Jerome Bruning, 82, of Mitchell, SD, died Sunday, November 8, 2020 from pancreatic cancer, at Bormann Manor in Parkston. Funeral Services were held Friday, November 13, 2020 at Bittner Funeral Chapel. Burial was in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Jerome “Jerry” Bruning was born November 3, 1938 in Avoca, Minn. He was the fourth of six children born to Clifford and Erma (Rupp) Bruning. The family moved to Mitchell, SD when he was 8 years old and remained in Mitchell for the rest of his life. Jerry was baptized and confirmed in the Presbyterian Church. He graduated from Mitchell High School in 1957.
During his teen years, Jerry worked at Piggly Wiggly and Red Owl grocery stores to earn money for a college education and to help with his family’s expenses. He attended Dakota Wesleyan for about 2 1/2 years when he was drafted into the US Army. Jerry was given “high-level” special security clearance in the Army and spent 3 years dealing with top secret classified communication in Heidelberg, Germany. He returned home and began working for the Tri-State Tobacco and Candy Company as a salesman and later as a manager until his retirement.
One of Jerry’s hobbies was photography, and he had many pictures of his travels around Europe while in the military. He turned one of his bathrooms into a darkroom and developed his own pictures. He was always called upon to take the pictures at family weddings and other events. Jerry was always interested in Civic affairs, and was a long-time active member in the Mitchell Exchange Club. He was proud of being in charge of the popcorn stand and claimed to make the best popcorn ever! Jerry had many friends at the Senior Center where he enjoyed having dinner. Jerry also was interested in flying and had his pilot’s license. He and his friends flew around the country going to sports games for several years. Speaking of sports, Jerry loved to play softball, never missed a DWU game in the Corn Palace and was a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Twins.
Jerry served on the Board of Directors of the Springfield Assisted Living as the Vice President for many years. Jerry enjoyed traveling with his siblings, especially to Africa, London, Ireland, California and Branson, Mo.
Jerry was a kind, soft hearted man and will be missed by his 3 sisters, Carol Thorson of Viborg, SD, DiAnn (Norman) Schelske of Springfield, SD, Gloria (Lawrence) Benedict of Arroyo Grande, Ca and numerous nephews and nieces.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents; his beloved brothers, Vernon Bruning and wife Charlotte (Harper), Loren Bruning and wife Delores (Bennett); nephew, Perry Schelske; and brother-in-law, Roy Thorson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Dakota Wesleyan University Team Maker and Mitchell Exchange Club.