Oscar J. Rueckert, age 98 years, 10 months, 9 days, of Sauk Centre, passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at his home in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
A private service will be held on Monday, May 17 at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre with Rev. Rebecca Thomas officiating. Interment will be held at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls.
Oscar Joseph Rueckert was born July 4, 1922 in West Union, Minnesota to Albert and Caroline Schostag Rueckert. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and was honorably discharged on February 15, 1946. He was united in marriage to Arvilla Uphus on July 11, 1946 at St. Alexius Rectory in West Union, Minnesota and celebrated 64 years of marriage.
Oscar moved his family to Vernon Center, MN in 1949 for an opportunity to be a butter maker at the local creamery. When the creamery closed, he was out of a job, but his entrepreneurial spirit, vision, and hard work led him to own and operate the Vernon Center Locker Service which he later sold. He then set out to buy a Ralston Purina Dealership franchise, which turned into a thriving, profitable dealership. Oscar set up test sites for feeding cattle, hogs and even baby chicks to show farmers the value of feeding Purina Chows. He employed multiple employees over the years and maintained friendships up until his death. He was recognized by Purina for his sterling character and leadership and won multiple travel awards.
Upon retiring in 1979, Oscar and Arvilla moved back to Sauk Centre where Oscar worked the family farm in West Union until selling it in 1986. At the age of 75, he decided he wanted a part time job and enjoyed driving truck, making deliveries for ConAgra for 5 years.
After Arvilla’s death, Oscar spent 4 winters in the warmer climate of Bullhead City, AZ and Laughlin, NV. He enjoyed playing slot machines and poker at the Riverside Casino. He regularly played rummy and 500 at the Sauk Centre Senior Center and enjoyed the camaraderie of his card playing buddies.
Oscar was an avid hunter, fisherman, and MN Twins baseball fan. He loved a good polka. His travels took him to Europe, Hawaii, the western states and Alaska. Alaska was a favorite for salmon fishing. He never met a stranger, marveled at technology through the years and followed the news everyday of his life. He wanted the world to be a better place, always wanting to do his best and especially wanting to help others.
Oscar was a proud father to 4 daughters and will always be remembered as a loving, compassionate, generous father. His daughters always felt his key to longevity was his sharp mind and his hearty appetite right up to the end. He loved to eat! He faithfully ate 2 pieces of bacon everyday, along with fresh berries often blended up in a smoothie.
Oscar left us with these words of wisdom: “You come into this world helpless and you leave this world helpless. What does this mean? We all need each other!”
Survivors include his daughters, Jane(James) Scheurer, Judy McMeen, and Candy(Garry) Freeman, son-in-law Jim Merwin, eight grandchildren and 21 great- grandchildren.
Oscar was preceded in death by his wife , Arvilla Rueckert on November 1,2010; parents, 12 brothers and sisters, daughter, Carol Rueckert on April 1, 2020; son-in-law, Kent McMeen on June 20, 2019, and grand daughter, Jennifer Lynn Scheurer.
Casket bearers will be his 8 grandchildren: Jeff Scheurer, Justin Scheurer, Jeremy Scheurer, Jessica Scheurer, Buffy Hilton, Heather Cooke, Erik Freeman, and Kirsten Freeman.
The family would like to thank the kind and compassionate caregivers at Glacial Ridge Hospice and the wonderful nurses and doctors at the VA Hospitals and Clinics, and Pastor Becky for her continuing family support.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sauk Centre American Legion Post 67 where Oscar was a member for 75 years.
A few hours before Oscar’s death he said, “ It’s been a great journey!”