Obituaries

Richard Craig Brunton

February 28, 1951 - October 6, 2020

Richard "Dick" Craig Brunton, 69, of Batavia, IL passed away Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at his home in Batavia. He was born February 28, 1951, in Louisville, KY, the son of Robert and Dorothy Brunton (Reichenbach). Dick was united in marriage to his best friend, Bonnie Lynne Walker, on April 12, 1980, in Itasca, IL.

Dick is an alum of Lake Park High School's class of 1969, where he starred in football, wrestling, and chorus. He then earned a football scholarship to Illinois State University, where he became known to many as "Bear." After graduation, Dick planned to become a history teacher and high school coach; however, a chance interview with O. Alfred "Al" Granum landed him in a passionate career with Northwestern Mutual as a financial advisor. He remained with the company for the next 48 years, as it provided him the opportunity to connect with people during the good times and, most importantly, be there for them and help them smile through the tough times.

After moving to Batavia in 1986, he became active in his community in both formal and informal positions with Batavia public schools, sports, and churches. For a time, Dick was President of the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence, where he helped increase funding for scholarships given to Batavia students. For many years, Dick was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church, where he and Bonnie led church youth programs and helped teach confirmation classes. He was a coach of the many little league baseball and soccer teams his children played on, and could be seen (and heard) along the sidelines throughout their youth. Dick volunteered countless hours to the Batavia Bulldog Boosters, from grilling thousands of hot dogs and corn, to announcing varsity soccer games. He was there on the campouts and adventures with his kids while they were in scouting, drove endless miles to tournaments and practices, was in the front row for their performances, and could always be counted on to be there at any event his kids participated in. In his later years, when he wasn't spotted driving around town "just to say hi" to everyone, he could be seen visiting and photographing the wildlife at Fermilab and at various spots in the Fox Valley Tri-Cities.

He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie; his son, Craig (Sarah Ernzen); his daughter, Lauren (Brian Lang), and his son, Ian; one grandson, Henry Brunton; a brother Robert (Carol) Brunton; and many nieces and nephews, both real and "fake."

He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Dorothy.

Visitation to celebrate Dick's life and share the many memories and conversations will be held 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2020 at Moss Family Funeral Home, located at 209 South Batavia Ave., Batavia, IL 60510.

Dick will be laid to rest in West Batavia Cemetery where a private graveside service will be held.

"I think it's important to try and make people feel wanted or liked... you don't have to be friends, but it's another human being that, at that moment, may need someone to notice them. I want to be that person."

- Dick

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Living Well Cancer Resource Center, 442 Williamsburg Ave, Geneva, IL 60134, www.livingwellcrc.org or Batavia Foundation of Educational Excellence P.O. Box 1003 Batavia, IL 60510 or www.bataviafoundation.org or The Navy SEAL Foundation, 1619 D Street, Virginia Beach,  VA 23459, www.navysealfoundation.org

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions of occupancy, the visitation will be limited. All visitors entering the funeral home are required to wear a face covering.  Be prepared to wait outside if occupancy becomes and issue. Due to the number of people who would like to pay their respects, we ask that you make your visitation a brief one so that all who would like to attend will have a chance to do so. Once you have exited the funeral home, we ask you to depart immediately so there are no gatherings outside of our facility.  The family appreciates your sincere cooperation during these very challenging and difficult times.  For additional clarification, please contact the funeral home or family directly.

