Published in The Oregonian on Jan. 1, 2013

Obituary of Darwin E. 'Pudge' Bruner

"Bruner, Darwin E. 'Pudge' 84 Nov. 11, 1928 Dec. 17, 2012 Pudge Bruner of Fairview passed away in his sleep surrounded by his family.

He was born in Yakima, Wash. to Clyde and Alice Bruner and moved to Goldendale as an infant. He had one brother, Duane, who died in 1963. At the young age of 16, Pudge met Fern Lewallen of Klickitat, Wash. They were married on Aug 8. 1948. Their son, Glen was born in 1950; daughter, Gaye was born in 1952 and their daughter, Melody was born in 1954.

Their early years together were spent in Goldendale where Pudge was a log truck driver and mill worker. After moving to Portland in the 1960s, Pudge became a long haul truck driver for Santry Trucking Co., earning their million-mile award for accident free driving. As Fern pursued her career in Accounting at Streimer Sheet Metal, they began acquiring rental properties as well as owning and managing several Residential Care Facilities in the Portland area. Pudge retired from truck driving in the late 1970s, when his focus moved to the care of their properties until Fern's retirement in the mid 1980s. They enjoyed many years of ocean fishing, boating on the Columbia River and many RV trips with family and friends.

In the 1990s, they discovered their love for the desert and built a home in Yuma, Ariz. They continued to spend winters there until Fern passed away in 2002. While time and health concerns slowed Pudge down over the past ten years, he continued to enjoy his dogs, country music, a little travel and his family and friends. He reconnected with close friends in Goldendale, Wash. where he spent a great deal of time these last few years. There is no way to sum up the life of this special man. There are too many wonderful memories of him to draw from. But his warm heart, sense of humor, love of a good time and that mischievous sparkle in his eye will forever be remembered and deeply missed.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Melody. He is survived by his son, Glen Bruner (Karen) of Corbett; daughter, Gaye Cameron (Jon) of Gresham; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. The family is planning a celebration of life on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m., at the Gresham Eagles, 132 NE Roberts Gresham, OR (21 and over).

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