Irene E. Busch, 90

Irene E. Busch, age 90, of New Prague, died peacefully with her family at her side on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, at her home at Praha Village.  Irene was born June 23, 1933 on the family farm to Henry and Anna (Walker) Bendzick. She grew up on the farm and had fond memories of taking raspberries to a farmer’s market in St. Paul and coming home with lemons to make lemonade.  She attended St. John Parochial School and graduated from Jordan High School. She met a young man, Elgar Busch, and fell in love.  When Elgar was called to serve in the Korean War, they broke up.  The day he returned from duty, Elgar got off the bus and Irene, who was working at the bank, was told by a friend that he was back and looking for a ride home. She wasted no time locating him!  The two were married on Sept. 14, 1955, at St. John the Baptist in Jordan. In an era when working mothers were often frowned upon, Irene challenged the status quo.  She loved working with numbers and started out at a bank in Jordan.  Once her children arrived, she was primarily a mother and homemaker but returned to the workforce at McMahon Snyder Drug before returning to banking in New Prague, attaining the title of Bank Officer at Wells Fargo.  Even after her retirement, she continued working with funds when she volunteered at St. Wenceslaus counting Sunday donations.  Her volunteer work expanded to include St. Wenceslaus School, where she thoroughly enjoyed working with children.

 Irene was positive and outgoing, always up for a good game of cards, belonging to numerous card clubs and bowling leagues.  She enjoyed bingo and an occasional trip to the casino.  She was a voracious reader, especially enjoying a good mystery or crime novel.  Irene was fun, social, and witty, always ready with a quick retort.  There was nothing she loved better at the end of the day than a nice cold beer or, when the doctor told her that wine was better for her heart, a glass of Riesling.  Irene was self-taught and remained sharp to the very end.  Lamenting that she might never become a great-grandmother, one of her final joys came when she was able to hold her very first great-grandson, Oliver, age 2 weeks, just two days before she died.  The smile that Irene was noted for was evident then and will be sorely missed by all who loved her.

 Irene is survived by her children, Cindy (John) Schmitz of New Prague, Darryl (Angela) Busch of Eden Prairie, Tim Busch of Chanhassen, Lisa (Doug) Bertram of Minnetrista, Mark Busch of Seattle, Wash.; grandchildren, Andrew Schmitz, Nickolas (Chelsea) Schmitz, Tony (Sarah) Schmitz, Lydia Schmitz, Elli Busch, Derek Busch, Brian Bertram (Jill Gelle), Alex Bertram; great-grandson, Oliver; sisters, Catherine (Roland) Menke of Jordan & Marion Breeggemann of Shakopee; sisters-in-law, Katherine Bendzick of Jordan and Gladys Busch of New Prague.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Elgar, on April 17, 2021; parents; sisters, Marcella Koenig & Delphine Bendzick; brothers, Jerry & Ervin Bendzick.

 Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with Father Tom Krenik (nephew) officiating.  Mass will be live-streamed on npcatholic.org.  Visitation will be held at church from 10-11 a.m.  Burial will occur at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery.  Lunch will follow at the KC Hall.  bruzekfuneralhome.com

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