Father Don Bruck, 80

April 27, 1942 - February 13, 2023

Father Don Bruck was born to Joseph and Orvelyn Bruck on April 27, 1942 at the Behrendt farm north and west of Panama, Iowa. He was the oldest of 3 sons; Marvin and Allen (Punk) and their wives Jan and Bev.
He attended country school the first eight years of his education. He then went on to attend St. Mary’s High School for four years with the teaching of Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, Kansas. With the encouragement of home parish priests, grandmothers, and other family members, he discerned to go to Seminary. Msgr. Michael Schiltz, his home priest of many years, was his “father” figures.
In the fall of 1960, he went off to college seminary at Conception Abbey Seminary; under the influence of Benedictine Monks, who helped him gain an appreciation of prayerful liturgy, and early introduction to Scripture, and develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
After Conception College for four years, he was sent to Mount St. Bernard’s Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. This was the period of transition during the 2nd Vatican Council with many changes in the church taking place. The Dominican Fathers at St. Rose Priory in Dubuque were the professors in those years.
Fr. Don was ordained June 2, 1968 at St. Ambrose Cathedral by Bishop Frank Greteman of Sioux City, Iowa ( in the interim between Bishops Edward Daly and Maurice Dingman). That summer, he served at All Saints in Des Moines, Iowa and then at Christ the King (Des Moines) with his early mentor, Fr. Gerald Deere, who he stayed good friends with up until his death. Gerry welcomed younger priests, showed them how to enjoy life in seminary and welcome guests. He was cordial and made sure that all were “watered and fed”.
Many years as “pastor” were happy ones for Fr. Don. God gifted him in every assignment he was given. He was mostly in country parishes and visited homes, often meeting people on their own “turf”, even in city parishes. The people taught him how to be a pastor. He spent many of his years in the southern tier of counties of the Des Moines Diocese.
Fr. Don retired on July 10, 2011. He went back to his home area of Harlan, Iowa. He always said that it was a good decision to do so. He continued to have many opportunities to serve God’s People in retirement. For example, he would often take weekend duty and serve other ministries.
Over the years, he belonged to a Jesus Caritas, a priest support group, since 1974. He said, “It’s been an amazing experience of sharing with brother priests.” Over those years he experienced men joining, dying, leaving ministry, and finding support for their lives.
During Fr. Don’s years, he made the 30 day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignaitus and Loyola which he believed was a good experience for growing into a close relationship with Jesus and His Father.
After the death of both of his parents in December of 1988, he was given the opportunity to do a sabbatical at the North American College in Rome, Italy. He was very fortunate to be able to travel in the Holy Land, Europe, and South America. He was very grateful to his parents, brothers, their wives and families, extended family members for their support and care over his 80 years of life.
“God is good and has greatly blessed me. I look forward to life eternal.” - Fr. Don Bruck
Father Don passed away on Monday, February 13, 2023 at his home in Harlan, Iowa attaining the age of 80 years, 9 months and 17 days. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Orvelyn Bruck.
He is survived by his brothers, Allen (Bev) Bruck of Panama, IA and Marvin (Jan) Bruck of Des Moines, IA, nieces and nephews, Denny (Kari) Bruck, Sarah (Rob) Lambertsen, Jennifer (Jack) Theulen, Nathan (Kalli) Bruck, and Paul (Ashley) Bruck, other family and friends.
An 11:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial was officiated by Bishop William M. Joesnsen, Phd. On Saturday, February 19, 2023 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan, Iowa. Denny Bruck, Rob Lambertsen, Jennifer Theulen, Nathan Bruck, Paul Bruck, Sarah Lambertsen, and Jack Theulen served as pallbearers. A burial was held at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Panama, Iowa following the service.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.



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