James David Brandt, 68

Published 6:59 am Tuesday, July 9, 2019

James David Brandt, 68, of Mapleton, Minnesota, died Thursday, June 6, 2019, at his home in Mapleton.

James David Brandt, 68

James David Brandt was born Jan. 9, 1951, in Wells, Minnesota, the son of Eugene and Lois (Niebuhr) Brandt. He was united in marriage to Jeanette McDonald on Feb. 1, 1969, in Mapleton. James was a state and federal inspector for the Railroad/DOT for 47 years before retiring. Jim was the only track inspector in the state of Minnesota that walked 4,500 miles of track by himself. In Morton, Minnesota, there is the Brandt Engine House on the Prairie Line Track, honoring Jim and the 94.5-mile route he walked to check the rail bed condition and mark areas that needed repair or replacement. On a railroad curve near Wayzata, Minnesota, is Brandt’s Curve at Capones Island. James did his job well and was respected by many colleagues and elected officials. James was a true family man who loved his children and wanted them all to succeed. He taught them strong values and he enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren how to play baseball; he even helped build a diamond in the back pasture. James loved spending time with his grandchildren, tinkering around his farm and showing off the wildlife. He is our hero. James enjoyed playing cards with his family. His quiet humble wit, brilliant mind and photographic memory will be missed by all who knew him.

James is survived by his wife, Jeanette Brandt of Mapleton; children, Michelle (Gregg) Schwartz of Austin, Minnesota, Tim (Michelle) Brandt of Mapleton and James “Jimmy” Brandt Jr. of Austin; grandchildren, Samantha, Andrea (fiancé Nick), Taylar (wife Kylie), Autumn, Eli, Kyle, Collin, Ethan and Natalie; great-granddaughter, Esmai; mother-in-law, Marie McDonald of Mapleton; brother-in-law, Scott (Maureen) McDonald of Albert Lea, Minnesota; special cousins, Marge and Steve Schwichtenberg of Beauford, Minnesota; brother; special cousins, the Thompson family; as well as many other family, nieces, nephews and friends.

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James was preceded in death by his parents; son, Troy Brandt; and father-in-law, Raymond McDonald.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Minnesota Lake Township, Faribault County, Minnesota, with Pastor Joy Bruder officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. A private interment will be at Union Cemetery in Mapleton. Please see www.brussheitner.com to leave online condolences. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells is in charge of arrangements.