James David Brozik, 89, of Mankato passed away on February 5, 2024 from complications of congestive heart failure.
A funeral mass will be held 11:00 am, Tuesday, February 13th, 2024 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Full military honors immediately following the service outside the church. Private family burial at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a donation in Jim's memory to Kiwanis of Mankato. A livestream access located at YouTube.com/@StJohnsMankatoMN. Mankato Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Jim was born on September 10, 1934, in Waseca. He was the 2nd of four boys born to John and Marcella (Schentzel) Brozik. He was baptized as an infant in Waseca and lived there until he was 4 years old. The family then moved to Fairfax where he was confirmed in his faith at St. Andrew's Catholic Church. He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1953 and continued to attend class reunions regularly. Jim was an excellent athlete in high school and was a 4-time varsity letter winner in baseball and football. He was proud to be the first football player at FHS to wear a face mask on his football helmet to help stop nose bleeds from contact while playing the game.
Jim proudly enlisted in the US Army in April of 1954. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1956 after serving as an engineer in Germany during the Korean War. Jim was united in marriage to Eileen "Sue" Guentzel on May 3, 1958, in Mankato at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Mankato. They had 65 wonderful years of marriage and had three children, Brad, Brian and Brenda. Jim loved spending time with his three grandchildren and their spouses and received so much joy from his nine great-grandchildren.
Jim was initially employed as a teacher in Claremont, then as a salesman for Blue Cross and Farm Bureau of MN, and finally as district manager for Ziebart Rustproofing in Bloomington, where he retired at the age of 60 in 1995. Jim was active in his community by serving at his church as an usher, lector, and Eucharistic server. He found it very rewarding to be active in Kiwanis, KC's, JC's, Vine and was a volunteer for the Mankato Police Department.
Jim found joy in good conversation, was a great joke teller and had a fabulous smile. He also enjoyed traveling around the world, reading, gardening and time at their Cross Lake cabin - especially on the pontoon. In 2021, he and his wife Sue moved to The Pillars of Mankato where he quickly made friends and engaged in activities. He was voted Prom King by residents during a recent "Senior Prom/Back to the 50's" event. His legacy at The Pillars will forever be known for his idea to start the "Joke of the Day" with front office staff which has grown and is now broadcast daily to all residents and vendors. He would say, "if it helps one person to smile that day it's worth it!"
Jim is survived by his wife Eileen "Sue" of Mankato; son, Brad (Kathy) of Mankato; daughter, Brenda (Charlene) of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Matt (Lisa), Jennifer Anderson (Chet) and Sarah Osterberg (Mike); nine great-grandchildren, Owen, Isla, Merrick, Greta, Ty, Bode, Wesley, Hallie and Zoey; sisters-in-law, Shirley Brozik, Mary Lou Guentzel, Dot Guentzel; brother-in-law, Jim Guentzel; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents John and Marcella Brozik, stepmother Patricia Brozik, brothers Jack, Thomas, and Richard Brozik, and son Brian Brozik.
Jim's family would like to express a special thank you to staff at Pillars of Mankato and Mayo Hospital Mankato for their exceptional care and support.