Mr. James Frederick “Honest Jim” Brunner, age 86, passed away at the Novant Huntersville Medical Center on Monday, Sept. 14, after a sudden illness.
Born June 6, 1929 in Bronx, N.Y. to Frederick George and Kathleen Marie (Hand) Brunner, Jim attended Cardinal Hayes High School in NYC, Saunders Technical School in Yonkers, N.Y., and proudly served four years in the United States Air Force in Okinawa, Japan during the Korean War.
Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years, Betty Jane “the Card Lady” (Williams), and brothers, Charles Francis and Frederick Joseph. Survivors include son, James (Jim) and wife, Diane, granddaughters, Ashley and Emily all of Rumson; son, John and wife, Melinda, grandsons, Kyle and Connor, all of Charlotte, N.C.; sisters-in-law, Peggy (O’Brien) Brunner and Gae (Egan) Brunner and many nieces and nephews.
Jim and Betty Jane were married Aug. 9, 1956 in Riverdale, N.Y. and later settled in Colts Neck. During his successful career Jim was an accomplished carpenter, master cabinet maker, respected custom home builder and residential real estate developer.
After their retirement in 1984, Jim and Betty Jane moved to Sanibel Island, Florida, where he remained active in residential construction and renovation while Betty Jane continued her love of teaching as a teacher’s assistant. In 1998, Jim and Betty Jane moved to Charlotte, N.C. to be closer to family.
Jim will be remembered as a talented craftsman with rare abilities to fix just about anything, for his unique life-like and interpretive wood carvings of birds and for his built-from-scratch motorized scale carousels. He will be especially remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather (“Pop Pop”) to those that knew him best.
Interment will be privately held at the National Cemetery of Salisbury, N.C. A memorial to celebrate the life of “Honest Jim” will be held at a later date.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Novant Huntersville for their selfless and attentive care during this difficult time. Special thanks go to Dr. Amin, Sharon, Donna and Brett for their compassion and selfless care.
In honor of both Jim and Betty Jane, memorial contributions are welcome and can be made to the Levine & Dickson Hospice House, Huntersville, North Carolina. Robertson Funeral & Cremation Service is serving the family, www.throbertson.com.
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