John Kurt Brueckner
Saturday 16th of May 1936 - Tuesday 10th of September 2019
It is with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes that the family of John Kurt Brueckner announces this beloved man’s peaceful passing on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at Westport Place Health Campus in Louisville, Kentucky.
John was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Hamilton County) on May 16, 1936. After nearly a decade, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where John went on to graduate in the top 10% of his class from West High School in 1954. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1958 and subsequently worked as a research scientist in a Plant Genetics Laboratory with SJ Peloquin, PhD.
From 1961-1964, John served his country honorably in the US Army, as Specialist E5, including time abroad with the 503rd Engineer Company for the US Forces in Germany. Following his honorable discharge from the military, John moved to Lexington, Kentucky to work as a computer programmer for the Federal Government in the Logistics Data Center: Materiel Readiness Support Activity at the Lexington Bluegrass Army Depot; his outstanding contributions were recognized annually, including special recognition through the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service in 1987 and the Achievement Medal in 1990. John’s most notable personal accomplishment at the Army Depot was meeting his lovely “brown eyed girl” Rheba; they wed in 1967 and have been inseparable ever since.
John had a plethora of interests and passions outside his work as a computer systems analyst. He lived to help others, as demonstrated by his routine blood and platelet donations to the Lexington Blood Center for many years. His heart for service to others was recognized through the commissioning of the honor of Kentucky Colonel. He was an avid reader and frequented the Lexington Public Library and Black Swan Books on East Maxwell Avenue in Lexington. He was a skilled outdoorsman who loved spending time in nature at Red River Gorge whenever he could. His greatest love, besides his family, was University of Kentucky sports, particularly basketball. Our “gentle giant” would turn fierce only when his Kentucky Wildcats did not perform up to his standard or when the SEC referees made a bad call.
John is survived by his wife Rheba, his daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Kurt and grandson Lincoln. John was a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather, and selfless, generous friend to all. In the words of Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne), “How lucky are we to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” He was preceded in death by his father Kurt Ernest, his mother Hildegarde, and his only sister, Amy Hollyer.
A visitation service will be held on Friday September 13, 2019 from 5pm to 7pm at the Milward’s Funeral Home on Southland Drive in Lexington, KY, followed by funeral service at the same location on Saturday September 14 at 11am. John will be laid to rest at the Lexington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the C Diff Foundation online at https://cdifffoundation.org/donate/ or through the US Post Office at
A special thank you to Parr’s Springhurt, Westport Place Health Campus and Hosparus of Louisville for their loving care and support. The family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude towards Milward Funeral Home for being very accommodating and understanding during this difficult time.
John was our neighbor and friend. He always had a smile and kind word as he passed our house on his daily walk. Our two dachshunds, Winston and Bentley looked forward to John an Rheba’s visits to our patio and to when John and Rheba would come to their front door and speak to the boys on the pups daily walk. They still stop in front of the Brueckner’s house to see if they are going to come out. Rest in pease my friend, you fought the good fight.
Dear Jennifer, I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss of your father. I pray God will grant you peace and comfort during this time. Lana Spicer
I’m so very sorry for your loss! We still talk about our old regulars, John and Rheba, at our weekly lunches! Always smiling, John was such a great addition to our little group of friends. He will be missed!