Cover photo for Brian J. Reese's Obituary
Brian J. Reese Profile Photo
1950 Brian 2024

Brian J. Reese

July 6, 1950 — April 11, 2024


Brian J. Reese, 73, of Owatonna, formerly of Ellendale, passed away peacefully, on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Benedictine Living Community in Owatonna, MN.

A visitation will be held from 3-5:00PM on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at Bonnerup-Ellendale Chapel, in Ellendale, MN. A private funeral and burial will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at First Lutheran Church in Ellendale, with burial to be held at the church cemetery. The service will be livestreamed.

Born on July 6, 1950, in Albert Lea, Brian was the son of the late Merle and Zola Mae (Gibson) Reese. A proud native of Ellendale, Brian spent his early years working alongside his dad on the family farm. As a young man, he earned a commendable blue ribbon for his steer while showcasing his knack for agriculture as a member of the 4H Beaver Lake Beavers.

 Brian's journey in life was marked by hard work and dedication. After his education at the Southern School of Agriculture, he embarked on a fulfilling career as a Maintenance Mechanic at Bird's Eye in Waseca, retiring in 1996 after many years of service.

Away from work, his adventurous spirit shone through his love for motorcycle riding, snowmobiling, horseback riding, and raising Arabian and Quarter horses. Brian's competitive side was evident in his participation in various sports like softball and arm wrestling, where his strength and tenacity made him a formidable opponent.

Brian's downtime was filled with his favorite pastimes. He found solace in the tranquility of hunting, trapping and fishing. His ability to fix anything earned him a reputation as the go-to handyman. Despite his toughness, Brian had a softer side, enjoying live music and dancing, attending auctions, as well as indulging in action movies and classic Westerns.

Those left to cherish Brian’s memory include his two children, Brooke (Lon) Thiele and Mitch Reese (Shelby Dawson), and their mother, Jean Reese; grandchildren, Savannah Thiele and Jasmine Thiele, Isaiah Dawson, Brayden Reese; siblings, Candace Duros and Scott Reese; nieces and nephews, Chad Duros, Quang (Mindy) Nguyen and their children, Rachel (Anders Long), Tina Ngyuen and Peter Nguyen, Todd Reese and his children, Ozzy, Charli, and Jillian Reese, and Courtney (Brian) Armstrong and their children, Paige, Reese, and Kinsey Armstrong.

Brian was preceded in death by his parents, Merle and Zola (Gibson) Reese.

A special thank you to the staff of St Croix Hospice, Benedictine Living Community in Owatonna, Alternative Resolutions, and Mayo Clinic for providing such great care for our Dad. We are forever grateful to you.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Benedictine Living Community of Owatonna and The Steele County Humane Society. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Brian J. Reese, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Bonnerup Funeral & Cremation Services - Ellendale

308 7th Avenue, Ellendale, MN 56026

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Private Service

First Lutheran Cemetery

, Ellendale, MN 56026

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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