Augusta Mary Brunner
MADISON-Augusta Mary Brunner died in Madison on April 16, 2012.
She was born in Gresham on Sept. 3, 1920, the third child of German immigrants, Anna and Frank Schulte. She attended the one-room rural Texas School, went on to high school first in Shawano and then graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Green Bay. At age 20, she enrolled in Misericordia Hospital nursing school with her sister, Ann. After graduating as a registered nurse, she “joined the navy to see the world.” She was stationed as a lieutenant at naval hospitals in San Francisco and Nevada during World War II. Before and after her naval tour, she worked as a nurse in the Keshena hospital. In June 1948, she married Emereth J. Brunner of Leopolis. Though known as Gussie to her immediate family, she was called Mary by her husband and friends. As partners, Mary and E.J. dairy farmed for 44 years, first at Underhill, and then as owners of Green Valley Farms in Shawano County. There they hosted Breakfast on the Farm in 1985. Mary also continued her work part-time as a nurse at Oconto Falls Hospital and later with Shawano County Public Health. In her spare time, she collected beat-up furniture to refinish for her home. Gradually she became a knowledgeable antique collector with a natural eye for finely-crafted, beautiful things. In 1997, E. J. died and she sold the farm. At age 78, she moved to Indian Trails outside Green Bay. She devoted the next ten years to volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul where she made many new friends. She loved her wooded neighborhood and neighbors, and greatly enjoyed decorating her home and gardening. At age 88, she pulled up stakes again to purchase a home in Madison with her daughter Peggy, which they shared until her death. Mary was a gentle, loving, encouraging mother. She had great sympathy for her patients and took tender care of the calves on the farm. She was a deeply spiritual Catholic. She also loved to work hard, polka with her husband, and find a beautiful “treasure” at a bargain. Finally, having no more room for antiques, she turned her attention to collecting vintage buttons. Mary had a subtle dry wit and a twinkle in her eye. In recent years, she honed her skill at Checkers and eagerly sought out friendly competitors. Throughout her life, she found time to read books and write lots of letters.
She is survived by her children, Peggy Brunner, Jeff (Ann) Brunner, and Mary Beth (Mike) Smale; grandchildren, Kristine, Michael and Catherine Smale and Sarah and Katie Brunner; as well as several loving in-laws, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Emereth, son, Andrew; sisters, Ann and Gertrude; and brothers, Herbert and Elmer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2012, with Monsignor Michael E. Hippee presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Thursday.
The family wishes to thank Sue Hedding of Catholic Charities, Dr. Robert Boyle, and the staffs of Agrace HospiceCare, St. Mary’s Hospital, and the South Madison Coalition of the Elderly for their skillful and supportive care. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Catholic Charities of Madison or Agrace HospiceCare, Inc.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Catholic Charities of Madison or Agrace HospiceCare, Inc.
Visitation will be held at the church from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Thursday.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2012, with Monsignor Michael E. Hippee presiding.