John Brassard

John Brassard

Born October 5, 1919, left us peacefully April 2, 2014 to join his beloved wife Marjorie who preceded him in death last June 15. His mother Effie Jeanette Johnson – was the youngest daughter of a strict Norwegian Lutheran farm family from Franconia. His father – LeRoy Brassard – was from a raucous, smoking, drinking, card-playing French Canadian Catholic family from Stillwater, which made family gatherings memorable. His grandfather helped build much of the town with his huge Belgian draft horses. Jack, his parents and younger sister Jean, grew up in Stillwater where he fell in love with the St. Croix. Many of his fondest boyhood memories were of exploring the St. Croix by canoe and camping under the stars (he couldnt afford a tent). Hit hard by the Depression, his entire family traveled to find work on many of the national construction projects such as the Ft. Peck Dam in Montana. Lying about his age in order to be hired, he worked on the dam every summer starting at age 13. After graduating from Harding High School in St. Paul, he worked as a welder and fitter in the Oakland Shipyards with his father. Marj and Jack were inseparable soulmates. He could recall in detail his vision of the redheaded Marj looking back at him as she zoomed by on her new bicycle at age 13. When she visited him in Oakland on break from the U of MN, they decided they wanted to be together forever. They married in Oakland, CA March 8, 1941. Their union was an inspiration to us in the closeness of their bond and the depth of their commitment to each other. No disagreement was ever allowed to fester. In May, 1944, as a soldier in the US Army, he was sent to New York to board the ships headed for Normandy Beach. Because of his experience navigating and launching warships in the Oakland Shipyards, he was pulled from the boarding line and ordered to Honolulu where he piloted tugboats guiding supply ships into Pearl Harbor through the sunken wreckage. After the war he returned to Minnesota where, with his team of Ed Theilen, Joe Pardo and Carl Anderson, he literally built Metalcote Grease and Oil Company from an old railroad roundhouse. Hard work and dedication on the part of the whole team made the company more successful than they had ever imagined. When he retired they travelled extensively and spent winters in Ft. Myers and Sanibel with many of their closely knit St. Croix Yacht Club friends. Over the years the two of them accumulated concentric circles of good and cherished friends while nurturing and maintaining the friends of their youth. As Marjs health failed, he never left her side. Every memory of him over the last decade is one of him holding Marjs hand and sitting next to her wheelchair. And sleeping on the floor of her hospital rooms which got him kicked out of some of the best hospitals in the Twin Cities. Her death marked the end of the life he cherished. A kind and generous man, Jack will be sorely missed by his loving daughters Mary Jo Kingston (Brady West) of Edina and Sally Fahey of Minneapolis; his grandchildren Justin Kingston and Jessica D. Kingston (Barry Schwabe) both of Edina, Jamie Kingston (Vickie) of Minnetonka and Jenna Kingston Cooper of Houston, TX., Tara Fahey of Minneapolis, Chris Fahey (Susanne) of St. Louis Park, Meg Mogelson (Doug) of Mendota Heights and Michael Fahey of Sausalito, CA. And by his 10 beloved and cherished great grandchildren. Services were held at Willwerscheid Funeral Home in St. Paul on Monday April 7th. Burial at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.

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