Gilbert August “Bud” Soeffker, age 90 of Glencoe passed away Saturday, August 29, 2020 at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson. A Celebration of Life will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 12th at First Ev. Lutheran Church in Glencoe. A gathering of family and friends will be observed on Friday, September 11th from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and again Saturday, September 12th one hour prior to the Celebration of Life, ALL at the church. Light refreshments will be served at Shelter #2 at Oak Leaf Park in Glencoe following the service. Covid 19 guidelines will be respected.
Bud was born on December 17, 1929 on his family’s farm south of Arlington, MN, to John and Bertha (Schauer) Soeffker, the youngest of nine children. He was baptized the day of his birth on the farm by the Rev. Heidemann of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Arlington. He attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Parochial School prior to attending rural Carver County Public Schools near East Union through the eighth grade. He was confirmed in 1943 by the Rev. Ostermann at Trinity Lutheran Church in Carver. He attended Arlington High School. During his sophomore year on his birthday, he purchased a car and began working as a hired man on a local dairy farm.
At age 18, he entered active military duty in Mankato, MN, serving in the U.S. Army, on October 21, 1948. He served as unit clerk and rifle M-1 Sharpshooter for Headquarters Battery, of the 68th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas. Private First Class Soeffker was honorably discharged on October 20, 1949. One month later, he joined the Army Reserves and served an additional four years until his honorable discharge with the rank of Sergeant on November 3rd, 1953.
After active military service, Bud was hired by his brother Ralph, Sr., working as a carpenter. In 1956, as a foreman, he had the honor of attaching the cross to the steeple of the newly built St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Arlington that Ralph’s crew had completed that year.
After purchasing a lot from Ralph, Sr. near St. Paul’s in 1957, he began building a home. That project made the young Eldana Stuedemann of Plato, whom he had courted since 1953, wonder what he was up to. Later that Spring, Bud proposed to his “Yellow Rose of Plato,” and the couple married on July 4, 1957 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Plato with the Rev. Schuett officiating. Shortly thereafter, he hired his building crew and opened Soeffker Construction Company.
Bud and Eldana’s marriage was blessed with four children, Joan Diane, Jane Eldana, Judy Lynn and Jay Adrian. In 1962, he moved to Glencoe after building his family a new home there, and along with his family, became a member of First Ev. Lutheran Church in Glencoe as well. In that decade, due to their growing family, he built two additional homes in Glencoe, residing in town until 1993. In 1972, Bud purchased 85 acres in Rich Valley Twp. northwest of Glencoe, where upon his semi-retirement, he built his retirement home with his wife at his side on his cherished hobby farm.
For over four decades, Bud worked as the general contractor, owning and operating Soeffker Construction Company. His projects included the designing and drafting blueprints for the building of single-family homes, remodeling projects, building additions, construction of commercial buildings and residential apartments, as well as church and school additions throughout McLeod, Sibley and Carver counties. Prominent commercial projects included serving as General Contractor for building the Glencoe Fire Station, Midland Co-op (now Glencoe Co-op Association/Cenex), and several additions and remodels of Security State Bank of Glencoe and Security Bank of Winsted. School additions included First Lutheran School of Glencoe, Zion Lutheran School of Benton Township, and Mayer Lutheran High School. Church additions and remodeling projects included Immanuel Lutheran, Brownton; St. John’s Lutheran, Helen Township; Prairie Community Church UCC, Lester Prairie; and St. Mark’s Lutheran, New Germany. Bud also built the original Park Shelter #2 at Oak Leaf Park in Glencoe, which was purchased and moved to Silver Lake. The new #2 shelter was constructed on the same site.
Bud enjoyed playing cards with family and with a special group of friends, listening to Country and Western and Old-Time Gospel music, fishing, snowmobiling, and following the MN Twins. He had a quiet sense of humor, loved reading the comics, and enjoyed playing practical jokes on his buddies, especially Charles Burger. He would often dole out lollipops from his pocket when spending time with grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and young nieces and nephews. On his farm in Rich Valley Twp., he enjoyed raising ducks, felling trees for his wood burner, pruning his apple trees, and planting garden vegetables with his wife, always with his dogs following by his side. His sense of humor and enjoyment of practical jokes continued on throughout his life, even to his days at Harmony River, where he enjoyed playing pranks on his Hillside Bend caregivers. He loved and cherished Christmas, and even up until the very end, he could recite the Lord’s Prayer in German. His favorite song of all time was “O du fröhliche.”
Bud’s faith and spreading the Gospel were near and dear to his heart. He enjoyed daily devotions and Bible reading. He served on the First Lutheran Board of Stewardship and on the Board of Education for both First Lutheran and Mayer Lutheran High School. He joined the Gideons in 1985 and served in their jail ministry at the McLeod County Jail and was their Memorial Bible Chairman. Bud was a co-founder in 1978 of United Fellowship Outreach, an international Christ-centered organization.
Bud was also active in the community. He used his construction experience as the foreman for the Crow River Habitat for Humanity building crew, was a member of the Glencoe Area Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Arlington VFW Drill Team, appearing in many local parades and serving the greater community.
Bud was preceded in death by his parents, John and Bertha (Schauer) Soeffker; brothers and sisters-in-law Milo and Bernice, Ralph and Ella; sisters and brothers-in-law Elvira and Alfred Luepke, Evelyn and Alford Voight, Norma and Vernon Dircks, Merva and Willard Schultz and second husband Andrew Grassmann; two infant siblings; nine nieces and six nephews; brother- and sister-in-law Gerald and Gail Stuedemann; and son-in-law Charles Dahlheimer.
Survivors include his beloved wife Eldana; daughters Joan (Tim) Bode of Waconia; Jane (Hal) Baumchen of Waconia; daughter Judy Dahlheimer of Howard Lake; son Jay Soeffker of Rich Valley Twp. and his sweetheart Dorci Cerrato of Hutchinson; Grandchildren Reid, Noel and Lane Bode; Rebecca (Todd) Barnes; Sarah (Josiah) Mecredy; Amy and Graham Dahlheimer, Noelle née Dahlheimer (David) Diers; Riley Soeffker; two great-granddaughters and four great grandsons; as well as many nieces and nephews, other cherished relatives, and many dear family friends.
Memorials preferred to First Ev. Lutheran School in Glencoe or to Gideons International.
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