Paul Derstine Brunner
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HESSTON - Paul Derstine Brunner was born July 24, 1925, in Blooming Glen Pennsylvania.

He was the firstborn of Edgar and Anna Brunner. He moved with his parents at a young age to the Souderton, Pennsylvania, area, where he attended elementary school and Sell-Perk High School. Following high school graduation he went to Goshen College until World War II broke out.

During the war he was in C.P.S. camp in Glacier National Park in Montana where he was a fire spotter. At the close of the war he helped with the European Reclamation and sailed twice to Poland on ships carrying horses.

When he returned home he completed his BA in Bible at Goshen College. After a few years of delivering milk for Hoffman's Dairy, he had an appointment with his Dr. During the visit the Dr. asked him if he had ever thought of being a minister. This was the challenge he needed to help him discern his life's work. He then returned to Goshen Biblical Seminary where he received his Bachelor of Theology. While at Seminary he met Grace Derstine. They were married after his first year. At Seminary he lead the Nurse's Choir and the Seminary Choir. After graduation he did a 1 year interim at Christopher Dock High School in Souderton, Pennsylvania, where he taught music and directed the choir.

After this he was called to pastor Wooster Mennonite Church in Wooster, Ohio, where Bishop C.F. Derstine ordained him. During his time at Wooster Mennonite he and Grace started their family. They welcomed Beverly Ann and Jon Scott to complete the Brunner Family.

Over the years God called Paul and Grace to long-pastor at Zion Mennonite Church in Hubbard, Oregon, Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston, and Beech Mennonite Church in Louisville, Ohio.

It was always their desire to close their ministry doing interim pastoring. Those interims lead them to Zurich Mennonite Church in Zurich, Ontario, Canada, Directing the Pastoral Ministry Program at Hesston College, Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, Trinity Mennonite Church in Phoenix, Arizona, Tabor Mennonite Church in rural Goessel, and finally Blooming Glen Mennonite Church in Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania.

Paul passed away peacefully on Sunday night, Sept. 14, 2014, at Schowalter Villa.

Left to miss him are his wife, Grace; daughter, Beverly Ann Goertzen and husband, Nelson; son, Jon Scott Brunner and wife, Chauneci; brothers, David Brunner and wife, JoAnn and Donald Brunner and wife, Carolyn. Also missing him are grandchildren, Tyler Goertzen, A.J. Goertzen and wife, Stacey, Hope Goertzen, Christina Brunner, Nicholas Brunner, and great-grandson, Reed Goertzen, as well as number of nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at Hesston Mennonite Church on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Viewing and family visitation from 3-5 p.m. at the church. Memorial service at 5:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Following the service there will be a fellowship meal and celebration in the Community Room of the church.

Inurnment will be Saturday, Sept. 20, at East Lawn Cemetery, rural Hesston, at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Dementia Care at Schowalter Villa, Hesston, and may be sent in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, 107 S. Lancaster, P.O. Box 32, Hesston, KS 67062. Condolences may be left for the family at

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Published in The Kansan from Sep. 16 to Sep. 18, 2014.
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