Gerald (Jerry) Brunet

Gerald (Jerry) Brunet passed peacefully away at home surrounded by his family on May 20th after a long battle with prostate cancer. Jerry was born on February 24, 1941 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the son of Moise and Sarah “Sadie” (Jacobson) Brunet.

A dedicated husband, loving father, and friend to many, Jerry was the ultimate “family man” in the truest sense. He was married to the love of his life, Barbara (Callahan), for almost 55 years. His children Karen (Jay) Zimmerschied, Beth (Frank) Schneider, Jennifer (Matthew) Thompson and Stephen (Megan) Brunet were fortunate to grow up in a supportive home with their dad at the helm to guide them through their various paths of education, interests, and pursuits in life.

Jerry was often a man of few words but could just as easily break the silence with witty one-liners. Never the individual to attempt to stand out, he was always the one that everyone would gravitate towards. A gentle smile accompanied with an overall easygoing demeanor made Jerry a very approachable figure – someone you could comfortably carry on a conversation with no matter the topic, especially if it was about his beloved Detroit Lions, Tigers or Red Wings.

After earning his degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Detroit and serving his country in the Army (1966-1972), Jerry spent his career as an executive in the automotive industry for over 40 years.

Some of Jerry’s favorite joys in life were spending time skiing in Colorado, enjoying the beaches of the Carolinas & Long Island, and golf with Barbara, his children, brother Tom (Doreen) Brunet, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Ultimately, Jerry’s true joy was just being surrounded by family, especially his eight grandchildren Amanda (Kyle), Alex (Jess), Andrew, Caitlin, Claire, Chloe, Benjamin & Caleb and three great-grandchildren Charlotte, Henry and Grace.

Jerry lived with cancer for almost 25 years. He maintained his gentle smile through the worst of times and made light of nearly every situation, no matter how difficult his journey. He handled his condition with grace and courage and was a true inspiration to all that knew him.

Jerry was proceeded in death by his parents and his much beloved brother Bill (Beverly) Brunet.

Our family is immensely grateful for the compassion and generosity of friends, family and caregivers during this difficult time. The sense of togetherness and continued support is the true embodiment of our father, and for that, we are filled with never-ending thanks.

Rest easy, Dad. We miss you a lot and love you even more.

There will be a visitation for family and friends from 5:00 ~ 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 24, 2021 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary Lawrence, Kansas. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church Lawrence. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Overland Park, Kansas.

Memorial Contributions may be made in Jerry’s name to the American Cancer Society and may be sent to Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th St. Lawrence, KS 66044.

13 Condolences

  1. Doug (and Vicki) Murray on May 23, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Barb and family: 55 years have passed but not the memories. I first met Jerry at the Army Reserve Center in Livonia in May, 1966. As you know the relationship between our families solidified, culminating in our unit’s call to active duty, first in Texas and then on to Vietnam. As roommates in Vietnam we made the best of a bad situation.

    He was my support and strength during those times. His easy going, “all is well attitude” still rings with me today. Post war geography separated us, but you and Jerry were always in our thoughts. Our visit to Pawley’s “reliving old times” was an experience we still treasure today.

    The obituary narrative says it all about that man. I can only echo the comments with a “bravo”, you were fortunate to have him for all those years. Our heavenly father will take good care of him. As you carry on, you are blessed with a wonderful family to give you strength and comfort.

    We will be unable to be with you for the celebration of Jerry’s life but as noted earlier, the memories will will always be there. God speed Jerry, you have done life’s job.

  2. Joe and Gigi on May 23, 2021 at 9:08 am

    May you be comforted by all your beautiful memories as you mourn the loss of Jerry and celebrate his great life and legacy. Peace to you all. You are in our hearts and prayers.
    The Peabody family

  3. Kristi Mogg on May 23, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I am so very sorry to hear of Mr. Brunet’s passing. I remember when we we lived down the street from one another as kids. Mr. Brunet was always kind and a gentle man. I remember he encouraged me with my dreams of being a nurse, educating me about diabetes, giving injections, Beth you were so patient and just went along with it all! Hugs and love to your whole family. I know your wonderful memories will keep him very much alive in your hearts. Much love, Kristi (Schwickrath) Mogg

  4. Debra Boehm on May 23, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    We have truly been blessed to have Jerry in our lives. As our families joined together with Steve and Megan’s marriage, we enjoyed many gatherings and witnessed Jerry’s faith and gentle ways. He nutured Steve into a wonderful husband and father, following in Jerry’s footsteps. We will always love and miss him. God’s blessings and comfort to Barb and the family.
    Debi and Ken

  5. Tim & Marianne Durbin on May 23, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    When we first got acquainted with Jerry in 1966, it wasn’t exactly the best of times. Our Army reserve unit had just been activated, and eventually we would be shipped out to Viet Nam. Perhaps, however, adversity is what made us become good friends with Jerry and Barb, for even though we were separated geographically, we continued that friendship for more than 50 years.

    Jerry was always a real class act. We would all be very lucky, indeed, to have someone like Jerry in our family or among our close friends. We know he will be terribly missed by Barb and his entire family, for they have lost a true champion.

    God bless you, Jerry. We’ll remember you always.

  6. Jill Christine on May 23, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    You are never ready for someone to leave you.

    Uncle Jerry was just the best. He had a laugh that was infectious. Could make you a killer cocktail and was full of such knowledge. He served his country, was a dedicated father, husband, friend and family man.

    Rest easy Uncle Jerry. We will continue to tell the stories and live the memories and remember you in all the greatness that you were.

    My heartfelt love to Aunt Barbara, Karen, Beth, Steve and Jennifer and spouses. Much love to the grandkids and great grandkids. Xoxox ????????

    Uncle Jerry will never be forgotten in this house, or any other. ❤️

  7. Kerry (Callahan) Leidals on May 23, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Thinking of all of you guys…

    The one thought i keep coming back to about your dad – is how i think we ALL felt we were Uncle Jerry’s favorite. And i think we were all right! So much love & kindness.

    What a special man. He will be so missed.

    Love you guys,

  8. Cathy Darling on May 24, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Dear Barb and family,
    Very , very sorry to hear about your loss of Jerry. He was such a great guy and we have so many memories of neighborhood fun many years ago and our cruise, with cocktails and laughs . We know he was the love of your life , and family center and hope your close family and faith will help during this most difficult time. We know all of you are hurting now and hope the caring thoughts and messages from all who loved Jerry will be of some comfort.
    Our memories will be of him smiling and laughing. He was very special .
    Love, Bob and Cathy Darling

  9. ALMIRA WILLSON on May 25, 2021 at 8:42 am

    To Barb. What a wonderful friend you and Jerry have been for so many years. Jerry and Chuck bonded right away once they found each other at the Army Reserve Center. Both from Sault Ste Marie but never having met before. We spent a relaxing summer in the Sault once the guys were back and going to college. So many good times together over the years. Thank you for bringing the Willson rocking chair with you from Detroit to South Carolina. We were so lucky to have you close by in your wonderful house on Pawleys Island where your family could all visit together (and friends, too). You created a caring, loving space wherever you were. Jerry will be greatly missed. Myra

  10. Katie Rodriguez on May 25, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Last week, the world, and our family, lost a man whose kindness, generosity, and beautiful spirit was something that stood out to anyone and everyone who met him. Uncle Jerry Brunet had my heart from the very beginning of my life, and I am not alone in feeling that way.

    A Vietnam Vet, his dedication to both his family and country is an inspiration. Jerry could make your day with just a smile and a hearty laugh.

    He was married to my Aunt Barbara, and raised 4 amazing people who I am blessed to call my cousins. He was also a part of some of the most important moments in my life. I was so lucky to know him. We are going to miss you Uncle Jerry, and we love you so much.

  11. Mike Reilly on May 25, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the path of men – HW Longfellow. Today we said goodbye to one of the best men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He was one of those men you meet and immediately think “if I can half the man that Jerry is I know I am doing something right”. Cheers Uncle Jerry you were one of a kind.

  12. Amanda (Zimmerschied) Byers on May 26, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    My Sweet Papa. My Guardian Angel.
    You are at the center of so many of my best memories. Ice cream dates, summers at the cottage, Christmas, family baseball games in your back yard, and so so many more. I can see you in the faces of my babies, I know you are there, and I will carry you with me always. I’m so grateful for all the time I had with you, that you got to hold and play with my kids, and for everything you taught me. What I wouldn’t give for one more hands-on-face kiss and a big Papa hug. You were simply the best. I love you the MOST my sweet Papa. Rest In Peace now my angel. ????

  13. Megan Brunet on May 26, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    RIP Jerry – you were the original “outlaw” and set a great example of how to love unconditionally. You will live in our hearts forever. Love you.

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