Debra Lynn Brunson was born September 7, 1956, in Troy, NY. She passed away surrounded by family due to COVID-related complications at age 65 in Ogden, Utah on Sunday, December 26, 2021, at 3:38 pm. Debra (Debbie) and her husband, Robert (Bob), reside in Ogden, Utah.
Debbie grew up in upstate New York, the oldest of five children born to Niny Acevedo and Robert Raymond Retallick. Her family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she was two and she boldly testified of her beliefs her entire life. She worked after school in her dad’s pharmacy running the soda fountain. She grew up with a love of singing, dancing, and all things creative. She performed as a cheerleader, in choir, and during summers at the Hill Cumorah pageant. She never tired of developing new skills or pursuing new ventures including piano, guitar, making tomato ice cream, and homemade marshmallows. On June 5, 1977, at Flood Appreciation Day in Rexburg, Idaho she met Bob Brunson (soon to be husband and love of her life). They married August 16 and were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple. They recently celebrated their 44th anniversary. Debbie, Bob, and her family lived many places including Idaho, California, Colorado, Illinois, and Utah.
At Ricks College, Debbie toured on the Valhalla Ballroom Dance Team and later taught dance for many years. She frequently performed with a singing trio in Colorado. She also ran a children’s performing group called Show Kids in Illinois in which all her kids participated. She had pride in her Jewish heritage and wore her star of David necklace. She raised her children in the gospel of Jesus Christ but with a love of Jewish culture and tradition. She found joy working in her garden and filled her home with beautiful plants. As the daughter of an immigrant, she valued patriotism and instilled a deep love of America and freedom in her children.
Debbie loved her family, including her siblings, nieces, and nephews. At times her siblings looked to her as a second mother and she never hesitated to mother people around her, related or not. Her nieces and nephews loved and admired her, and she intentionally stayed connected to her extended family. She served everyone, and never tired in her friendship. Deb was proud of all her children and invited and loved all of their spouses.
As a mother and especially a grandmother, Debbie took pride in her posterity. Their achievements pleased her immensely and she encouraged them to be their best. She pushed her children to pursue performing arts activities, sports, and learning, cheering them on in their endeavors. She had a gift for making her grandkids feel like the only person in the room when she was with them. She lived for every piano recital, soccer game, lost tooth, and colored picture gifted to her by sticky fingers. She loved snuggling and reading books to her grandchildren and making them come alive with different voices and sounds. She would take them out to fun activities and spent time doing crafts together
Bob and Debbie loved gardening and the outdoors. It was a blessing that recently they were able to take some trips together and make special memories before her passing. Debbie’s immense energy brought music, laughter, and cheer wherever she went. We will all miss her infectious smile.
Debra Lynn Brunson is survived by her husband, Robert Woolley Brunson; her children, Maris Lyn Hanson (David), Robert Harry Brunson (Stephanie), Ryan Woolley Brunson, Michael Clark Brunson (Kelsy), and Richard Levi Brunson (Alexis); her twelve beloved grandkids; her mother, Niny Christensen; her siblings, James Martin Retallick (Cheryl), Richard Garth Retallick, Robert Howard Retallick, Holly Ann Retallick Christensen (Jeff); and her mother-in-law Joan Woolley Brunson. She is preceded in death by her father, Robert Raymond Retallick, and her father-in-law Harry Munns Brunson.
The family will hold a public viewing Sunday, January 2, 2022, from 6 - 8 pm and a brief viewing the next morning from 10 - 10:45 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 300 Iowa Avenue Ogden, Utah. The funeral will start at 11 am, Monday, January 3, 2022, in the same meetinghouse. A graveside service will follow at the Ogden City Cemetery, 1875 Monroe Blvd, Ogden, Utah.
Life Story Info
Bob and Brunson family,
I'm so sorry to hear of Debbie's passing. She was a great friend to me when your family lived here in Loveland. She was the most positive, action-oriented friend ever - so consistently persuasive in motivating everyone around her in doing good things and being involved. She was able to involve me in activities that I never would have had the courage to do on my own. I miss her, but have no doubt that she is busy still on the other side of the veil sharing and helping her kindred spirits there, just like she always did here. May God bless your family with comfort and peace in knowing that she lives still in spirit and that you will be together for time and all eternity as a family!
Bob (& Family),
We're sorry for your heartache as you and Debra will be separated temporarily.
Getting to know Deb better as we shared a few meals together was a joy and blessing.
She was clearly in love with and proud of her sweetheart...you and she make a wonderful couple.
We saw her kindness and awareness of others.
She is a fine lady.
Bob & Eileen