NameWilliam Jerome Bretz
Birth10 Jan 1922
Death22 Aug 2016 Age: 94
Spouses
Birth31 Aug 1925
Death25 Mar 2012 Age: 86
FatherJohn Weller (1902-1981)
ChildrenJanice Kay (1946-)
 Jerome David (1952-)
 Diane Carol (1956-)
 David Allen (1953-)
 Robert Joseph (1958-)
 Karen Joan (1950-)
 Darlene Ellen (1953-)
 Timothy John (1964-)
Obituary Notes for William Jerome Bretz
William 'Bill' Bretz, age 94 of Osakis passed away on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the Galeon in Osakis, MN. Funeral services are set for Tuesday, August 30 at 10:30 am at the Immaculate Conception Church in Osakis with burial 2:30 pm at the Calvary Cemetery in Wadena, MN. Visitation hours are from 5 – 8 pm on Monday evening at the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis with parish prayers at 7:30 pm. There will also be a visitation at the church one hour before the service on Tuesday.

William was born in Wadena, MN, on January 20, 1922, to the late William and Magdalena Bretz. He graduated from Wadena High School in 1940. He married the late Bernice (Weller) Bretz on September 25, 1945. They had nine children.

Bill was born to be a farmer. After marriage in 1945, he leased farms in the Wadena, MN area until 1953. In the fall of 1953, Bill, Bernice, and their family moved to Osakis, MN where he bought a farm where he lived and farmed for the next 63 years. To supplement his income he also worked as an auto mechanic, construction (homes in Osakis still have his trusses), milk truck driver, and corn seed representative.

After semi-retiring, Bill and Bernice traveled visiting their children, grandchildren and wintering in Mesa, AZ. He loved to visit antique tractor shows and took up the hobby of restoring old Farmalls and Massey Fergusons. He enjoyed riding them in parades and dispensing candy. Bill also began experimenting with woodworking making clocks for his family and friends and wooden animals, which Bernice painted and they sold at craft shows. While in AZ, he became famous as the bicycle repairman in their trailer park.

Bill was a loving father, husband, grandfather and friend to all. He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Osakis, MN.

Bill is survived by his nine children; Janice (Rick) Wander-Schoen of Buckeye, AZ, Katherine Bretz of San Francisco, CA, Karen Bretz of Phoenix, AZ, Jerome Bretz of Princeton, MN, Darlene (Anjan) Bhattacharyya, Lexington, KY, David (Barb) Bretz of Nisswa, MN, Dianne (Brent) Merolla of Scottsdale, AZ, Robert (Michelle) Bretz of Edmonds, WA, Timothy (Trisha) Bretz of Pendleton, IN along with 13 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren; and 6 great-great grandchildren. He, also, is survived by one sister, Margaret Smith of Huntington Beach, CA; one brother, Edmund (Glenyce) Bretz of Sauk Rapids, MN, along with numerous brothers and sisters-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brothers (Aloysius, Vince, Albert), sisters (Katherine, Antonia), and grandchild as well as several brothers and sisters-in-law. Arrangements by Roy-Hetland Funeral Home, Osakis.
Obituary Notes for Bernice Susan (Spouse 1)
Bernice Bretz, of Osakis, MN passed on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria, MN, at the age of 86.

She was born August 31, 1925 as Bernice Susan Weller to John and Scholastica (Wegscheid) Weller in Wadena, MN. She graduated from Wadena High School. Like many women who helped their country during WWII, Bernice worked like "Rosie the Riveter" as a lathe operator. On September 25, 1945 Bernice was united in marriage to William Bretz in Bluffton, MN. They moved to a farm near Osakis, MN and together raised a family of nine children. In addition to providing love and support for her children, Bernice worked as a clerk at the Red Owl grocery store in Osakis, at the Fingerhut factory in Sauk Centre and as a cook at the Osakis Community Memorial Home. Even after retirement, Bernice helped out at Grandma's Attic in Osakis.

She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Osakis and belonged to the Christian Mothers.
Bernice had many interests and hobbies. She loved to be outdoors working in her garden. She had a knack for raising strawberries and was locally renowned for the biggest, juiciest berries. She sold many quarts and even took orders each fall from people who wanted to be sure to get some of her next year's crop. Bernice also enjoyed quilting (making quilts for each of her children), traveling and taking rides around the neighborhood on her three-wheel bike. She was a hard-working, loving wife, mother and grandmother who will be dearly missed by her family and many friends.

Bernice is survived by her husband of 66 years, Bill Bretz of Osakis; nine children, Janice (Rick) Wander-Schoen of Buckeye, AZ, Katherine Bretz of Menlo Park, CA, Karen Bretz of Phoenix, AZ, Jerome Bretz of Princeton, MN, Darlene (Anjan) Bhattacharyya, Lexington, KY, David (Barb) Bretz of Nisswa, Dianne (Brent) Merolla of Scottsdale, AZ, Robert (Michelle) Bretz of Edmonds, WA, Timothy (Trisha) Bretz of Pendelton, IN; 14 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; 3 great, great grandchildren; 3 brothers, Donald Weller of Wadena, Kenneth (Dorothy) Weller of Cross Lake, Joseph (Joanie) Weller of Ottertail, MN, 3 sisters, Arlene Kato of Great Falls, MT, Johanna (Mark) Kato of Havre, MT, Judith (Collin) McLeod of Alexandria; 3 sisters-in-law, Marjorie, Weller of New York Mills, Eileen Weller of Merced, CA, Margaret Smith of Huntington Beach, CA; 1 brother-in-law, Ed (Glenyce) Bretz of Paynesville; many nieces and nephews.

Bernice was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Duane and Arnold Weller and a sister, Isabelle Langer, as well as several brothers and sisters-in-law.

A Mass of Resurrection was held on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Immaculate Conception Church in Osakis with Fr. Dave Petron officiating. Interment was at St. Ann's Cemetery in Wadena, MN with Fr. Don Wagner officiating. Honorary pallbearers were the members of her neighborhood birthday club, Carolyn Thimmesh, Virginia Mikkelson, Sonja Starry, Gayle Redning, Vicky Herickhoff, Dorene Mielke, Jean Torstenson and Delores Levau. Active pallbearers were Louis Gray, Dale Massman, Chet Wallace, Gary Mikkelson, Jason Sward and Brent Merolla. Alternate Pallbearer, Tony Pitschka.
Last Modified 1 Mar 2020Created 1 Mar 2020 by Brad Wegscheid