Charles R. Bries

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Charles Robert Bries, 76, slipped peacefully from this world at Kavanagh (Hospice) House on June 12, 2020, a mere 10 months after the passing of his dear wife. He abandoned his earthly existence with her ashes beside him, his eldest daughter’s hand in his, while listening to the lyrics he often sang to his children: “I want to go home. I want to go home. Lord, how I want to go home.”

Charlie, ever the firecracker, was born as the 11th of 16 children on July 4, 1943, into the family of Arnold and Regina (Ulbrich) Bries near Luxemburg. He was joined in marriage to Mary Jean (Berns) on Feb. 17, 1968. Over the course of their 51 years of marriage, Charlie and Mary raised four children who blessed them with 12 grandchildren.

Over the course of his life, Charlie served as the maintenance manager at Martin Marietta in Clayton. Once the sand mine closed, he began working as a USDA excavating contractor for farmland preservation. He was also the “Jack of All Trades” throughout his life for Mary’s business and home. Charlie’s greatest loves were his wife, his own (and all) children, hunting/fishing and the weather. He worked hard and played hard, spending his leisure time snowmobiling, riding four-wheelers, playing Euchre and, in his younger years, water-skiing and dancing with Mary at Lakeside Ballroom. Nobody had a need when Charlie was around, as he’d do anything in his power to help. He impacted and brought joy to more people than we’ll ever know.

Those left to remember him are his daughters Lisa (James) Odson of Ankeny, Vicki (Jon) Rieder of Seven Valleys, Pa., Lori (Dan) Digmann of Marion, and son, Jason (Katie) Bries of Cedar Falls; 11 grandchildren, Marie, Noah and Olivia Odson, Brittney, Ian, Chase, Kaden and Teaghen Rieder, Benjamin and Thomas Digmann, and Brody Bries; one step-granddaughter, Grace Waseskuk; and 12 siblings.

Charlie is preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Anna Bries, Imogene (Carl) Feldmann and JoAnn (Donald) Wille; one brother, James (Darlene) Bries; and of course his beloved wife, Mary (Berns) Bries.

Visitation and funeral services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Guttenberg, on Friday, June 19. Charlie’s siblings are invited for visitation at 8 a.m., with public viewing to commence at 8:30 a.m. Once all mourners have had an opportunity to say farewell, the funeral mass will proceed around 10 a.m. Interment to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Garnavillo.

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