Reuben Henry Brei was born on April 24, 1923 at the family home near Mission, SD in Todd County to Henry and Anna Brei, nee Kasat. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mission, SD. He was a faithful member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod his entire life, having served for many years on various boards and committees. Reuben was a member of Zion in Mission, SD, Trinity in Winner, SD and Good Shepherd in Kearney, NE.
Reuben graduated from Todd County High School in 1942 and worked for Wierr Construction Co., Orville Barry and L.E. Jones prior to beginning his career with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, where he worked for 36 years, retiring in June of 1986 as a certified heavy equipment operator.
Reuben married Phyllis Christiansen on June 12, 1954. To this union two children were born, Philip Reuben and Cheryl Irene Brei-Phillips.
Reuben retained his family’s farming roots as was evidenced for many years by the large garden and fruit trees at their home in Mission, SD. Caring for the lawn and the trees around the home was a passion of Reuben’s, the time and care spent on their home was very apparent. Reuben enjoyed hunting and fishing around the Mission, White River area. He was an avid fisherman for much of his life and loved to spend time with family and friends at a lake or perhaps even better telling and re-telling stories of past adventures. He also enjoyed attending Todd County High School reunions, he looked forward to them with great anticipation and loved to visit with old friends from the area and from across the country.
Reuben and Phyllis moved from Mission, SD to Winner, SD in November 2001, after living at their home in Mission for 45 years. They enjoyed their retirement years in Winner, especially the opportunity to meet old friends at coffee and the friendship that they made with their neighbors in Winner. They lived in Winner until February of 2012 when they moved to Cherry Hills in Valentine, NE. Reuben and Phyllis moved to Kearney, NE in March of 2013 due to Phyllis’s declining health.