Robert “Bob” Lewis Bruner, 100, passed away Wednesday, August 2, 2023, under the care of Hospice of Davis and Wapello Counties, in Good Samaritan Society, Ottumwa, Iowa. He was 100 years, 10 months and 22 days old.
The sixth child and third son of Robert Franklin and Ivalee (Drake) Bruner, he was born in Fabius Township, Schuyler County, Missouri, northwest of Downing, Missouri. He attended Dutchy Rural School through fourth grade and then attended Downing School system, graduating high school in 1940. He was reared about two miles north of Downing, Missouri. He was drafted into the Army of the United States on his mother’s birthday, November 25, 1942 at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri. He departed for Europe from New Jersey on October 8, 1943 aboard the Queen Mary and on zig zag route landed in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 17, 1943, later to be stationed in southern England at Maidenhead near Cookham.
But for a storm, he drove himself and his lieutenant in a Jeep through the water and onto the beach at Normandy D-Day +1 or 2 days. Decorations and citations awarded were five bronze stars for these battlefields: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe, Rhineland, with one citation; good conduct medal. He was quick to state, “I was not a soldier of good conduct.” After the atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima, he boarded the Marine Angel and was honorably discharged on October 20, 1945 at Jefferson Barricks, St. Louis, Missouri.
He was one of four brothers who served honorably in World War II and all four returned home safely!
He came to work in Ottumwa for some years at John Morrell and John Deere and then chose work as a service station lessee. He later retired from Beatrice Foods and Guys Foods.
He met his wife, Pauline Cook, at a pie supper in her Brush Creek rural school teaching position and they married on August 22, 1948 in Lancaster with Reverend Ben Bradbury officiating. They had 62 years of marriage together and to this union five children were born: Gene, Pauletta, Rodney Max, Rod and Kim.
Bob is survived by his children, Gene Bruner of Downing, Missouri, Pauletta (Max) Marlin of Fremont, Iowa, Rod (Mavis) Bruner of Eddyville, Iowa and Kim Bruner of Downing, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Eric Walker of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rob (Tanya) Walker of Albuquerque, Bill Bruner of Des Moines, Iowa, Micah (Nicci) Bruner of Rio, Illinois, Hilary (Mark) Roberts of Waldorf, Maryland, Dawn (Bruce) Crozier of Knoxville, Iowa and Dennis Marlin of Melcher Dallas, Iowa; 12 great grandchildren; one great-great granddaughter; one brother Max (Janet) Bruner of Memphis, Missouri; many cousins, nieces and nephews and many good friends.
Bob is preceded by his parents; his wife; one son, Rodney Max, in infancy; one infant sister, Willma Bruner; sisters, Leola Comstock, Ardell Dellinger and Doris Ketchum; two brothers, Charles and Oren Bruner.
Bob loved his family and horseback riding, especially his mare, Jiffy.