Hansen-Spear Funeral Home – Quincy, Illinois

Virgil Brecht

Virgil Oliver Brecht, 94, of Quincy, formerly of Fowler, died at 2:40 a.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at Good Samaritan Home, Quincy. He struggled with the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s for the past few years.

Virgil Brecht | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, ILVirgil was born October 7, 1923, in Quincy, Illinois, the third and youngest son of Edward Joseph and Ella Mary Klipstein Brecht. He married Virginia (Ginny) E. Mohrman on March 18, 1945, in Quincy.

As a boy, Virgil assisted his father in running the family hardware store, mostly as “errand boy.” Sorting and selling “penny” nails out of wooden kegs was a prominent memory.

In 1943, Virgil entered the Navy’s V12 Engineering program at the University of Illinois and graduated with a BS degree in chemistry prior to active duty with the Navy. He also attended Harvard Business School and Columbia University as part of his naval training. As a commissioned officer in 1945, he served as paymaster/supply-and-disbursing officer on the destroyer, USS Jarvis, DD-799, in WWII and was en route to Japan to meet his ship when the war ended. He did not see combat but witnessed the devastation of the Japanese mainland while traveling on a solo cross-country train trip among hundreds of displaced Japanese in order to join his ship stationed in northern Japan. Upon returning to the US, he finished his tour of duty retro-fitting his ship during sea trials in Newport News until his honorable discharge with Lieutenant JG rank in 1946.

After the Navy, Virgil returned to Quincy where he pursued his professional career as a chemist working in the field of quality-control at various firms in Quincy including Moorman’s Manufacturing, Packaging Corporation of America, and Electric Wheel where he established a quality testing lab and played a key role in supporting production.

Alongside his professional career, Virgil’s passion was farming, especially fruit and vegetable farming in which he was mentored by his father-in-law Clarence Mohrman, a prominent local truck farmer in north Quincy. Virgil and Virginia (and their kids) tended many acres of asparagus, strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, and other garden staples which they sold to local markets and a long list of neighbors, friends, and regular customers each spring and summer. Virgil also raised livestock-hogs, cattle, and sheep-and managed farms in Quincy, the Mendon/Fowler area, and the Ursa/Bear Creek bottoms.

Virgil and Virginia enjoyed summer vacations, traveling with the kids tucked in the back of a station wagon, throughout the West and especially the mountains of Colorado. In 1948, before children, they toured the West and West Coast in a Model A Ford. During that trip they intended to hop a freighter to Tahiti but missed the boat in San Francisco. Years later, they finally made it to Tahiti for their 40th anniversary.

Virgil was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Virginia, in 2011 and is survived by his three children, son Mark Brecht of Imperial Beach, CA, daughter and son-in-law Marcheta Brecht and Greg Nixon of Fayetteville, NC, and son and daughter-in-law Timothy and Donna Brecht of Fowler, IL; seven grandchildren, Alexandra McNay Marold (husband David), Heather, Michael, Matthew, Hannah, Holly, and Mitchell Brecht; two great-grandchildren, Leo And Max Marold; nephew Dale Brecht (wife Penny); brother-in-law Roger Mohrman (wife Margie); and many other nieces and nephews.

Special thanks are given to Virgil’s daughter-in-law, Donna Brecht, for her special care and loving support in his final months.

Services: Monday, April 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home with Rev. Steve Disseler officiating.

Visitation: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018 at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

Burial: Greenmount Cemetery

Memorials: Quincy Notre Dame High School or Alzheimer’s Assocation.


Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.

  1. You and your family are in the thoughts and prayers of the Lutheran Church of St. John.

  2. Mark, Marcheta & Tim, I send my deepest condolences. It was many years ago that we were neighbors on the Mendon-Fowler Blacktop, but our family has always held the Brecht Family in our hearts. Mom and Dad were so fond of your parents.

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Have manny found memories being with your family,picking strawberries,bunking parties, picnics and events at the old Fower grade school. So sorry for your loss.
    Mark and Jannel VonderHaar

  4. So sorry for your great loss. Virginia and Virgil were wonderful people !they are together again .

  5. Blessings & peace to the Brecht family. Such a wonderful, full life to have shared with all of you.

  6. So sorry to hear of Virgil’s passing. We have lots of fond memories of Virgil and Ginny when we were neighbors at Fowler. Your parents were wonderful people.

  7. So sorry for your loss. Have a lot of memories of your dad and mom from Salem. Very kind couple. My thoughts and prayers are for all of you.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose a loved one, but knowing that your Father led a full life should help. I remember your Father and Mother in their younger years – they were always ready to do anything needed at Salem. May your memories sustain you. You’re all in my prayers.

  9. Marcheta, Tim & entire family our thoughts and prayers are with you all. He was such a nice caring man. RIP

  10. Mark, Marcheta, Tim, Donna and families, I’m So Very Sorry to hear of Virgil’s passing! He was such a wonderful man and it was such a pleasure and privilege to be able to care for him. I miss him dearly and always will! God Bless you all!!

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