Header Logo

Kenneth "Kenny" Bruess

Kenneth "Breezy" Michael Bruess age 69 of Protivin, IA, died Sunday, May 14, 2023, at his home in Protivin. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Protivin. Interment will follow at Holy Trinity Cemetery. Friends may greet the family from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at the church. Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton have been entrusted with Kenny's arrangements. 641-394-4334. Kenny was born on March 25, 1954, in New Hampton, Iowa. Twice in his early years he battled meningitis. His childhood was filled with Sunday fishing trips to the Mississippi River where his favorite spot was by the Lock & Dam #8 near Genoa, WI. Softball filled his teen years and in his later years his Sundays evolved around going to church and church dinners. He enjoyed his morning coffee with friends, card games, cribbage, jigsaw puzzles, Acrostic puzzles, Scratch lottery tickets, recording and categorizing every single dollar bill he came across, visiting casinos, computer Solitaire and drawing up sports pools for family and friends and since he was a “numbers guy” he would be proud of his annual Christmas game which involved his family’s birthdates and ages. Kenny began his education at Elma, Iowa and at Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes. He then transferred to Holy Trinity School in Protivin, IA where he was proud of graduating from the last 8th grade class at the school. He then continued his studies at Crestwood High School in Cresco, IA, where he graduated in 1973 and was looking forward to attending his 50th class reunion in August. After high school, Kenny worked at Sara Lee in New Hampton before enlisting in the United States Army. This decision would shape the rest of his life. During his time in the Army, Kenny served in Germany, a country that held a special place in his heart due to his heritage. During this time in Germany, he participated in many Volksmarches, in which he joined members of the community walking together in a fitness walk. He received patches or badges for his efforts, which he displayed with pride. His love for Germany and passion for serving his country led him to reenlist for a second term. After completing his service, Kenny returned to Protivin where he bought a home and joined the Army Reserves of Decorah where he remained for many years. Kenny worked on can redemptions for recycling and working at Art’s Milling where he remained until his untimely death. But the one role he most cherished was being godfather for his niece Megan. Kenny was a pillar of the community in Protivin, always looking for ways to help others, making a positive impact. He was deeply involved in volunteer work, whether it was ushering in church, years of carrying fish at the annual American Legion Fish Fry and all the miles he traveled posting the Czech Days flyers. He looked forward to the baking kolaches days, standing there ready with his oven mitt and spatula waiting for the first hot kolache he would capture for himself before he faithfully carried the hot trays out of the oven the rest of the afternoon. He relished the nickname “Spatch” given to him by the young workers. Some of the fondest memories of Kenny are from his time spent giving back to his community. Whether he was shoveling a neighbor's sidewalk, helping at a fundraiser for the local school, or marching proudly in the Czech Days parade, he always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone he met. His selflessness and genuine care for others made him an invaluable member of the Protivin community. “You could always count on Kenny” as this sums up who Kenny really was. As we say goodbye to Kenneth Michael Bruess, we honor and celebrate a man who truly embodied the spirit of generosity, friendship, and faith. He will be dearly missed by all who know him, and his memory will continue to inspire future generations to serve their communities with love and dedication. Kenny is survived by his mother, LaVerne Bruess of Cresco; one brother, Charles (Angie) Bruess of Trivoli, IL; three sisters, Karen (Mary Chval) Bruess of Cedar Rapids, Linda (Rich) Lechtenberg of New Hampton, Jean (Dean Rue) Bruess of Madison, WI; sister-in-law, Jill Bruess of Cedar Falls; as well as seven nieces and nephews, Matthew Lechtenberg, Sam Lechtenberg, Megan (Jeff) Nesvik, Chas (Sami) Bruess, Jalynn (Tanner) Roberts, Chris Bruess, John Bruess; four great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Cornell Bruess; siblings, Gerald Bruess, Michael Bruess, and in infancy, his siblings Patricia, Mary Jo and Steven.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. My sympathy to the Bruess family. So sorry to hear of his passing. The family lived next door growing up then moved to Protivin. Our families continued to be friends. Kenny’s humor and laughter will be missed.
    Beverly Valvoda


  3. So sorry for your loss. May your memories console you today. All our prayers to his family. Jeanne and David Roder

  4. My deepest sympathies to the Bruess family. I am so very sorry for your loss. I went to grade school with Kenny until they moved to Protivin. Many fun memories at their farm. Jean (Brophy) Huegel.

  5. So sorry to hear about Kenny. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. The Nesviks

  6. Our sincere sympathy to all of Kenny’s family. We will miss our visits at Czech Days and Assumption at Little Turkey.🙏

  7. We want to express our sincere sympathy to the entire Bruess family in the loss of your son and brother Kenny. Diane and Dan

  8. Linda,
    So very sorry to hear about Kenny. He always knew us and called us by name anytime he saw us, despite how long it had been. Hugs to you and your family. Cyndy and Bob

  9. To the family, Dave and I are so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is losing a sibling, you never get over it but you remember all the memories good and bad with a smile on your face. Linda, I feel so bad for you as I know Kenny looked like a wonderful brother and your family was a loving family to one another. Sorry we missed the visitation and funeral but will see you someday to give you a hug. Our sympathy to all of you.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle