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Dean L Brunner

Dean L Brunner

Dean L. Brunner, age 74 of Durand, died Sunday, July 11, 2021 at his home in Durand after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer with his family by his side and under the loving care of Mayo Hospice.

Dean was born in Durand on September 14, 1946 to Hubert and Helen (Brantner) Brunner. He grew up on the family farm and attended Sacred Heart School at Holy Rosary Parish-Lima, graduating in 1964. Dean’s grandpa Brunner persuaded him to attend UW-Eau Claire and drove him to register for classes. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in math education and started his teaching career at Gilmanton High School. It was in Gilmanton that he met his future wife, Kay Anderson and they were married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church-Lima on December 29, 1973. They were blessed with two sons, Jeremy and Christopher.

In 1979, Dean was offered a math position at Durand High School and the family moved to Durand, eventually building a house on a corner of the family farm. He retired in 2003, but after being a teacher substitute for two years, he jumped at the chance to return to Gilmanton for the next six years. He truly loved his profession and was always so appreciative of his former students making a point to thank him and share their life’s journey with him.

Dean enjoyed feeding the birds, planting, harvesting ginseng, ice fishing, gardening, sharing the fruits of his labor as well as the over abundance of pears from his favorite tree. These activities were always preceded by coffee and cards with his friends at the Corral Riverside Bar & Grill.

Dean is survived by his wife of 47 years, Kay; sons, Jeremy of New Brighton, MN and Christopher of Eau Claire; siblings, Dennis (Mary Ellen), David, Dale (Vickie), Ben (Sue), Maureen Kent, Bernie (Cheryl), Marcia (Rod) Berger, Bob (Nancy) and Bill; sisters-in-law, Judy Anderson, Mary (Jim) Anderson; many nieces, nephews, step-nieces, step-nephews, other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Helen Brunner; parents-in-law; Ellsworth and Eunice Anderson; brothers-in-law; Peter Kent and John Anderson and niece, Kassie Brunner.

Memorial Services will be 11:00AM Monday, July 19, 2021 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church-Lima in Durand. Rev. Timothy Reither will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be 4:00PM-8:00PM Sunday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Durand and one hour prior to services at the church on Monday.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.


  1. Patti Blount

    I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Dean. Sympathy to the family during this difficult time.

  2. Erica Tealey

    Best wishes to the Brunner family. Mr. Brunner made me believe in the power of math, despite my obvious dislike. His humor and teaching methodologies convinced many a student that math is for everyone. Rest in peace.

  3. Donna and Dennis sievwright

    Dean will be missed by all and I will drill a extra hole in the ice for him

  4. Dana L Ross

    Mr. Brunner was a wonderful teacher to me while I was his student at Gilmanton High School in the early 2000s. He was always cracking jokes and making all of us smile. I don't remember a day where he wasn't smiling and giggling. He was a gem and he will be missed - Dana (Serum) Ross

  5. Paula Smith

    I did not have Mr. Brunner for any classes but I always looked up to him as a teacher he was always interesting to watch and I enjoyed seeing him in the halls when I was in school and he would wave and say hi when he passed he was a very good teacher

  6. Fred Ohlrogge

    Blessings to you Kay and your family. May God walk with you in this new normal. I know how you feel. Dee has been gone physically 6 years but she is with me spiritually forever. Take care and God bless you and your memories. Fred

  7. Pat Petrie / Kurth

    Dearest sympathy goes to Kay and family. Dean was a fellow teacher of mine--one who was loved and respected by all. He had a fun sense of humor and a passion for teaching math to so many aspiring studentd. He will ne missed.

  8. Jane Adler-Corning

    Brunner family, I’m so sorry for your loss. I truly enjoyed Mr. Brunner. As a teacher, he understood when Math was difficult but always tried to help you understand it. He will be in good company with other DHS staff members in heaven. ???? Treasure your memories.

  9. Dennis and Donna sievwright

    May dean Rest In Peace we will all miss him and I will drill a hole in the ice for him for all the good memories

  10. Deanna Rippley

    Dean was a wonderful person. We are better off for knowing him. A great communicator and a wonderful teacher.

  11. Shirl Ruesch

    I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Dean many years ago in Durand. When I switched school districts, we would still run into each other at teachers’ convention. It was always so fun to catch up with him. He always had a great sense of humor and fun stories to share. Please accept my sincere sympathies. Shirl Ruesch

  12. John & Monica Krings

    Our deepesst sympathy to your entire family. So young but the Lord must have needed him in heaven.

  13. Barb Gibson

    My Sympathy Kay and Jeremy and Christopher. Dean will be in my prayers

  14. patrick b brantner

    I'm very sorry for your loss

  15. Bob and Mary Zika and Family

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kay and family. Great friend and great teacher!

  16. David and Anna Black

    My sympathies to you Kay and your family. Such good memories of Mr. Brunner at DHS. It was an honor to of had him as a teacher for our children as well. My respect for him prevents me from calling him Dean. May sound silly, but sincerely meant “ya know!”

  17. Nick and Sue Sperger

    Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  18. Theresa (Brantner) Pitts

    So sorry for your loss of Dean, husband, father, brother and cousin. Even though we have been distant over the years we still have the memories of growing up together. God Bless you all.

  19. Courtney Kent and Jonathan Fowler

    We are deeply sorry for your loss. Keeping you all in our prayers.

