Donna Kay (Gradert) Brunette, 79, a long-time resident of Glenrock, passed away peacefully at Wyoming Medical Center on June 11, 2018 from complications of a long and courageous battle with COPD.
Donna B, as she was affectionately called, was born October 13, 1938 to Francis A. and Thelma H. (Beach) Gradert in Green River, Wyoming. She resided on the family ranch near Mountain View, Wyoming, where she attended school. Donna played clarinet in the band, and sang in the church choir. She loved those early years, and spoke fondly of life on the ranch with her loving parents and two brothers. In 1951, at the age of 13, Donna and her family moved to Green River, and when she was in High School, the family relocated, once again, to Casper. She talked about how terrifying it was “To move to the big city.” There she met and married Anthony J. Brunette in 1955. In 1956 Donna graduated from Natrona County High School, and that same year they welcomed their first son Jim. In 1958 Donna and Tony welcomed their second son Jerry. Shortly after, the young family of four relocated to Glenrock, and in 1961 daughter Debbie was born making the family complete. Donna always considered herself a ‘small-town girl’ and Glenrock became her home for the remainder of her life – nearly 60 years.
Donna was a wonderful wife, mother and homemaker. She took immense pride in caring for the family she so dearly loved. Once all three children were in school, she embarked on a career as an Avon Representative. She loved her job, and her time with Avon spanned 18 fun-filled years. Donna was an avid bowler, and played for several years on a league alongside her best friends. Her personal best was a 256 game.
Donna loved camping, and always looked forward to hunting season when several family members would camp and hunt together. Donna was an accomplished gardener. Her yard, flowers and vegetable garden were always so beautiful! The Brunette family made frequent outings to enjoy the wonderful Wyoming outdoors. They would hunt arrowheads, picnic, hike, fish for brook trout, and ride their motorcycles together. In addition, the family embarked on a real estate development adventure, called T & D Construction, building homes from the ground up, and renovating others. It was hard work, but all banned together, laughed a lot, joked a lot and enjoyed those years immensely.
Donna was always very involved in the lives of her children, and their many school and sports activities.
After the marriage ended in 1980 Donna began working at the local grocery store where she remained employed until her retirement. In 1984 Donna connected with long-time family friend, Don (Bingo) Marburger, and the two spent over 30 years together as best friends and companions.
Donna loved the mountains. She enjoyed taking drives through the canyons, and up to Esterbrook. Something she always looked forward to! She was hospitable, loved visiting with friends and family, and had a beautiful smile!
Donna leaves behind her sons Jim and Jerry Brunette, and daughter Debbie Brunette plus her four beloved grandchildren; Aleece, Aja, Auburn and Brandon, as well as four great-grandchildren; Presten, Paxton, Parker and Landen, and her companion Bingo, along with many nieces and nephews whom she adored, plus many wonderful friends she’s enjoyed over the years. She loved all, and was loved by all.
She is preceded in death by her parents, and both brothers; Leonard and Clayton Gradert.
Per her request, there will be no service, but the family is planning for a Celebration of Remembrance to be held at a later date. Family and friends will be notified when the details for the celebration are in place. Bustard's Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. A memorial will be established with the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. Those wishing to contribute may do so by clicking the link below.
While we are all shocked and deeply saddened by her passing, we take comfort in some of her final words; “I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to end this, because we’ve all had a beautiful life.”
Mom/Donna will be deeply missed, forever loved, and always remembered fondly.
Go rest high on that mountain, Donna B. We love you…
Shriners Hospital For Children
1275 E. Fairfax, Salt Lake City UT 84103
Contributions in Donna Brunette's memory