Mertice Adelle (née Spaude) Brueske was born on June 28th, 1935 in the Willmar, Minnesota hospital to the union of Pastor Emil and Elvira (née Ladwig) Spaude. She was welcomed into the Christian faith and the family of God in her Christian baptism on July 14th, 1935 at St. John's Lutheran Church of Atwater, Minnesota, where she also attended its Christian school for six years.
She was called at age 13 to fill the vacant organist position in her dad's church in Windom, Minnesota, where she also confirmed her Trinitarian faith. She developed her piano accompaniment skills at the Windom High School, graduating from there in 1953. She went on to major in religion and music, specializing in organ playing and choral conducting at Concordia College in St. Paul and Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana from which she graduated in 1958, after an internship at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Long Prairie, Minnesota. Her undergraduate organ studies were under a number of distinguished American and European organists.
On July 6th, 1958 she was commissioned as a deaconess and served at Trinity Lutheran Church in Great Bend, Kansas for three years; one year at St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Edina, Minnesota; and one year at the Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens in Missouri. She was joined in marriage to seminary student Robert Brueske on August 27th, 1961 with three children being born to this union, whom she nurtured faithfully in God's word, prayer and song.
Mertice and Robert served together in parishes in East Northport, New York; Deer Creek and Almora, Willmar and Alexandria, Minnesota; and Flint, Michigan, where she led or developed children’s, youth and adult choirs and shared organ playing duties. Especially in Alexandria, she headed up teen Bible studies and mentored several preteen and teenage girls. She also enjoyed organ or choral leadership opportunities at a number of synod and district sponsored conferences, workshops, seminars, clinics and district conventions, as well as at Lutheran Hour rallies, Lutheran Women's Missionary League conventions and retreats, and the Lutheran Island Camp Christ Serve Ranch dedication.
For a number of years while in and out of parish service with Bob, she anchored their family's traveling singing team in Minnesota and surrounding states and in Western Ontario, Canada. She joined her family on several short term mission trips to Mexico and Guatemala, compassionately championed human life, and later spent 17 years with Bob in early retirement as members and supporters of a struggling former Finnish Lutheran synod congregation west of Alexandria.
Personally, Mertice was an excellent seamstress, producing her own and her children's clothing, sewing and repurposing fabrics for household decorative appointments and altering garments. Her chocolate chip and Christmas cookies and annual tea ring were staples in the Brueske household. Self-taught hair cutting and styling were her specialties. Her green thumb actively nurtured a variety of household plants. She was an avid bird lover. Recorded Christmas music was on the stereo daily from late October through December, and her own piano playing and practicing for church worship services often rang throughout the home. Walking was her favorite pastime. Participation in several women's Bible study groups was her joy. Table games were her fun events. The Psalms were her daily sustenance. There was always room for one more seat at the household table for friends and unexpected guests.
During the last 20+ years she gave piano, organ and some voice lessons to children and adults and shared organist responsibilities and choral conducting as a member at Zion Lutheran in Alexandria, and as a substitute at various area congregations.
Mertice A. Brueske died on Monday, January 30th, 2023 at the Villas in Osseo, MN at the age of 87 years old.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers-in-law Loyal Brueske, Richard Mayes, Werner Gebhard and Lloyd Weiland, and sister-in-law Martha Brueske. Surviving her are her husband, Robert; son Patrick and wife Elizabeth; son Jeffrey and wife Angela and grandson Ladd; and beloved daughter Tara. Also remaining are sisters Marlene Gebhard and Myrna Weiland and brother Mike and wife Sandra Spaude, sister-in-law Nila Mayes and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Terry and Connie Brueske, and a host of wonderful nieces and nephews in each of these families.
Burial took place at Alexandria’s Kinkead Cemetery.
A memorial service will be held at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 5005 Northwest Boulevard, Plymouth, Minnesota on Friday, May 5th, 2023, at 7:00 PM.
A memorial service livestream May 5th at 7 p.m. is available online at https://www.youtube.com/@bslcplymouth.
A visitation hour will precede starting at 6:00 PM.
Cards and memorials can be sent to Robert Brueske, 4200 40th Ave. North Apt. # 210, Robbinsdale, MN 55422.