Rod was a music lover and writer, spiritual teacher, jack of all trades, food adventurist and cook, pro french toast maker, explorer, camper, sailor, swimmer, fisherman, dead-eye with a sling shot, pro knot tier, inventor, Frisbee flipper and picnic table jumper.

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He was skilled in archery, pitching horseshoes, whittling and carving.

He loved to square dance, waltz, and do the fox trot.

He made a kayak out of walrus skin, built a sailboat, told stories with his ukulele, and directed road shows.

He loved to live life to its fullest, and loved to share its adventures with his family.

Rod was born in Grants Pass, Oregon on August 7, 1933 to Eva Blanche Hopper and Paul Erwyn Bruner. He joined the Air Force and was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 17. He met his sweetheart, Evelyn Dawn Backes, at a church dance in Grants Pass and they were married for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on November 21, 1955.

They had eight children, all boys but six. He faithfully served in many callings in the Church including seminary teacher, branch president, and bishop. His favorite callings were Gospel Doctrine teacher and choir director.

He passed away just before his 87th birthday and 65th wedding anniversary.

He left an enormous legacy behind even though he was an only child.

Rod is survived by his wife, Evelyn, his children, Cynthia Dawn (Larry) Jensen, Sharla Deane (Bret) Alford, Jeri Renee (Steve) Foutz, Stanley Todd Bruner, Alisa Beth (Rod) Kearl, Lyle Garth (Jennifer) Bruner, Kelly Annette (Tony) Tippetts, and Tamera Roxanne (Robert) Lefavor, 35 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren (and counting).

Please join us for an online Celebration of Life on Facebook on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. MT: or over Zoom: email for a link.


  • Preceded in Death By
  • Paul Erwyn Bruner, Father
  • Eva Blanche Hopper, Mother

Life Story Info


Garth Bruner

Post Date

Jul 16, 2020

Personal Info


Grants Pass, Oregon, United States


Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Cause of Death

Complications from hip surgery





Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint

Military Affiliation

  • Air Force
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NEXT Deborah Claire Hansen Reed-Holman Deborah Claire Hansen Reed-Holman


He was a great Uncle. I remember him singing with his ukulele, his devotion to his family, his positive attitude towards us kids, cleaning the church with him and Aunt Evelyn while visiting, allowing us cousins to spend so many summer days at their house, and his smile. You have left a legacy and are loved.

Susan Christensen , FRANKLINTON, NC, US Jul 18, 2020

Evelyn & Rod have been two of our favorite people in the Millcreek 9th Ward. We have enjoyed seeing them every Sunday until very recently when they moved out of the ward. Rod always shared things about his experiences in raising their family. We miss not seeing Evelyn and sharing jokes we all gathered from anywhere we could find them. We express our love to the entire Bruner family and especially hope for continued contact with Evelyn.

June & Gene Petrie , Millcreek, UT, US Jul 18, 2020

Because our son married Rod and Evelyn’s daughter.Kelly, we have for many years enjoy Kelly and often we spent time with Rod and Evelyn quit often. I had long conversations with Rod. We would talk about what we each were doing. Rod was always very interested in what I had been doing since we had last visited. Rod was a kind man.

WE GIVE Our love to you, Kelly and to the rest of your family.

Aaron and Joan F Tippetts , Brian Head, UT, US Jul 16, 2020

I met Rod just a short time before he passed away. I was looking forward have a conversation with him about his life and what he had seen and done during the 87 years here on earth. He appeared to be a great man as his obituary explained. Thank you for your time on earth.

Kent E Hoops , Aurora, IL, US Jul 16, 2020


  • 1970
  • May 28, 1979

    My baptism day surrounded by my parents Rod and Evelyn Bruner and my Grandparents, Loree Backes and Paul and Eva Bruner.

  • 1990
  • Dec 26, 1998