NEW ULM - Retired New Ulm teacher and FFA advisor Frank Stuckey, who died Tuesday at age 79, provided leadership to many local organizations, especially those related to agriculture.
Stuckey helped found the New Ulm Farm City Hub. He led the March 1998 tornado cleanup effort in Brown and Nicollet counties. He was active in the New Ulm Baseball Association.
Stuckey served as president of the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators from 1981-82. He was inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame Class of 2010. He taught vocational agriculture for more than 30 years at New Ulm High School after teaching the subject for eight years in Westbrook.
"He was one of the greats. An outstanding community leader that many people looked up to. He was a go-to individual even in his retirement," said New Ulm High School FFA Advisor Jeff Nelson. "He was a true pleasure to work with. He always had the best intentions for everyone he met. He always looked for the best in everyone and wanted them to achieve the most. His vast knowledge of all agricultural aspects was truly impressive."
Bill Koeckeritz of New Ulm said his closest encounter with Stuckey was following the March 1998 tornado that heavily damaged Comfrey, St. Peter, rural Hanska and many farms in the storm's path.
"After the tornado, I called Frank, and we decided we had to help farmers recover so we put together Friends of Brown County Agriculture," Koeckeritz said. "We got intimately involved in putting together a recovery plan for several weeks, finding 6,000 volunteers to help clean up 35,000 acres of land. Our hearts were both right in the same place. Frank had all the ag connections. People showed up and lots of great things were accomplished. He was a very caring person. His heart was in agriculture. He was an inspiration to me, a great man who cared deeply for people."
Stuckey will be inducted posthumously into the New Ulm Baseball Hall of Fame in June 2014.
"All three of Frank's boys were outstanding, great baseball players, good kids and friends with my kids. All three of his boys worked at our store (the former Green Clothiers)," said Carl "Red" Wyczawski of New Ulm. "I'm going to miss Frank. He was always very friendly. We had lots of things in common."
Services are 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, New Ulm. Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Friday at Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, South Chapel in New Ulm and Friday at the church, one hour prior to the service.
His obituary is published on page 5A.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).