This world was left with a void when Donna Gwen Williams Brunner, age 83, passed away peacefully, Sunday, April 17 in Brooksville, Florida. Surrounded by family, Donna faced the end with dignity and bravery.
Donna was born February 23, 1933 to Morgan and Eva Henry Williams in Potamo Township, Williams, Minnesota. She spent her childhood on the family farm south of Williams. Donna attended Mayhood Elementary School. She graduated in the top of her class from Williams High School. Donna moved from the Williams area to Minneapolis to pursue her academic studies and career. She later married John E. Brunner in Lambertville, Michigan. John and Donna shared a passion for travel, and their sense of adventure led them to live in a number of places and visit many more over the years.
John and Donna are survived by their seven children, Eve (Rick) Frazier, David (Laura) Brunner, Rita (Dusty) Krohn, John (Donna) Brunner, Ben (Susan) Brunner, Anita (Ray) Phillips, and Will (Danica) Brunner. John and Donna are also survived by Donna’s step-children, Jim (Wilma) Brunner, Don (Myrtle) Brunner, Karyl (Bill) Williams, and Nancy (Maurice) Franks. Donna is also survived by her siblings, Glen (Julia) Williams, Duane (Helen) Williams, Wesley (Gay) Williams, William (Karyl) Williams, and Lois (Charley) Hall.
Donna will also be missed by twelve grandchildren, Erin (Corey) Estling, and Derek (Linda) Ritli, Kari (Eric) Myers and Jena Brunner, Jennifer and Kristen Brunner, Reuben Brunner and Cherie (Josh) Rinker, Brandon and Kaylee Larkin, Lilia and Beckett Brunner and six great grandchildren.
Donna had a brilliant mind and continued to educate herself her entire life. She expanded her vast knowledge and shared it with others right to the very end. Donna’s book collection rivaled many small town libraries in size! Her many interests included, gardening, health and medicine, science, politics, philosophy, and religious studies. To quote Donna’s best friend, Carolyn Clardy, “I’ve never known another person who knew so much about so much.”
Donna was well known for her sharp sense of humor and witty conversation. She very much enjoyed a good debate.
Donna was a talented artist and published author and poet. She was blessed with incredible musical talent and played the piano beautifully. Donna had an independent, creative spirit that lives on in her children.
Donna was probably never so at home as she was in the woods of northern Minnesota, exploring, picking berries, and furthering her studies in botany.
John and Donna were dedicated environmentalists, and were very careful to always leave light footprints on this small planet. They shared an appreciation for a simple life, and were dedicated to always living below their means. They set an example and left a legacy of never taking more than their share, and freely shared with others.
Donna rests beside her husband, John, at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.