Wilfred (Hunk) Scherer was a fourth-generation Medina farmer, as well a butcher and politician, who got things done for his hometown.
As Medina bumped into the go-go days of development 50 years ago, he was often in the thick of the public discussion -- just like three generations of Scherers before him.
His great-grandfather, Andreas Scherer, participated in the town's first meeting in 1858, voting on the city's name.
Scherer, who had served as town constable in the 1950s, and three terms as a City Council member in the 1980s and 1990s, died on June 6 in Monticello. He was 83.
Scherer mostly was a custom farmer, working others' land.
In the 1960s, he began processing meat in his garage. In 1972, he wanted to build a small processing plant, but the Small Business Administration wouldn't grant him a loan unless his land was zoned for commercial use.
Some residents feared he would erect a large plant. Someone called the state meat inspector, who came to Medina and shut down his operation.
"I've gotten snarled up in two miles of government red tape," he said in a Feb. 2, 1972, Minneapolis Star article. "I wanted to get myself straightened out and I just got myself turned in."
With community support, he got a zoning variance, and ran the meat store until he became ill in recent years.
"He had a great ability to make friends with people, almost anybody," said his son Bill of Coon Rapids. "Everybody has a Hunk story."
Like the time he tried to sell a large ham to a customer at Christmas time. When the customer said it was too big, Scherer replied: "Well, you need more friends," reported his son.
Scherer was proud to have been a recovering alcoholic, sober for 45 years. He helped many others who had the same problem, said his son.
He helped bring modern utilities and paved roads to the community, especially as a City Council member.
And he didn't go easy on other government officials, often calling them at dawn.
"He was a real character. He sincerely cared for the city and the people," said Jim Dillman of Long Lake, a former Medina public works director. "He'd say: 'If it's right for the city, let's do it' and forget the time-wasting processes."
He and his forbears were Medina road-builders, and personal tragedy spurred him to support the building of a new north-south road in the community.
In 1977, his daughter Carol fell from a motorcycle on the farm. Trying to locate the farm on Medina's winding roads, the ambulance crew got lost, and Carol died.
"I never want anyone to go through that again," he said in a July 7, 1991, Star Tribune article.
Medina Mayor Tom Crosby, another one who got calls at dawn from Scherer, said "Hunk cared for the community, and cared for the older customs and traditions of the community."
At one time his meat shop, now closed, came about as close as you got to a town's general store. "That's where a lot of stuff happened," said Crosby.
In addition to his son Bill, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, Beatrice; two other sons, Bob and Steve, both of Medina; six daughters, Cathy Stubbs of Marine on St. Croix, Ruth Leacock of Omaha, Neb., Cindy Shimitz of Vadnais Heights, Bonnie Lee of Otsego, Teresa Johnson of Owatonna and Anna Swartwood of Big Lake; two brothers, Cletus of Melrose and Jerome of Princeton; 29 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Services have been held.