Charles “Chuck” Brust, age 74, of Gig Harbor WA, formerly of Milbank and Aberdeen, SD, died in University Place, WA at Franciscan Hospice House on November 19, 2016. Chuck passed away peacefully with his wife and sons at his side. He was diagnosed with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis in 2006.
Chuck was born on September 16, 1942 in Keokuk, Iowa to Ralph and Bernice (Marks) Brust. He was the oldest of three sons.
Chuck’s father worked for JC Penney. His work transferred him to several locations, so as a child and young adult, Chuck lived in Zion IL, Waukegan IL, Green Bay WI, Ida Grove IA, Brookings SD and Fort Dodge IA. He graduated from high school while in Brookings.
Chuck was married to Colette Nordquist on December 29, 1969 at St. Williams Chapel in Milbank, SD. They were blessed with two sons, Charles and Matthew.
Chuck started his teaching career at Milbank High School in 1966, after graduation from South Dakota State University. He taught biology there for four years before he and his wife moved to Aberdeen, SD. Chuck then taught biology at Aberdeen Central High School from 1970 – 2005. During the time that he taught, he was honored to be able to continue his education through National Science Foundation grants. He received his Masters of Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He also completed several graduate courses including Montana State University, Bozeman MT, University of Washington, Seattle WA, and University of Wisconsin, River Falls WI.
After retirement, he enjoyed his lifelong hobbies of running, hunting, fishing, music, movies, sports and anything that got him outdoors. His natural ability to teach others served him well as he taught his grandsons, nieces and nephews. No one was ever too young to learn – one of his favorite activities with the little ones was always to go “look at things” – he could spend hours examining plants, insects, or just about anything and talking about what they saw, answering every question that came up.
Chuck always had a great sense of humor, and was known to tease and pull pranks on unsuspecting family and friends. In his retelling of these stories, he often found himself unable to finish, as he’d dissolve into laughter until tears rolled down his face and he laughed so hard that he wasn’t able to get out the punchline. His brothers and sons have favorite stories of their adventures with him. Especially memorable are the hunting and fishing trips taken with his sons and grandsons. One that is often mentioned is the time he lost his favorite muskie sweatshirt in the lake on a fly-in trip in Canada.
During retirement, he lived in Lake Crystal MN and Gig Harbor, WA.
Visitation is planned from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on Friday, December 2, 2016 at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank, SD. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at St. Lawrence Church in Milbank, SD.
He is survived by Colette (wife), sons Charles (Pam) Brust of Rochester, MN, and Matt (Sarah) of Aberdeen, SD, grandsons Sam, Ben, Peyton, Cole and Cooper Brust and brothers Dave (Julie) of Camas, WA and Dan (Susan) of Rochester, MN, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611.