Gerald (Gerry) Paul Brunette, 68, of Rapid River, MI passed away on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the UP Health System in Marquette.
Gerald was a loving husband to his wife Trina, a devoted father to his children Andrew and Victoria, and a doting grandfather to his granddaughters Paityn, Ainsley, and Maia . He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.
Gerry was born June 15, 1954 in Escanaba, MI, the son of Wallace and Iona (Druding) Brunette. He was raised in Gladstone, MI and enjoyed participating in athletics throughout his youth. He graduated from Gladstone High School in 1972. Following graduation, Gerry served his country proudly in the United States Army. He was united in marriage to Trina Wolfe on June 17, 1978 at All Saints Catholic Church in Gladstone, MI. Gerry spent 35 years working as a Coater Operator at the Escanaba Paper Mill. Gerry loved going to his camp in Rock, MI to hunt, especially for white tail deer. He enjoyed feeding and watching all forms of wildlife on his property and loved to go fishing with his son, friends, and nephews. He took pride in being outdoors, caring for his land, and creating an inviting home for all. He was a great cook and took pleasure in making and hosting meals for family and friends. He enjoyed watching and coaching his children and grandchildren in sports and playing in softball and pool leagues himself, with many of his closest friends. Gerry loved watching sports, but was most passionate when watching the Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees, and the University of Michigan Wolverines.
Gerry had a unique ability to connect with people – he made everyone he met feel special. His humor was timeless and quick-lipped. He taught those around him to be resilient, to tackle challenges head-on and reach their goals. He also taught them to remember where they came from, to cherish the memories of those who passed, and to talk directly with God. He was always willing and eager to help those in need, whether he knew them well or not, and took pride in being in service to others.
Gerry is survived by his wife Trina Brunette and their son Andrew (Christine) Brunette with grandchildren Paityn, Ainsley, and Maia Brunette, and their daughter, Victoria Brunette. Along with his parents Wallace and Iona Brunette, his siblings Gail (Tim) Carr, Wallace (Tamara) Brunette, Donald Brunette, Thomas Brunette, Karen Stone, Sandra Leny, Kenneth (Alison) Brunette, and Scott Brunette, his sister and brother-in-laws Carla (Butch) Irving, Paula Terrien, Christa (Tony) Klarich, Sara (Brent) Belanger, Johanna (Jerry) Dehl, Rebecca (Randy) Deneau, Greta (Will) Pouliot, Lance (Deborah) Wolfe, Joe (Carol) Wolfe, and his mother-in-law Carol Wolfe.
Gerald was preceded in death by his sister Joanne Brunette.
The Brunette family will receive friends on Thursday, March 16 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM at the Grace Church in Gladstone, MI. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM with a luncheon to follow in fellowship hall.
Bryan Witter - Cornell, MI
Thoughts and prayers to the family. I’m proud to say how fortunate I was to work alongside Gerry. He taught me a lot in regards to work and life. He was a great person and friend. He will be deeply missed. Rest in Peace Gerry!
Joe moberg - DePere, Wi
I was saddened to hear about jerry. Jerry and I have been friends all our lives. He was one of those friends who you could count on regardless of how long it’s been since seeing each other. Rest easy my friend.
Bill & theresa Druding - Rapid River, Mi
So sorry for your loss it is so hard when you loose your partner. Words really don’t help much when you hurt so bad. Hope your memories help you get thru this time. Jerry was a great person and will be missed by all. You have our deepest sympathy.
John Pickard - Gladstone, MI
So Sad to hear about my lifelong friend and Co/ Worker Jerry. Great Guy and he was always there to lend a hand and help. Prayers are being sent to Trina and Family. My Brother Kenny and Jerry were good friends also. He will be missed by many. I hope to see you again one day.
Brent Belanger - Gladstone , Mi
Uncle Jerry, It has been a honor to be able to call you my brother in law for the past 22 years. You will be missed by many people who’s lives you have touched. May you Rest In Peace brother.
Carl and Dianne Engel - Somonauk, IL
Trina and family,
So sorry for your loss. Please know we are thinking and praying for you.
Dave Strom - Gladstone, MI
Such a good friend over the years. So many great memories. Going to miss our breakfast get togethers. Rest in peace, my friend.
Kathy sheedlo - Gladstone, Mi
So sorry to hear of your your loss Trina & family.
I was a classmate of Jerry’s.
May he rest in peace
Debbie Saari - Escanaba, MI
Thoughts and prayers to the family! I was deeply saddened to hear about Jerry’s passing. I didn’t know Jerry well but he was deeply loved by Paul Jeffery may he rest in peace.