Guest Book

  • Brent Mainzinger Dick was a gift to Batavia. He was the best baseball coach my son David ever had. Dick instilled confidence in David at a time when he really needed it. He combined humor with caring in a way that is very rare. Rest in peace, Dick.
  • The Cwiklinski/LaGrassa Family Dear Brunton Family, Dick was always so kind to our family, especially our mom after our dad died. He lived up to his mission of being the person who helped another human being be seen and noticed. God speed, Dick.
  • Jody and Jim Hungerford Dear Brunton family, we are so very sorry for your loss. Dick was a guy who lived life to the fullest each and every day, spreading joy (and a bit of mischief) whenever he went. The community lost a very special person but those who knew him personally will always have him in our hearts. We lost a gentle giant and Heaven gained a bear - an ambassador, party guy, smooth dancer 😉, and photographer, and when we join him . . he’s going to be waiting for us with open arms! Lots of love, Jim + Jody
  • Barbara and David Plews The spirit of God was surely in Dick’s heart. Remembering his kind smile and pleasant disposition. Sympathy to you Bonnie and your beautiful Family. May God hold all of you in his arms in the days ahead.
  • Kurt and Linda Cowan Dick was one of the finest people we've had the privilege to know. Fun to be around and always interested in how our family was doing. We started at Northwestern Mutual about the same time and in fact shared an office for a few years. Some of my fondest NML memories are of those times. Our prayers to the Brunton family.
  • Doug & Kathy Collins I have wonderful MEMORIES of our times together at ISU.. Sending God’s Grace.. His Strength and Comfort at this time of Mourning... “BEAR “ LIVED life to the Fullest and Adored his family... RIP my Friend.... Doug💜🙏🏻
  • Ted Sangalis Rest easy Dick. You made a difference in my life.
  • Bruce and Diane Retterer Bonnie and Family, we are so sorry for your loss. We have nothing but good memories of our shared time with Dick at many of the kids shared activities. We will miss him. Bruce, Diane, Rich, Rob, Cheryl. Rest in peace Dick.
  • Howard and Sandy Miller Our hearts are with you, Bonnie, Craig, Lauren, and Ian. Dick was a bright light in our community for so many years. We will miss his goodness, his humor, and delight in the world. Rest in peace, dear neighbor and friend.
  • Howard and Lorna Titlebaum Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
  • Dan Upstrom Bonnie and family, so sorry for your loss. Dick and I went way back to LPHS and of course ISU where we lived on the same floor in Wilkins Hall. We got to be great friends and experienced so much during our school years and times after. After hearing of Dick's passing I thought back of all the fun we had and smiled, laughed and cried at the same time. He will certainly be missed by me and I am sure he will be missed by everyone's life he touched over his too short time here. Sincerely, Dan and Ann Upstrom
  • Michael Brady Dick and his wonderful family were our neighbors when we lived in Batavia. Our boys served as baby their baby sitters in a pinch. Dick almost never drove by, as we walked our dog, without pulling over for a brief chat. A wonderful man, indeed.
  • Mike Stiers Dick was a solid supporter of Batavia Schools and accomplished good things for our school children thru BFEE. You all can feel very proud of him. My sympathies to Bonnie, Craig, Lauren and family.
  • Marianne and Bates Noble We are enormously saddened to learn of Dick’s passing. It has always been a highlight of any family event to sit and talk with Dick. He had great stories and was a marvelous raconteur. His fund of knowledge was exceptional, ranging from politics to the wildlife at Fermilab. His nickname may have been “Bear” but it might as well have been “Gentle Ben”. Nothing delighted him more than his family, especially his three wonderful children. In later years, he had several significant health challenges, which he faced with admirable inner strength and determination to return to an active life. When Bates had the same cancer as he did, Dick was a great source of information, help and encouragement. We will be eternally grateful for his wise counsel and positive vibes. Our deepest condolences to Bonnie, Craig, Lauren and Ian. Our hearts are heavy for your loss. Marianne and Bates Noble
  • Marcy Novak We remember Dick from lots of BHS events....so thankful our Batavia years included knowing the Brunton family. Our hearts break for you. We pray God sends comfort and strength to help you get through the days/weeks/months ahead. Find peace in the promise of eternal life. Love, Tom and Marcy( Novak)
  • Julie Wiley So sad to learn this heartbreaking news. Dick was Ryan’s baseball coach the summer after kindergarten. We enjoyed his humor and will miss hearing from Dick on Facebook, and seeing him around town. Thinking of all of you at this time. Gone too soon. The Wiley Family (Julie, Kevin, Ryan and Tim)
  • Craig Spiers Dick "Bear" - We first met as freshmen student/athletes, Fall of 1969 at Illinois State University. Dick - you became then, and remain forever, my loving and loyal friend; friend to wife, Jacquie, and to our two children. Dick - throughout some 51 years, you have brought us laughter and happiness; helping us to appreciate and be thankful for life. Dick - we are blessed to have you as our friend, and take comfort in knowing that Jacquie and I are here for Bonnie and the children. Love you forever, Craig & Jscquie Spiers
  • Barbara Dickenson Please accept my extreme Sympathy. I got to know Dick when i had Craig in my third grade class. He was kind, caring, and fun. My favorite “parent”!
  • Barbara Dickenson please accept my extreme sympathy. I got to know Mr. Brunton when I had Craig in my third grade class. He was always one of my favorite “parents”. Batavia has lost a very kind and caring man. May your many memories help you through this difficult time.
  • Karol and John Clark Dick will always hold a special place in our hearts, having been part of the Clark family even before we became the Clark family. We valued his steady friendship, his enthusiastic concern for others, his uplifting sense of humor. We all felt his love and are thankful to have shared in his generous spirit. Sending hugs to Bonnie, Craig, Lauren, and Ian.
  • Amy and Jim Winslow Please know that we are saddened by this news and have cherished our conversations with him over the years through soccer and business. I will miss his humorous comments, nature pictures and recent grandson pictures on FB. We will miss him.
  • Kirsten Anderson Brunton Family, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I remember Mr. Brunton (as I would call him) as the "this is your last pitch, Kirsten" coach. After he had pitched the ball to me a million times he would finally say that quote, and I would miraculously hit the ball. The baseball that he gave me with that saying on it still sits on the dresser in my room. Your father was so nice and had such a great sense of humor. He will be missed. Rest easy Mr. Brunton.
  • Pat & Joe O’Meara Bonnie, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Dick was so loving and caring and will be terribly missed. Facebook won’t be the same without his funny quips on how he saw life. God bless all of you during this hard time.