Estes Park resident Bob Brunson died Thursday, August 8, 2019 at his Good Samaritan Village apartment. Robert Bruce Brunson was born June 2, 1921 in Abilene, KS. His parents were Elmer and Alice (Jones) Brunson. Bob grew up on a small dairy farm near Leavenworth, KS where he went to high school and became an Eagle Scout. After high school, Bob attended Kansas State Agriculture School before joining the Navy. In 1942, he graduated from Corpus Christi Naval Air Station with wings as a Naval Aviator. Bob flew Corsairs off the USS Enterprise with the first US Navy night fighter squadron. After returning stateside, he was assigned as a night-fighter instructor and later Chief Engineering Test Pilot in Vero Beach, FL. Bob graduated from Kansas State University in 1949 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His engineering career took him around the world including projects in Israel and Algeria.
Bob was active with the National Ski Patrol and the Colorado Mountain Club. He later became a long-time member of the SkiMeisters (a group of active seniors) and was honored to still be skiing at the age of 90. He also enjoyed hiking, backpacking and tennis. Bob volunteered at Rocky Mountain National Park and he enjoyed the Big Horn Brigade, Chow Busters, Elk Bugling, front desk staff, and participating in the preservation of our natural resources. Bob was also a member of the Aviation Club, the Rotary Club of Estes Park, the Duck Race Committee, and a Farmer’s Market volunteer. In 2013, Bob was honored as the Rotarian of The Year. He was Co-Organizer with Vern Mertz of the Honor Flights of Northern Colorado.
Bob is survived by his three children; Caroline Bull (Steven Anderson) of Brainerd, MN, David Brunson (Marilynn) of Madison, WI, and Rebecca Heimark (Gary) of Aitkin, MN, 10 grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. He is further survived by his siblings; Virginia Leever of Findley, OH, Richard Brunson of Santa Fe, NM, and Edith Rasmussen of Kalamazoo, MI and many nieces and nephews.
To the end, Bob maintained his love of flying. He skydived at the age of 82. Bob enjoyed many friendships, whether over a cup of coffee, a club project, volunteering in the Park, hiking, biking, skiing, canoeing, or flying. Bob felt blessed and thankful to have had a very wonderful life and anticipated a new adventure without a cumbersome body. He also knew he would not be able to report back on this next great adventure. At Bob’s request there will be no funeral, but a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rocky Mountain Conservancy in care of Allnutt Funeral Service 1302 Graves Avenue Estes Park, CO 80517. See www.allnuttestespark to send a message to Bob’s family.