Dressen, John Joseph "Jack" was born on October 12, 1924 to Frank "Moose" and Mary "May" Dressen and grew up in Shakopee, Minnesota. After graduating from high school, Jack enlisted in the army and was assigned to the 273rd Field Artillery Battalion, which became part of General Patton's 3rd Army. Jack landed with his unit on Utah Beach in Normandy, France in August of 1944 and took part in the Battle of the Bulge. Corporal John Dressen was honorably discharged in 1945 and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for distinguished and meritorious service. After returning home at the war's end, Jack took advantage of the G.I. Bill and enrolled at St. Thomas College in St. Paul in order to pursue a degree in education. It was as a result of this decision that he met and fell in love with a smart and beautiful young math teacher who agreed to tutor him in Algebra, never his strong suit. Throughout the course of his long life, Jack had the opportunity to cross paths with many interesting people, but, as he never hesitated to declare loudly and clearly, the most important and influential person he ever met was his Algebra tutor, Josephine Schmelzle. Jack and Jo married in 1948 and soon afterward moved to Browerville, Minnesota where they would spend the next five decades together teaching, coaching, participating actively in the community, raising four children, and building deep and lasting friendships. Jack and Jo moved to nearby Alexandria, Minnesota in 2000 where they spent thirteen years playing as many rounds of golf as they could possibly squeeze in and making many new and wonderful friends. Jack was a community builder by nature and served tirelessly with groups like the City Council, Lions Club, Church Parish Council and the Long Prairie Country Club Board. He was a master at marshalling the forces of volunteers and inspiring the generosity of community donors, he championed projects like the building of a new elementary and high school in Browerville, an Athletic Complex which bears his name to this day, the addition of nine more holes at the Long Prairie Country Club, and a community center for the citizens of Browerville; all the while making sure that his Browerville Tigers wore the best-looking uniforms, played on the best-kept fields, and could walk with their families and friends through city streets lined with the most beautiful and bountiful collection of flowers imaginable. A life-long DFLer, Jack also served as a Field Representative for Congressman Bob Bergland and in that role never ceased to advocate for the needs of Browerville and other surrounding communities in Todd County. As Coach, and eventually Athletic Director, Jack enjoyed countless "wins," but also, of course, endured many losses. The greatest loss of his life, however, was the loss in 2013 of his beloved bride, best friend, and faithful partner of 64 years. Jack moved to Hastings, Minnesota after Jo's death and enjoyed six more good years in the company of friends and family. But, early on the morning of November 13, 2019 - which just happened to be the 71st Anniversary of his marriage to Jo - he finally decided that he could wait no longer to be united with her again and died peacefully in his sleep. Jack was also preceded in death by his parents, and his son, Daniel Dressen, his sister, Lilalee Volker, his daughter-in-law Connie Burman Dressen. He is survived by his children: Nic (Linda Wall) Dressen, Ric (Kerry) Dressen, Mary Hedstrom (Vern Winge), daughter-in-law Debbie Dressen, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 11:00 a.m., at Christ the King Catholic Church in Browerville with Fr. Steven Binsfeld and Fr. Mitchell Bechtold officiating. Friends may call on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 4:00-7:00 p.m, at Christ the King Catholic Church and on the day of the funeral one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be held at Christ the King Catholic Cemetery, Browerville. Charitable contribution can be made to the Browerville High School Athletic Fund, 620 Park Avenue, Browerville MN 56438 and the Browerville Area Food Shelf, 23777 County 14, Browerville MN 56438. Arrangements are with the Iten Funeral Home. itenfuneralhome.com
John Joseph 'Jack' Dressen
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