Donna Kay (Gradert) Brunette, 1938-2018

Donna Brunette

From our staff
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 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 Oct. 13, 1938, to Francis A. and Thelma H. (Beach) Gradert in Green River, Wyo. She resided on the family ranch near Mountain View, Wyo., 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, as well. 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.
The family also 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 banded together, laughed a lot, joked a lot and enjoyed those years immensely. 
Donna was always very involved in the lives of her children, including their many school and sports activities. 
After their 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. They were 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. Also surviving Donna are four great-grandchildren, Presten, Paxton, Parker and Landen; her companion Bingo; many nieces and nephews, whom she adored; plus many wonderful friends she enjoyed over the years. She loved all, and was loved by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents and both of her 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 contact a family member for details.
While we were 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!


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

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