Bruno Schwandt of Appleton passed away Saturday, July 23, 2011, at the age of 93. Friends may call one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday. Funeral services for Bruno Schwandt will be at 11:00a.m. Saturday, July 30, 2011, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Appleton. Burial will be at the Appleton City Cemetry.
Bruno Herman Schwandt was born October 7, 1917, in Odessa, MN. He was one of three children born to Albert Hugo and Alvina (Schlueter) Schwandt. He was baptized November 4, 1917, and confirmed on March 20, 1932; both at Trinity Lutheran Church in Odessa. Bruno graduated from Odessa High School in 1937.
Bruno joined the National Guard and it wasn’t long before Company M, the local unit of the Minnesota National Guard, was activated in February of 1941. Bruno served 36 months overseas with Headquarters Co., 135th Infantry, 3rd Battalion. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and campaign ribbons for service in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. He was also awarded the Bronze Star.
After his honorable discharge in June of 1945, he returned to Appleton where he married Elaine Marlys Tucholke on July 7, 1945. They purchased Shorty’s Café. Two sons, Gregory R. and Daniel E. Schwandt were born to their marriage.
Once Bruno and Elaine had served enough 5 cent coffee to pay off the old café building, they tore it down and built a new building in 1959 which they operated together for 37 years. Elaine would open in the morning and Bruno would close in the evening. For 23 of those 37 years, Bruno’s Café was open from 6 a.m. to Midnight or later seven days a week. As times changed, they began closing at 7 p.m. on Monday, then Sunday afternoons, then all day Sunday, and eventually at 7 p.m. in the evening.
Bruno was active in the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion for 66 consecutive years of membership. He was a charter member of the VFW. He served a term as chairman of Trinity Lutheran Church, served three terms on the Appleton Hospital Board, and was a member of the Appleton Golf Club, although he never golfed. Bruno was rarely seen without his white shirt and tie. He was caught more than once wearing the tie fishing with his buddies and tending his extensive rose garden.
Bruno most enjoyed the people who frequented Bruno’s Café. With each cup of coffee served came a little friendship. He led by example and lived the Golden Rule by doing unto others as you would want them to do unto you. He especially loved “his girls”, Deb and Cher. Each of his grandchildren were special to him and loved in a special way. He will be missed, but what he taught us will live on with us.
He is survived by his two sons: Gregory (Debra) Schwandt of Great Falls, MT, and Daniel (Cheryl) Schwandt of Moorhead, MN; four grandchildren: Leah Lenay Schwandt of Jerseyville, ILL, Briana Elaine Schwandt of Missoula, MT, Benjamin Schwandt of Moorhead, MN, and Joshua Schwandt of Lindstrom, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elaine, on August 14, 1982; his brothers, Lawrence Schwandt and Raymond Schwandt