Elmer Dietrich Brandt, age 92 of Westbrook, passed away Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at Our House Hospice of Murray County in Slayton. Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Westbrook Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Saturday. Interment is in the Westbrook Cemetery at a later date. Stephens Funeral Service – Westbrook Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Elmer (known to many as Beno) was born to Erick Emil Leopold Brandt and Marie Romke Brandt on January 27, 1930 at the Mt. Lake hospital, the youngest of 9 siblings. He grew up in Westbrook graduating in 1949. He attended one year at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, prior to returning home to help his mother following the death of his father. In 1951, he was drafted into the Army, completing basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He served in one of the first dental assistant units in Leonard Wood and later in Germany – where he was able to spend Christmas and New Years with his maternal Aunt and Uncle. In 1951, he met Wanda Lee Juhl on a blind date (and has he would say – we’ve been blind ever since). They were married on June 26, 1954, living briefly on a farm south of town, before moving to the farm that would be their home for more than 65 years. Together they raised their family and various crops and livestock including Jersey milk cows, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, and pure-bred Suffolk sheep. Elmer had the gift of gab and could easily remember people, places and events like no other, this served him well as a Kruger Seed DSM for 32 years. Through his sales he made many lifelong friendships and earned many trips to Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Hawaii, Bahamas, and Tangers Africa. Elmer was a born leader and enjoyed serving others such as student council co-president, Augie Parliamentary Team, military service, 30-year volunteer EMT, 30-year deliverer of Meals on Wheels, NFO member and leader, Suffolk Sheep Association, Lions Club, support of local FFA and 4-H projects, the annual Beef Royal, lifelong Legion and VFW member and color guard for parades and services, and a life-long organizer of the class of 1949 high school reunions. Faith was very important to him and he was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook, serving as Sunday school teacher, Luther League Advisor, choir, men’s choir, usher, church council and as church president. Fun was also an important part of Elmer’s life – he and Wanda were active in couples club, loved to go out dancing, fishing, traveling and especially loved time spent with family and friends. He always made an annual family vacation a priority, and as his business did well, he provided memorable vacations for his entire family in places such as Colorado, California, Cancun and the Bahamas. Upon his retirement in 1985, they purchased a pontoon boat that he launched from Girl Lake in Longville, MN, and there are many memorable summer fishing trips for family and friends. He loved playing cards and was difficult to beat, especially in Phase 10. Elmer loved competitions – especially in sports, during his high school days he participated in Basketball, Football, Track and Field – winning state championship in 9 man football. He continued to love sports and could often be seen in the bleachers cheering on the Westbrook Wildcats (WWG Chargers). He loved Gopher basketball and football, Vikings, and Twins. He could recite scores from years back, batter and pitcher averages, even throughout his last week on earth.
Elmer is survived by Wanda, his loving wife of more than 67 years; children: Kerry (Brian) Cassens of Westbrook, daughter-in-law Carla England of Tempe, AZ, Rodney (Angie) Brandt of Cibolo, TX, and Greg (Heather) Brandt of New Ulm; grandchildren: Stacy Cassens, Cory (Chanin) Cassens, Stephanie Brandt, Justin Brandt, Summer (Todd) Gantter, Torrie McLaughlin, Jennifer (Chris) Pritchard, Beth & Aurora Schmid, Mak & Amber Stabenow, Jay and Zachary Campos, and Patricia Goar; great-grandchildren: Robert, Tanner, Mya, Josh, Cash, Cali, Bailey, Peyton, Alexa, Gavin, Sidney, Alex, Sebastian, Ryker, and Amelia; sister-in-law Paula Brandt and a host of nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings, infant daughter Marcella, son Duane Brandt, daughter-in-law Glenda Brandt and granddaughter Amy Cassens.