Kenneth E. (Kenny or Ken) Brunner, age 82, of Alliance, Ohio, was born at home May 23, 1931, west of the intersection of Homeworth Road and US Rt. 62, Alliance, Ohio, to Lera Odessa (Fryfogle) Brunner and George Frederick Brunner, children and decedents of Swiss immigrants from the Canton of Bern, who settled on the west branch of the Mahoning River Valley of northeast Ohio.
Ken Brunner died April 21, 2014, at Crandall Medical Center in Sebring, Ohio, with assistance provided by Alliance Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 63-plus years, Ruth May (Powell) Brunner, whom he married November 12, 1950, also of Alliance, and children Rick (Jennifer) Brunner of Columbus and Rebekah (Fred) Hobbs, Walt (Marcia) Smith and Linda Crawford, all of Alliance; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Kate Brunner (Patrick) Quinn, Madeline Quinn, and Johnathon (Erika) Brunner, all of Columbus, Laura Brunner of Bangkok Thailand, Benjamin Hobbs of Alexandria, Virginia and Jacob Hobbs of Alliance, Michael (Susan) Stanley and Kolin Stanley of Alliance, Eric Stanley of Alliance, Jennifer Stanley, Bryan Sanders, Kayla Dethlefsen and Connor Stanley of Lima, Bret (Kathy) Smith and Abby and Sydney Smith of Kings Mills; brother, Fred (Barbara) Brunner of Sunbury; sister, Delores Brunner of Copeland Oaks; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, including many young people who called or treated him as “Dad” including, Mark Wagner of Homeworth, Mark McVicker of Alliance, Kay Thornton of N. Georgetown, and Tom Smith of N. Grafton Mass.
He was preceded in death by infant child, Deborah Marie Brunner, born May 16, 1951; brother, Dwight “Sam” Brunner of Alliance; his parents; and his beloved grandfather and life role model, Arthur Fryfogle.
Ken was a dairy and crop farmer for more than 50 years following in the footsteps of his grandfather. After retiring the herd he began a career as a crop adjuster. His advice was valued by farmers all over Ohio. Ken was a member of Mile Branch Grange for more than 65 years and served in many offices in that organization.
He was a lifetime member of Bethel United Church of Christ, where he was baptized, serving throughout years as an elder, deacon, youth fellowship leader and counselor and Sunday school superintendent and teacher.
He developed many loving friends in the fellowship of the Friends of Bill W. He was a member of a local dairy cooperative and drove bus for West Branch Local Schools and its predecessors for 30 years.
He donned a Santa Clause suit for the last school bus run before the Christmas Holidays to distribute candy, gave “dutch rubs” for birthdays, and became involved in and followed his entire life, the lives of his many “students” over the years. He served as past President of the West Branch Athletic Club and was a West Branch Band Booster parent.
In his later years, he undertook many exceptional handyman jobs. Despite no formal education after high school, he saw to it that he was well-read and in later years well-informed on the Internet.
Ken can best be remembered for his kindness, generosity, quiet strength, inquisitive mind and his love of and pride in his extended family. He will be greatly missed by many near and far, but deeply believed that all would be reunited again in a better place.
Services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, April 25, 2014, at Bethel United Church of Christ with Rev. Haan A. Phelps officiating. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 24th at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be at Bethel Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alliance Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, 885 S. Sawburg Rd. Suite 106, Alliance, OH 44601.
Arrangements are by Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home 75 S. Union Ave., Alliance, OH 44601. Friends may register online at www.ctcfuneral.com