Cover photo for Robert J. Brunner's Obituary
Robert J. Brunner Profile Photo

Robert J. Brunner

January 16, 1937 — April 2, 2022

ROBERT J. BRUNNER

Bob Brunner, 85, of Kingston, owner, operator, and principal buyer for Honest Bob’s Emporium has relocated as of April 2, 2022. After a lifetime of wheeling and dealing, he conducted his last transaction, under hospice, in the comfort of his own home and in the company of family and friends.

He was born on January 16, 1937 to William and Margaret (Sovey) Brunner and was the twin brother of Bernard and younger brother of William, Jr. Bob met his wife Aurelia Milagros “Mila” Nepomuceno while both were graduate students at the University of Detroit. He and Mila lived many places over the years, but they were easy to track because Bob left behind buildings wherever he went, usually pole-barns, but sometimes houses. Besides the buildings, in their forty-three years of marriage, the two collaborated on their most challenging projects – their children, Christine, Robert Jr., and Megan.

In his thirties, Bob owned and operated the Adair Bar, taught high-school chemistry and physics, and had a trash collection route. All at the same time. In his forties, in Houston, he eased back a little, only teaching at Cy-Fair High School, running a construction clean-up and landscape crew, building a woodworking and woodcarving business, and generally being the “Mayor of Jackrabbit Road.”

It was in Kingston that Bob found his true calling. He opened Honest Bob’s Emporium and became a Master of Re-placement: buying items at auctions for pennies on the dollar and then reselling them for nickels on the dollar. When you entered one of his barns, or as he called them “showrooms”, he would inevitably say, “I don’t know what you’re looking for, but do I have a deal for you”! He thought he was wrong once, but he was mistaken about that.

His larger-than-life stature was matched only by his generous spirit. He cared about others selflessly, making daily visits or phone calls to check in on friends. Willing to help anyone in any way he could, Bob was always the one with the know-how, the right tools, the brawn, and the time. He could fix almost anything. It has been said, “If it has an engine and at least two wheels, Bob can drive it.” Bob was raised Catholic, but that didn’t stop him from begetting “The Church of Monetary Repentance.”

His infectious laugh perfectly complimented his good-hearted, joking nature. He never met a stranger. He greeted everyone with a smile, and when asked, “Hey, Bob, how ya doing?” his reply was an unflagging, “Faan-tastic!”

Bob is survived by his children: Bobby (Trixie) Brunner of Santa Monica, CA; Megan (Steven) Kretzing of Carlisle, PA; his grandchildren: Scott Agnew, Jon Agnew, Andrew Kretzing, Charlotte Kretzing, Bree Kretzing, and David Kretzing; many beloved nieces and nephews; and his sweetheart of the last few years, Charlene Krueger. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, his wife Mila, his daughter Christine, and his special friend Arlene Lowe.

One of the Emporium’s customers once said, “He gave you a story behind every piece on display. It might not have been true, but it sure made you appreciate having it.” This is the story behind Bob.

Funeral service held 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022 in Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City with Deacon David Gillespie of Our Lady Consolata, St. Pancratius Catholic Church of Cass City officiating. Family and friends may share memories, prayers, and photos at www.kranzfuneralhome.com.

Visitation: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022 in Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City

Arrangements by
Kranz Funeral Home, Kingston
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, April 7, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm

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Kranz Funeral Home Cass City

6850 Main St
Cass City, MI 48726

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Starts at 7:00 pm

Add to Calendar

Kranz Funeral Home Cass City

6850 Main St
Cass City, MI 48726

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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