By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN The last day of 2009 will also mark the end of Ed Brabec’s 28-year career at Munson Lakes Nutrition in Howard Lake.
Brabec will turn 66 on Christmas Eve, and he’s excited to start enjoying retirement.
“Time sure went by the last few years,” said Brabec, whose daily tasks at Munson have included bagging feed, loading feed for customers, unloading ingredients in the warehouse, dumping corn, and occasionally running the mill.
Brabec said his co-workers make each day of work enjoyable.
“We tease each other all the time,” he said. “That’s probably what I’ll miss the most kidding around with the guys.”
The other employees have been asking Brabec if he’ll still visit them once he retires.
“I’ll stop in when I’m in town,” Brabec promised.
Before he started work at Munson, Brabec had been in the construction business. In 1981, he was working on a construction crew that built the first cement tower at the Munson Feed Company. When the construction company moved on, Ed asked Bob Munson for a job, and the rest is history.
“I thought, ‘I might as well try it and see what happens,’” Brabec recalled.
Brabec, who lives on the north side of Howard Lake, said he was attracted to the job because it was close to home Brabec also has 160 acres of land near Waverly, which he rents out to a neighbor.
He has a 10-acre plot of land surrounding his home that promises to keep him busy in retirement. He is planning to turn the land into a sod farm.
Woodworking is another interest of Brabec’s and he’s hoping to build some wood duck houses. He enjoys watching the young ducklings as they leave their homes.
“They’re little fluffy balls,” Brabec said.
Brabec grew up on a dairy farm south of Waverly, and graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Waverly in 1963.
He and his wife, Dorothy, raised three children. Dorothy passed away five years ago, but Brabec’s children and grandchildren all live nearby.
His daughter, Karen, lives in Winsted, and they talk at least once a week. Brabec also has two sons Scott, who lives in Maple Lake, and Daniel, who lives in Buffalo.
Brabec has six grandchildren, ranging in age from 3 to 15. When he retires, he’ll probably spend more time with them, and also “try to go fishing a little more.”