Robert Branam - APPLETON, WI
Rest in peace Jerry – you will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing you. My condolences to the Brunette family. When ever his name is mentioned I will always chuckle a little when I think about the time he shot himself in the foot while bird hunting!
Paul Kathy Dollhopf - Gladstone, MI
You made a difference.
Russ Sargent - Washburn, WI
Farewell to another old teammate from the Murph’s Bar Softball Team. Gerry was a valuable team member and friend from those great days. Wish I had gotten to know him in his later years. Condolences to his wife and family. May he Rest in Peace.
Cathy and Pat Cretens - Cornell, Mi
Our hearts are heavy hearing this news today. Sending all our love and prayers. I wish I could be there in person to hug you all. My deepest sympathies.
Jay Osterberg - Gladstone , Mi
Swede and Iona, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Gerry. Know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Jay and Michelle Osterberg
Mike Nantelle - Escanaba, Mi
So sorry to hear about Gerry. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Gerry. He was one of the best operators I worked with. He could be so damn fun to work around. JHe made the day fly by. He had so many funny stories about work and was making new ones daily. We are all thinking about Trina and his family at this difficult time. Rest in peace old friend.
Nick - Escanaba , Mi
Thoughts an prayers. I’m very lucky to have worked with Gerry on the coater. He was a one of a kind person who I will always remember, and am lucky to have met!
Anna Banana - Summerville , SC
I am so sad you’re not here, but so glad you are resting and at peace in heaven. I’ll never forget your hilarious stories, and dad jokes. You were a person I always felt loved by, even in my most unloveable moments. You were a big presence in our family and in our hearts. You were a role model among men in the way you treated Auntie Trina, your family, and everyone you met. Watch over us, and I will see you again someday!
Tammy (Maki) Hanson - Escanaba, MI
Trina and family,
I am so very sorry for your loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Debbie LaCrosse - Rapid River , Mi
Dear Trina. I am so very sorry for your losses. I have tried to reach out, but wasn’t able too. If you or your family need anything please contact me at 906-280-0119. I am sending hugs, thoughts and prayers to you and to your family.
JoJo - Waldo, WI
My dad used to like to mess with Gerry. One time he said to me “watch this”. Gerry was in the family room watching a ballgame. My dad walked in and said “Gerry did you ever play basketball at Gladstone High School?” Gerry replied; “Joe did I play? I was the team!”
That’s the Gerry I knew and loved. Of course his wife’s reply was, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true!” I will miss him coming up behind me and kissing my ear; if any of my other brother-in-laws are reading this you gotta step up to the plate! Love you all.
Don Nelson - Williston, ND
Being friends with Andrew growing up, I got to know Gerry really well. I always enjoyed the time I spent with him. He had a way of just making you feel relaxed and comfortable when you were in his presence. His sense of humor and all of his great stories never left for a dull moment. I have many fond memories of time spent with the Brunette family. May Gerry Rest in Peace. Trina, Andrew and Victoria, you have my condolences and are in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy Kowaleski (Schramm) - Lake Orion, Mi
I lived next door to the Brunette family, my parents lived with my Grandparents upstairs of her house, when they were first married. Gail gave me a “special haircut” before we moved to Rapid River. I saw Jerry on and off thru the years, as I had moved downstate. Jerry always remembered me and I remember that awesome smile and how kind. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing, – Wishing you Peace to bring comfort, Courage to face the days ahead and Loving memories to forever hold in your heart.
Kerri Martin Edwards - Farmington, MN
Thoughts and prayers sent to you Trina, as well as the kids! I have very fond memories of Jerry! Always such a happy guy!
Jason McCarty - Rapid River, MI
I grew up with Gerry’s son Andrew and lived just down the road from the Brunette home. Gerry was my baseball coach and Andrew always had kids over to play basketball, baseball or football, Gerry was always present to provide advice. Every time I was invited over by Andrew, Gerry was full of stories and advice. I can still hear him cheering us on at football games. Great memories. For my classmates and age group, Jerry was a staple of our childhoods. My condolences go out to the Brunette family. Love and thoughts from me and my kids.
Niki Niquette - Georgetown, TX
Gerry was truly a special guy. I got the chance to know him growing up in Rapid River, he was the coach of my baseball team that I was on along with his son Andrew. He was also a close friend of my husband Damian. He spent a lot of time with Gerry at his camp during hunting season when we lived in the UP. He will truly be missed. Our love and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Shirley Viau - Escanaba, MI
So very sorry Trinia & family. You are all in my prayers.