Ralph E. Brenden, age 82, of Glenwood, MN, died Friday, February 10, 2017, at the St. Cloud Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. on Tuesday, February 14th, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Glenwood with Rev. Mark Kahrs officiating. Visitation at the church will begin at noon and run until the time of service. Interment in Glenwood Cemetery will follow the service. Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood.
Ralph was born on May 27, 1934, to Edward and Lilly (Henriksen) Brenden on the family farm in Alberta, Minnesota, where he was raised with his three sisters. He was baptized at Church of the Nazarene and his family attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Alberta. Following his graduation from West Central School of Agriculture in Morris, Minnesota, Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army. He received an honorable discharge in 1956, and married the love of his life, Trudy Jean Leuty, on June 16, 1957, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Morris. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Peggy and Larry Dean.
In 1963, the Brenden family moved to Glenwood, where Ralph worked for the State Highway Department for 14 years. They joined Calvary Lutheran Church in Glenwood, and Ralph faithfully served various offices through the years. He also served as clerk for Glenwood Township for two terms and was a member of the Cattlemen’s Association and the VFW. While working for the highway department, Ralph always had some project going like homesteading and building a house in the woods south of town. It was his love for working the land that drew him back into farming when the family bought a farm in Rolling Forks Township in 1977. Ralph loved everything about farm life and thoroughly enjoyed the friendship of their wonderful neighbors. He farmed for 30 years before retiring. While he farmed, he built a saw mill and started his own business, the Board Store. He built shipping crates for manufacturing firms. Ralph loved woodworking and used lumber from his land to construct many projects, including new kitchen cabinets. Ralph and Trudy moved to the Glenwood Plaza in 2009 when Ralph’s health started declining. He became a resident at Glenwood Village Care Center in 2012, and resided there until his death.
Ralph will be remembered for his quick wit and sense of humor. He always had a joke or funny one-liner to share! Ralph enjoyed work and took pride in his farm. He dearly loved his family and so enjoyed when the grandchildren would come to the farm. His family will cherish the memories of family vacations, playing cards, visits with friends and neighbors, and will be forever thankful for his faith and trust in Jesus as his Savior.
Ralph is survived by Trudy, his wife of 59 years; a daughter, Peggy (Phil) Moll of Winona, MN; a son, Larry Dean Brenden of Willmar, MN; three grandchildren, Amy (Greg) Lyon, Katie (Jon) Hermanson, and Nathan Moll; six great-grandchildren, Jonah, Amelia, and Isaiah Hermanson, Samuel, Elliana, and Addison Lyon; a sister, Jan Brown of Morris, MN; and a brother-in-law, Arne Waldvogel of Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Lilly Brenden; and two sisters, Bernice Cournoyer and Lorraine Bishop.