Eugene J. “Gene” Jennissen, age 90 of Sauk Centre, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at his home in Sauk Centre.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre with Rev. Greg Paffel officiating. Inurnment will be in St. Anthony of Padua Cemetery in Padua at a later date.

Visitation was from 4-7 p.m. Monday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre and from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Parish prayers were at 4 p.m. Monday evening at the funeral home.

Eugene Joseph Jennissen was born July 17, 1931, at home near Padua, the third of 14 children. The first boy, which became his name until another boy came along. He attended District 53 country school south of Sauk Centre through the eighth grade and 9th grade at St. John’s Prep School.

He met Claudette Josephine Gallus in 1951, who was a good friend of his sister, Margie. They married on June 16, 1953, and began their 45-year career as dairy farmers. They raised 10 children, which he called the best part of his life. Attending the state Holstein Convention, district and 4-H Dairy Shows with his family were events he was passionate about. Playing 500 and Solo card games were his favorites until the end. Gene retired from farming in 1997, and moved to Pleasant Street in Sauk Centre and took a job picking up milk samples for Stearns County DHIA. He also enjoyed working in his backyard shop doing woodworking projects.

He was an usher at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. Gene volunteered with Meals on Wheels for several years and was a member of the Bishop Busch Council #4863 Knights of Columbus where he served as Grand Knight for two and a half years.

Survivors include his loving wife of 68 years, Claudette Jennissen of Sauk Centre; children, Kathy (Brent) Sjodin, Mary Jo Pouliot, Jerry (Linda) Jennissen, Randy (Gail) Jennissen, Louy (Dave) Theeuwen, Tom (Karen) Jennissen, Dan (Mary) Jennissen, Dwayne (Michelle) Jennissen and Matt (Yolanda) Jennissen; 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren with one on the way; siblings, Marie Bagan, Sister Anita Jennissen, Margie Schmiesing, Rosie (Jim) Miller, Tony (Marlene) Jennissen, Jim (Bernie) Jennissen, Joann (Florian) Ledermann, Dave (Barb) Jennissen and Harold (Jean) Jennissen; and in-laws, Doris Jennissen, Joan Wynne, Cathy Gallus, Marcy Gallus, Bob (Bonnie) Gallus, Darlene Gallus, Ron (Judy) Gallus, Mary Emerick and Larry (Darlene) Gallus.

Gene was preceded in death by his son, Kenneth; parents, Mathias and Margaret Jennissen; siblings, Caroline Weller, William Jennissen, Agnes Ledermann and Paul Jennissen; sons-in-law, David Haub and Bernie Pouliot; in-laws, Casimir and Dorothy Weller, Gary Winningham, Jim Bagan, Eileen Kemper Jennissen and Bob Schmiesing; father and mother-in-law, George and Julia Gallus; in-laws, Jerome Gallus, Bernie Gallus, Fr. Dave Gallus, Jim Gallus, Kenneth Gallus, Tom Gallus, Frank Wynne and Lynn Emerick.