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Eveline W. Bruenger


1934 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Eveline W. Bruenger Obituary
January 2, 1934 ~ April 23, 2018
Eveline Bruenger passed away peacefully on April 23, 2018, after being diagnosed with lung cancer three years previously. She faced that news with courage and stoicism, and even though in her eighties, she continued pursuing her challenging hiking adventures as long as possible. In her seventies, she had returned to the Grand Canyon to hike rim to rim in memory of her beloved Fred, with whom she had hiked for 50 years.
Born January 2, 1934, in Frankfurt, Germany, to George Weber (a stonemason, woodcarver and gymnast) and to Eva Gerdts (a seamstress), Eveline enjoyed her loving family, and the beauties of nature in her native country. She was a great lover of the natural world.
Eveline wanted very much to complete the writing of her autobiography. She had carefully documented with words and photographs her happy childhood, the devastation of World War II, living as evacuees in Austria, and the horse and wagon journey back to Frankfurt. She described meeting her future husband "Fiti" through their shared love of organic chemistry, and their marriage and move to Utah. She wrote about their distinguished careers as scientists, each of their climbs (including some of the highest peaks in the world), and the construction of the home and garden that she and Fred built themselves in Castle Valley. Eveline's descriptions of the natural world which she loved are exquisite. She was a gifted artist, drawing beautiful sketches of her surroundings, and portraits of Fred, herself, and others, some of which she included in her book. She pushed through her illness to consolidate her memories. Although unable to comment verbally at the end, she radiated joy when she saw the first color layout and knew that her incredible life story was finally ready to be printed. She passed away a week later.
Eveline's vivid intelligence, generous thinking, and warm civility lifted the lives of all around her. She was a seeker - she loved world travels, mountain top vistas, museums and operatic performances; Eveline was always learning. She formed lasting friendships with hiking partners, scientists, and her Ryan Cannon "family" who included her in their lives as one of their own. She was little Julia's "Oma."
Special thanks go to Tom and Alison Taylor for their push to publish Eveline's amazing life story in time for her to see it, to her kind caregivers at The Legacy, to her friends from the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, and to her friends who came and stayed by her side.
Eveline is survived by her sister, Rosmarie Wergin, and her nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred, and many members of her family from Germany.
Eveline and Fred were members of the U of U Health Sciences Council and Eveline was a member of the Educational Resource Development Council. She and Fred generously supported the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Their love of learning continues through students who have benefitted from their scholarship fund. Eveline donated her body to assist with medical research at the U of U School of Medicine, as did her husband, Fred. At her request, there will be no formal funeral service.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on May 5, 2018
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