HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries


Reuben 'Irish' E. Wawrzyniak

Reuben E. (Irish) Wawrzyniak, age 76, of Brooklyn Center, died Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, after a long and courageous battle with heart disease.

He was born Dec. 11, 1930 in Winsted, the son of Anthony and Ella (Rehmann) Wawrzyniak. Reuben grew up and went to school in Winsted, Lester Prairie, and Howard Lake.

Reuben entered the US Air Force in 1950, serving in the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge in 1954, he returned home.  

Reuben married Leta Debner in 1952, in Plato. They were blessed with five sons – Donald, Mitchell, John, Joel, and James.

Reuben worked for Bell Telephone for over 32 years, retiring in 1985. Many who worked with him remember him as a great person to work with and for. His love of people and ability to fix anything made him a very valuable employee and friend.

To know Reuben was to know a man who loved life, enjoying every day God gave him. Visiting friends and relatives and attending gatherings and celebrations were among his favorite things to do. He and Leta (who he lovingly referred to as “Toots”) also enjoyed traveling as much as they could.

Reuben was a man of strong faith and attended the Lutheran church regularly for his entire life. He was very involved in the Stephens Ministry for many years and so enjoyed his ministry to the people God put in his path.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Robert.

Reuben is survived by his loving wife, Leta; sons and daughters-in-law, Donald (Gail), Mitchell, John (Becky), Joel, and James Wawrzyniak; sisters Yvonne (Jim) of Cumming, Ga., LouAnn (Bud) Houlton of Elk River, Helen (Gordon) Gruenhagen of Howard Lake, and Janice (Dale) Birkholz of Minnetonka; sister-in-law Sharon (Rick) Williamson of Minnetonka; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A service of celebration in memory of Reuben took place Saturday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale with the Rev. Thomas M. Gundermann presiding.

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