Jim Brunes will be remembered as a man who loved the Lord. Brunes, 90, died Thursday, March 22, at his home in Pequot Lakes.
“Jim was a very, very dear person to me,” said Mike Heuberger, general manager of Minnesota Christian Broadcasters Inc. in Pequot Lakes. “He was a real visionary. He was the first chairman of the board for Minnesota Christian Broadcasters Inc.”
Heuberger said that in 1974, a group of men had its first meeting in the Nisswa area with the intent to bring Christian radio to the Pequot Lakes area. Brunes, along with Gil Arvig, was involved with that group of people, and they were instrumental in starting the radio station, KTIG The Word.
The Brunes family owned the property where the station is located, on Brunes Street.
“He loved Christian radio and he was just very, very involved from the beginning until he stepped down,” which was 19 years later, Heuberger said. Brunes continued to support the radio station after leaving the board, including as an on-air guest and elsewhere.
“He gave me a lot of guidance and direction through the years. He always had a listening ear. He always gave good advice from his experiences,” Heuberger said.
Through his work installing telephone lines with Arvig Telephone Co., Brunes knew every back road in the region and had a story about every road, Heuberger added.
“He’d take us on those back roads and we’d always wonder where we were going,” Heuberger said with a laugh.
“He was a real man of God to a lot of people,” he added, noting Brunes was a Sunday school teacher and involved in church leadership. “He touched a lot of people’s lives. He was very special to me.”
Pastor Mike Marcum of Pequot Lakes Baptist Church, where Brunes was a member, also knew Brunes for many years.
“I knew him from the time I was a little kid. When I was a little boy my mother made us kids go to what was Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church (which later merged and became Grace United Methodist Church) and it was over across from Our Savior’s Lutheran. He was just a man of the church,” Marcum said.
He remembered when Brunes helped scoop ice cream at Sunday school picnics.
“He was always involved with church of one kind or another. He was a Gideon. He was a guy who really loved the lord,” Marcum said. “I just knew Jim as a guy who really loved the lord and lived that out in his life.”
Marcum also said Brunes would have people out to his cabin on Rush Lake all the time, and had baptisms there. They also had picnics at Brunes Park.