October 16, 1959 - November 13, 2019
Charles E. “Chuck” Kajer, age 60, of New Prague, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital New Prague. Chuck was born on October 16, 1959 in St. Paul and was lovingly welcomed by his parents Ronald G. and Helen D. (Kes) Kajer. He attended St. Wenceslaus Catholic School, graduated from New Prague High School, attained his B.A. from St. John’s University, and an associate degree from Winona State College. He married the love of his life, Jennifer “Jenny” A. Settergren on June 16, 1984 at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church in Mahtomedi, MN. Chuck began his career as a social studies/English teacher in 1983 and switched to writing and sales for a newspaper in Renville in 1988. That began his lifelong love of the newspaper business; he and Jenny moved their family to New Prague, where he began his career with the New Prague Times and where he would remain for the rest of his life, with a brief hiatus with the Sun Newspapers in the early 2000’s. Chuck was a tireless worker, staying late to finish a story or two, and the go-to person for the proper word usage and spelling. He took each story to the next level by getting involved on a personal level. Chuck loved people, took a personal interest in their stories, loved his work of writing and taking pictures to describe the story or event, and then had a great memory for the people he met months and years later. He was joyous and always caring when appropriate. He loved all sports, attended all school and community sporting events and because of his presence and manner of reporting, the attendance at these events was actually boosted. He was a member of the New Prague Hockey Association and a past board member, but he was an unofficial member of all community organizations, attending and reporting and becoming involved in small ways with many of them.
Chuck’s legacy is one of kindness and love of people. He was a devoted and passionate family man. With words or without, his love for Jenny, little Alice, his boys and his family was obvious. He was so proud of Jenny for her strength during her illness. He was an animal lover, had a great sense of humor, and enjoyed the art of the pun. He will be missed by his family, his many close relatives and friends, and the community that he covered so well in his many stories.
Chuck is survived by his loving wife, Jenny; sons, Josh (Angela) of Lonsdale, Andrew of St. Paul, Robert of Duluth; granddaughter, Alice; sister, Ann (Chuck) Roskam of Chaska; many close relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 10 AM at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with Father Eugene Theisen officiating. Visitation will take place Tuesday from 5-8 PM and Wednesday morning from 7:30 – 9:30 at Bruzek Funeral Home. Burial will occur at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery followed by lunch at the Park Ballroom. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.