  20. Tim Tschumperlin

    I was so sad to hear this news. Dean was a great person. He was my Geometry teacher at DHS in the 1980's. He was kind, caring and had a great sense of humor. His positive qualities made school fun and one of the reasons I went into education. Please let us know what we can do to help you in this difficult time.

  21. Peggy Mahnken (Berg)

    I am so Sorry to Hear Of Dean's Passing...Prayer To You Kay and Your Sons and the whole Family

  22. Sharon Boyd

    So sorry to hear of Dean's passing. Thoughts and prayers to Kay and her family.

  23. Suzie McGee Wiskow

    So sorry to hear of Dean’s passing! Condolences to Kay and family.

  24. Bonnie Brixen Steiner

    Jerry and I send our sincere sympathy to all. Cherish the memories. Keeping everyone in our prayers.

  25. Rick and Lynda Condon

    I am so sorry to learn about Dean's passing! I pray that each of you will find comfort and joy in your memories of Dean and Dean's soul will RIP. siw

  26. Jenny Tulip

    Dean was terrific man - truly grateful to have known him as a teacher and loved running into him around town. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the Brunner family.

  27. Barb Werlein

    So sorry to hear of Dean's passing.You are all in my prayers for peace. Dean was a wonderful math teacher to my girls. I used to tease him him that my 3rd daughter wouldn't have him do to his retiring. I will miss his shilling face.

  28. Rita Lyon

    Sending caring thoughts n prayers to all of you during this difficult time.
    Our Deepest Sympathy
    Tom n Rita Lyon

  29. Teresa Odegard

    So sorry for your loss. I was lucky to have Mr. Brunner as a math teacher in Gilmanton. He was a great teacher.

  30. Shary (Risler) Klopp

    Deepest sympathy to Kaye and family. I was a classmate at Lima. Enjoyed his sense of humor when we worked together at one of our class reunions.

  31. Beth Zahara

    I , too, was lucky enough to have Dean as a teacher. He was an inspiration for all his students. My Thots and prayers are with the family.

  32. John and Judy Parr

    Hugs to all with sympathy

  33. Mark Bjorgo

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May you have peace and comfort in your fond memories. He will always be remembered as a great teacher and role model for me.

  34. Diana Thompson

    My condolences to you Kay and your family.

  35. Sharon Bauer

    My deepest sympathy to the families.

  36. James Fedie

    Mr. Brunner will be missed but never forgotten. My love for math and expertise definitely stem from how great a teacher he was.

    Prayers and thoughts to all family and friends of one of my favorite teachers.

  37. John and Patty Wayne

    Our Heartfelt Sympathy goes out to you and your family.
    Had many wonderful talks with Dean over the years. Will miss his humor and him giving me a hard time.

  38. Colleen And Tom Garnevicus

    Dean was the nicest of men, loved by all who knew him. We are so sorry Kay and family! You are in our prayers.

  39. Patricia Bauer

    We are so sorry to hear about Dean , such a nice guy. He will be missed by many and we want to give you our Sympathy ! Kay and family are i our prayers.
    Dave and Pat Bauer

  40. Dan & Jane Weisenbeck

    Sorry for your loss! Prayers for all the Brunner family.

  41. Kelly Klingbeil

    So sad about your loss!!! He was an excellent teacher. I learned alot from him, and got a pencil from him once, for answering a question in class!

  42. JJ Levenske

    My deepest condolences. One of the most influential teachers I had in Durand. God Speed

  43. Rebecca Petfalski (Fedie)

    I am so sorry for your loss and will always rembember how he helped me understand algebra. He was a great man and a great teacher. He will be missed.

  44. Laura Biesterveld

    Dean was a very special teacher. He really knew how to engage with students and built great relationships. I remember him fondly. Sending my sympathies to the family.

  45. Brenda schroeder

    I enjoyed working with Dean. So sorry for your loss.

  46. Rebecca Bien-Jilek

    My deepest sympathies to Mr. Brunner’s family. He was such a kind man and the best teacher! He will be missed!

  47. Janelle Risler & David Risler

    Our Deepest sympathies to Kay and family. Dean was an around good guy. We will be out of town at the time of the funeral, know that we will be thinking of you.

  48. Larry & Carol Prissel

    Kay and all the Family have our Sympathy

  49. Sharol Molland

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at the loss of Dean. Praying for peace and comfort in the weeks and months to come.

  50. Rick and Carol Richardson

    Sympathy and peace to all.

  51. Rose Sabelko

    Deepest sympathy, Kay and Family of Dean. Keeping you in prayers ????

  52. Lois (Myers) Hanson

    I was lucky to have Dean as a teacher in Gilmanton. Deepest sympathy Kay and family.

  53. Jean Gardner

    Sorry for the loss of Dean. Condolences and prayers to family and friends. May he RIP!

  54. Bob & Mary Milliren

    Our deepest sympathy.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
    And let the perpetual light shine upon him.
    And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kay and family.

  56. Marty & Diane Prissel

    Our deepest sympathy to all the families ????????

  57. Carol Hunter

    My deepest sympathy and prayers to all of Your family. He was a great man. God bless all of you.

  58. Patricia Frion

    So sorry for your loss. He also was one fantastic roller skater. Many fond memories.

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