Service: Church of St. Patrick, Shieldsville
  January 11, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Visitation: At church for one hour prior to the service

Benjamin Charles Pribyl (Ben), 90, died peacefully December 31, 2013 at Pleasant Manor Nursing Home in Faribault, MN.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be at the Church of St. Patrick, Shieldsville at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 11, 2014 with long time family friend, Fr. Don Lovas officiating. Interment will be at St. Patrick's Cemetery, Shieldsville.

Memorial visitation will be at church for one hour prior to the service on Saturday. A further celebration of Ben's life will be held at a later date at French Lake.

Arrangements are being completed by the Boldt Funeral Home, Faribault.

Ben was born April 9, 1923, to Henry and Jennie (Seykora) Pribyl on their farm in Aurora Township in rural Steele County. He attended elementary school at District 11 school in Havana Township and was active in 4-H. As a young teenager, Ben demonstrated his engineering skills, designing and building a wooden ice sail boat and an engine powered hay stacker. After his older brother was injured in a farm accident, Ben left school to work full time on his parent's farm.

In October 18, 1944, Ben and Leona Jane Simon were married at St. Columbanus Church in Blooming Prairie, MN. After a year on his parent's farm, Ben and Leona moved to Owatonna where Ben worked in the electrical department at Josten's. In May 1947, Ben and Leona purchased the Newry General Store, southwest of Blooming Prairie. While Leona managed the store, Ben started his first trucking business, hauling livestock to markets and selling seed corn and fertilizer. Through the 1950's, he also drove truck for the Owatonna Canning Company.

In 1957, Ben and Leona purchased the Murphy Motor Freight Lines agency in Owatonna and operated Pribyl Transfer for 15 years, growing the business to serve most of Steele County. Pribyl Transfer was a family enterprise with Leona managing the office for many years, and Ben employing his father, three sons and many relatives over the years. Ben was active in the Knights of Columbus, the Owatonna Elks Club and the French Lake Association.

In 1960, Ben and Leona bought a small cabin on the north shore of French Lake. With the help of family and friends, Ben designed and built a year around home on the original lot.

Pribyl Transfer was closed in 1972 and Ben became a driver for Yellow Freight, delivering freight in Owatonna, Faribault, and Northfield. Ben and Leona were divorced in 1973.

In December 1975, Ben married Rosemary Hale Paukert and they lived in Medford, MN until she died in August 1980.

After his retirement in 1986, Ben became "Mr. Fixit" for his neighbors at French Lake where his collection of tools, tractors, hardware and spare parts filled two garages. He was especially fond of his vintage 1941 John Deere A tractor. As a long time officer of the French Lake Association, he graded the north shore road, driving tractor until he was 89.

Beginning in the late 1990's Ben and his longtime friend, Lois Anderson, began to spend winters in Coolidge, Arizona and summers at French Lake.

He is survived by three sons, James (Pat), Boulder, CO, John (Rose), St. Paul, Stephen (Ann) of Faribault; two daughters, Mary (Dennis Houdek), Mahtomedi, and Jane, Minneapolis; one son-in-law, Bill, Maple Grove; 15 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother, George (Grace) of LeSeuer; three sisters, Betty (Chuck) Herdina Blooming Prairie, Millie Prestegard, Owatonna, and Florence (Aldinger) Lupkes of Iowa Falls, IA; sisters-in-law, Joyce Pribyl, Owatonna; Joan Pribyl, Las Vegas, NV; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by daughter, Kathryn in 1996, his parents, and a sister, Margaret, at infancy, his brothers Jerome (Jay), Las Vegas, NV and Silvin, Owatonna, as well as brothers-in-law Olin Prestegard, Claremont, and Russ Aldinger, Iowa Falls, IA.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Faribault Area Hospice, District One Hospital or the Pleasant Manor Nursing Home.

To record memories for the family

Guest Book Memories Will Be Recorded Below

Name: Clair and Pauline Coughlin
Date: Tuesday January 28, 2014


Jim, John, Stephen, Mary and Jane .... We send our sincere sympathy to you all and to your families... We have such fond memories dating back to working for your Dad and Mom at Newry Store... Your Dad is on the prayer line at our church, where 180 plus people are praying for his soul and family.... We left for Florida , Dec 27th, therefore unable to attend the funeral and be with you all.... Sending thoughts and love to you..... Clair and Pauline

Name: Wendy and Richard Jones
Date: Tuesday January 07, 2014


We will miss his wit, his wisdom and his positive outlook on life. We are proud to have known Ben. What a wonderful family he created, our thoughts are with all of you.

Name: Thomas Lehrer (Codger)
Date: Tuesday January 07, 2014


I was fortunate to have gone to St. Mary's/Marion with Ben's son John. There were several gatherings over at the Pribyl home and every time you would feel the love and friendship there. All will be in my prayers.

Name: Pat & Mary Lou Capelle
Date: Sunday January 05, 2014


Ben was a man of integrity who loved people and was always ready for a visit on his front porch or back deck. He'll be missed on the French Lake shoreline but will be remembered with fond thoughts. Our condolences go out to his loved ones.

Name: Michael Grinney
Date: Friday January 03, 2014


Ben was a long time client of mine at Edward Jones and I enjoyed the business relationship we shared. He had a passion for hard work and helping other people. I was very impressed with his own bookkeeping system. He could tell you every dividend and interest payment he ever received going back ten or more years. My deepest sympathy to Ben's family, Michael Grinney