Chuck Kajer

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.

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Sharon Steinhoff Smith
8 months ago

When I think of Chuck, the word “kind” comes to mind. He was always kind, even when we were just kids. That will be his legacy.

JeNean Erickson
8 months ago

Jenny and family, I am saddened by the loss of your beloved Chuck. I enjoyed working with him when I was the varsity volleyball coach and will forever be impressed by the “walking encyclopedia” of NP sports that he was. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

paulette cervenka
8 months ago

Chuck was an important part of the structure of our community. He will be missed. My sympathies to his family and colleagues.

Charlene A. Skluzacek
8 months ago

So glad we had gotten together to talk at Patty’s Place and catch up on how Jenny was doing. You just never know that conversation would be your last we would share. I will miss seeing you around taking pictures and talking with you. May God give your families strength for the days ahead, and light for the way. R. I. P. my friend.

Sylvia H. Hill
8 months ago

My deepest sympathy to his family and his New Prague Times family. We will all miss him terribly. He was a great writer and did a wonderful job writing about our town and surrounding towns and mostly about all the people and students at all the schools. He was a great guy and so proud of his family.

Crystal Zvanovec
8 months ago

I worked with Chuck at the New Prague Times and enjoyed our visits. He was always so personable. He will be missed.

Mora L Cervenka
8 months ago

I am so sorry to hear this news. I wanted to say how amazing he was, and I only knew him as a New Prague Times reporter but he seemed like a part of everyone’s family. He was always there to support our local teams and events, for what has felt like my entire life! He seemed to know everyone and be a part of everyone’s lives through his stories and photos! He genuinely cared about everyone and everything New Prague, was an amazing reporter and writer for our local paper, and will be greatly missed.

LaRayne Moran
8 months ago

So sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family.

Lisa Wolff
8 months ago

Jenny, I am so very sorry for your loss. Chuck was a kind loving man. I first meet him years ago when we both worked at Green Giant. He will be so very missed….
Lisa Wolff

Ann Chromy
8 months ago

Jenny and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I just got to visit with Chuck last week. Sending hugs and Prayers❤

Sue Gregor
8 months ago

Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear about Chuck, I so enjoyed visiting with him at all the Chamber events, back in the day!
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

J V-Busch
8 months ago

He will be missed! My heart goes out to his family! Prayers and hugs to all of you !

Jim Smith
8 months ago

Chuck was our manager-assistant coach on the Saint John’s University Basketball team. He did a great job for us and everyone loved him. This is a shock. Prayers with you Jenny and boys.

Tom Fadden
8 months ago

Jenny and family, I cannot tell you how shocked I was, and still am, to hear of Chuck’s passing. I enjoyed many conversations with Chuck on a multitude of topics. Chuck was always willing to listen as well as offer his perspective, which I appreciated and valued. Jenny, please know, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ramona Callahan
8 months ago

Chuck was a true gentleman. He will truly be missed by everyone who knew him. My condolences to Jenny and the family. Rest In Peace, Chuck

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