“Bunny” James Nicholai Broekemeier, 91, of Cass Lake passed away on October 10, 2020, at his home on Midge Lake with his loving family by his side.
A celebration of life with Bunny’s family will be held at Cease Funeral home in Bemidji, MN on Friday, October 16, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, with a prayer service led by Pastor Amanda Kossow of Trinity Lutheran Church, Cass Lake, MN, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
A private service will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 10:30 am at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cass Lake with Pastor Amanda Kossow officiating. Inurnment will take place at Farris Cemetery in Cass Lake, MN under the direction of Cease Family Funeral Home Bemidji after the service, with Military Honors provided by the Cass Lake American Legion. (The Funeral Service will be taped and played back on Trinity Lutheran Church Cass Lake Facebook Page after the funeral or go to tlccasslake.com and there will a link to view the service.) Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.
Bunny was born September 18, 1929, in Northwood, ND to William and Nora (Halvorson) Broekemeier. He moved from Twin Valley to Cass Lake when he was in 2nd grade where he graduated from high school. He received all-conference honors in football and basketball, throughout his high school years.
Bunny was a member of the United States Army and fought in the Korean War from 1948-1951 being stationed in Korea and Germany. During his service, he was a recipient of 2 purple hearts and 3 bronze service stars, and a combat infantry badge.
On September 18th, 1954 Bunny united in marriage to the love of his life, Delores Johnson in Cass Lake, MN. Together they had 4 children David, Jimmy, Timmy, and Heidi. They recently celebrated 66 years together. The couple moved from Cass Lake to Kelly Lake and then to Crookston where they raised their family for 32 years. Bunny worked for Burlington Northern and Great Northern railroads as a conductor/brakeman for 42 years. In 1988 Bunny retired and returned back to his hometown to live at the lake in Cass Lake.
Bunny was a member of the American Legion for 70 years, a member of the VFW, and a lifelong member of Disabled American Veterans. He also served as the Commander of the American Legion in Cass Lake. Bunny served on the Honor Guard where he honored fellow veterans. He held high regard for the American Flag and patriotism and passed that respect on to his children and grandchildren.
When Bunny retired and returned to Cass Lake he was very active in his community. He served on the library and museum boards. He was a volunteer greeter at the Cass Lake information rest area. Faith was important to Bunny and he was very active through his congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church of Cass Lake where he served as an usher and helped with construction when the new church was erected.
Bunny was full of life and always found value in each day, he had a journal that he would document daily highlights. Those journals date back from the time he was in the service. He enjoyed being outdoors, hunting, fishing, and enjoying the lake. Bunny grew up hunting and passed along that tradition with his brothers, brother in-laws, children, and grandchildren and went each year until he was 90 years old. He used his sharpshooting at the gun club where he went to weekly trap shooting and managed animal control at the lake to sending unwanted critters to the “happy hunting ground.” He spent time carving diamond willow sticks and passing them down to family and friends. He enjoyed following many sports of all levels from professional to watching and listening to his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. He enjoyed reading, watching westerns and war stories, playing cards, rolling dice, listening to old-time music, dancing, taking lake swims, or beating his grandchildren in rings. Bunny enjoyed daily coffee trips, getting the paper, and visiting friends at the pawnshop.
Bunny and Delores just enjoyed each other’s company, their lake view from sunrise to sunset, visiting family and friends, taking trips with their family and close friends. Bunny truly had a special gift to bring smiles and joy to those around him through his witty one-liners, old-time sayings, and warm embraces he shared. He will be deeply missed.
Bunny was preceded in death by parents: William and Nora Broekemeier, Brothers: William Broekemeier, Charles Broekemeier. Parent in-laws: Martin and Ellen Johnson. Brothers-in-law: Charles Devorak, Brian Isaacson. Sisters-in-law: Lois Broekemeier, Arlene Broekemeier.
Bunny is survived by his wife Delores (66 years). Children: David (Jean) Broekemeier, Jimmy (Karen) Broekemeier, Timmy Broekemeier, Heidi (Jerome) Simmons. Grandchildren: Kelsey Broekemeier, Rainer Simmons, Molly (Seth) Hanson, Tayler (Zach) Bryant, Jessica, (Austin) Dierks, Kylie Simmons, Nicholai Broekemeier, Tifani Ellis. Great-Grandchildren: Triton Ellis, Boden Bryant, Hatton Hanson. Sister: Bonnie Isaacson. Brother/Sisters-in-law: Margie Devorak, Lois and Gordy Ova, Marianne and Ike Kamrud, Carol and Gary Begeman, John, and Donna Johnson. Many special nieces and nephews and their families. Special acknowledgment to lifetime and dear friends Buddy Ness, Del Hemstra, Jane and Darrell McCannell, Kathryn and Eric Nord, Mike, and Connie Miller. Honorary grandchildren: Hazel, Boone, and Elsie Nord.
In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial to the family who will pass it on to honor Bunny’s name in the organizations that were dear to his heart.