Gayle Brunner died Monday December 5, 2016 with her sons Todd and Scott by her side. Her passing was peaceful after a full life and brief illness. Born Lorna Gayle Bianco on May 22, 1924 in Roslyn Washington to Robert and Freda Bianco, her family moved to Renton, Washington when she was six years old. Gayle graduated from Renton High School in 1942 and then attended the Washington State University, pledged to Chi Omega Sorority and majored in Art, Lambda Rho honorary. At WSU she met Joseph Brunner of Oregon City, Oregon and they were married in 1946. Shortly thereafter, Joe and Gayle moved to the community of Shorewood south of Seattle. In a house that overlooked the Puget Sound they raised three sons; Todd, Reed and Scott and were very active in the community. After all three sons were grown and had moved away from home, Joe and Gayle moved to Mill Creek, north of Seattle. Son Reed died in 1995 from a head injury and Joe Brunner, her husband of 62 years died in 2007. Gayle remained active and independent in their Mill Creek home until her recent death at the age of 92.
Gayle will be remembered fondly by family and friends for her warmth, strong will, and dedication to family. Whidbey Island was always the family's preferred summer getaway. From renting a cabin for weeks at a time at Fisherman's Alibi in the 1950's and 60's, to the purchase of a family waterfront home at Lagoon Point in 1975, Gayle enjoyed family and friends on the island every year until her death. She also endured weeks long camping trips with her husband and three young sons to places like the Teanaway River, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and mountain destinations in Canada. At home, she earned the nickname "Sarge" from the neighborhood boys for keeping their antics under control while at the same time supplying them with cookies and Kool-Aid. Gayle really didn't like to cook, but every home cooked family meal was prepared and received with love.
Gayle is missed and remembered daily. There is no doubt our family is stronger, kinder and more resilient because of her.
Best Mom ever!
Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 8, 2017