Brian Allen Espe

Published 5:20 pm Friday, August 21, 2020

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Brian Allen Espe, age 74, of Clear Lake, passed away on August 17, 2020, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Brian was born in Algona, Iowa, on June 16, 1946 and was raised in Whittemore, Iowa. Brian was married to Julia Ann Espe on March 17, 1994.

Brian Allen Espe

Brian was highly educated, obtaining his high school diploma from Algona High School, a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Winona State University, two master’s degrees from Mankato State University and Winona State University, one in kinesiology and another in counseling. He also earned his administrative certificate in education, principalship and superintendent licenses, from Winona State University.

Brian’s career in education began in Adams, MN, which became the Southland school district. Besides being a physical education teacher and a business education teacher, he was a very successful boys basketball coach. He then went to Albert Lea Public Schools, where he served as a middle school counselor, high school assistant principal and activities director, and finally as the Southwest Middle School principal. Then he accepted a position as principal at Columbia Heights Middle School. Next, he served as principal at Westwood Elementary School in St. Cloud Area Schools. His last position was as a Master Coach for Math Corps, under ServeMinnesota.

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Following his career path, he lived in Adams, many years in Austin, Lakeville, Plymouth, and finally upon retirement in Clear Lake, Minnesota. His last years were spent in their home overlooking Long Lake. Brian greatly enjoyed golf, life at the lake, sports, and time spent with family and friends.

Brian is survived by his wife Julia Espe, children Michelle Espe Walsh of Lakeville, Julie (Brian) Steinhorst of Owatonna, Gwendolyn (Jon) Miller, Rivervale, New Jersey, James (Melissa) Buchanan, Pasadena, California, Elizabeth (Amy) Buchanan, Minneapolis and grandchildren Braden and Cooper Walsh, Rachel and Jason Williamson, Conner and Brady Steinhorst, Madeleine Miller, and Willa Buchanan, brothers Craig (Barbara) Espe of Kirksville, Missouri and Kent (Cathy) Espe of Winona, Minnesota. Preceding him in death were his mother Elnora and father Milton (Bud) Espe.

Memorial service will be held at Salem Lutheran Church (90 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud Minnesota) at 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 27, with visitation prior to the service beginning at noon at the church. A celebration of life reception will be held beginning at 4:00 at Territory Golf Club (480-55th Ave SE St. Cloud, MN 56304). For health and safety, all are encouraged to wear masks.

Brick-Meger Funeral Home in Owatonna, Minnesota is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information or to post a message of condolence online please go to

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer Research (Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, PO Box 450, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9849).