueger and Alice Krueger as well as his “bonus” brother-in-law Arden Wilke. Bennie was followed in death shortly thereafter by his sister, Dorothy Wiesman, on March 24, 2024.

He is survived by his wife, Doris Krueger; his sister Viola Brunow; his children, Arden (Paula) Krueger, Frank (Diane) Krueger, Judy (Dave Borchardt) Krueger, and Janice (Jerome) Oelke; his 13 grandchildren, Rebecca (Thomas) Mroczenski, Paul (Gina) Krueger, Jody (Tony) Reis, Christie Krueger, Dustin (Crystal) Krueger, Derek (Amber) Larson, Carla Prahl, Pam Nyman, Andrew (Chelsea) Prahl, Stephanie Prahl, Jordan (Matthew Meidl) Oelke, Joel (Sharee Lang) Oelke, and Julia (Charlie Beyer) Oelke; his 36 great-grandchildren, Eleanor Mroczenski, Joshua Mroczenski, William Mroczenski, Isabelle Krueger, Emerson Krueger, Samantha (Wade) Dobrzynski, Rachael (Kesler) Schuette, Cynthia (Austin) Fettes, Peter Reis, Margaret Reis, Antoinette Reis, Abigail Reis, Joshua Reis, Raymond Reis, Vanessa Reis, Vivian Reis, Aleasha Hintz, Toby Hintz, Brooke Hintz, Michael Hintz, Brianna Hintz, Skylier Krueger, Melodie Krueger, Kendra Krueger, Brayden Larson, Braxton Larson, Brycen Larson, Brynlee Larson, Jacob Cleveland, Jackson Nyman, Elissa Nyman, Kayleen Prahl, Evan Cable, Connor Prahl, Josie Prahl, and Nicole Hall; and his four great-great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn Dobrzynski, Nicholas Dobrzynski, Haisley Schuette, and Phillip Fettes.

Thank you to the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Palliative Care Unit physicians, nurses, and aids for their wonderful, diligent care for Bennie in his final days.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau. The Rev. James Mayland will officiate. Entombment will be in the Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation is from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 1, 2024 at church and again from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. In honor of Bennie’s wardrobe of choice, all are welcome to wear Hawaiian shirts to the Monday visitation. Memorials can be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church and School.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

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Services

Visitation
Monday
April 1, 2024

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church Wausau
501 Stewart Avenue
WI, 54401 US

Funeral Service
Tuesday
April 2, 2024

11:00 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church Wausau
501 Stewart Avenue
WI, 54401 US

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