Benjamin J. Burens, 87 of Emmetsburg, and formerly of Waterloo, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at the Muse-Norris Hospice Unit in Mason City.
Benjamin J. Burens was born in Walthill, NE on Nov. 17, 1925, the son of Benjamin and Dora (Mackey) Burens. He was raised on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska. At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Fremont in San Francisco. He spent two years in the Philippines before being honorably discharged.
Ben had seven children that he brought from the reservation to Waterloo. He worked for Olson Construction where he helped to build the UNI Dome, and he farmed north of Waterloo.
Ben did his best to keep his seven children together after their mother abandoned them. He retired from Viking Pump in 1983. After several years of retirement in Waterloo, he moved to Emmetsburg in 2005 to be near his daughter and granddaughter.
He loved spending time with his younger brother, John, and his beloved cat, Bugsy. Ben enjoyed woodworking, building bird houses and sitting on the porch taking in the scenery.
Survivors include four daughters: Bev Walker and Junior of Emmetsburg, Flora Blaser of Adel, Liz Pliss, Rod of Sloan, and Victoria Burens of Sacramento, CA; three sons: Dennis Burens of Kingsland, GA, Dan Burens and Linda of Sylacauga, AL, Terry Burens and Victoria of Beaver Dam, WI; brother, John Burens of West Bend; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandchild on the way.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Albert.
Services were held Saturday, Jan. 5, at Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg. Graveside services and military rites were held at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Waterloo.