DAVISON — Gary Bruney will be remembered as many things – community servant, caring teacher and faithful church member – but to hundreds of Davison Community Schools alumni, he will simply always be known as “the King of the Cool Kids.”
Bruney, 75, passed away May 25 at Hurley Medical Center. He was a teacher at Davison Community Schools for more than 39 years where he was known by his students as ‘King of the Cool Kids.’
In his obituary, his family said he was passionate about seeing his students succeed, not just in school, but also in life. To many, he was known as a great encourager with a positive and upbeat personality.
The obituary also said he viewed his family as his biggest accomplishment and took great joy and pride in them.
Bruney was a member of numerous social clubs and service organizations, such as serving as the president of the Optimist Club.
Ann Kelley, a member of the Davison Optimist Club, fondly recalled Bruney as a dedicated member of the organization.
“Gary Bruney was a kind, caring Christian man who loved kids with all his heart,” she said. “He was a faithful Optimist member and he will be greatly missed.”
“Mr. Bruney was instrumental in raising thousands of dollars for Davison Schools through his leadership in the Davison Optimist Club,” said Matthew Smith, a member of the Davison Board of Education. “His passion and dedication for our School District ran deep and we are forever grateful. He will always be remembered in Cardinal Country.”
Bruney also belonged to the Davison Missionary Church and was involved in the church’s ministry for many years. He was the recipient of many awards and achievements and according to his obituary, leaves behind a legacy of servant hood, friendship and leadership.
He also leaves behind many former students who remember him for being supportive of them, their school careers and their future goals and aspirations.
“Our community lost a King today. Mr. Bruney was the King of the Cool Kids and his legacy will forever live on in Davison,” said John Tallieu II, a former student and coach with Davison schools. “I’ll never forget when he would run around the classroom and give everyone a ‘high five’ when the ‘hi-fi’ came on the television.”
Tallieu said Bruney cared about every one of his students, even more so after he retired.
“For me, it was always nice when he would make his simple comments that we all became accustomed to and kept up on my officiating career,” he said.
Sarah Beal, a 2011 graduate of Davison High School, said Bruney was a teacher, mentor and ‘bright light’ in class, as well as in the real world after his students graduated.
“He always had a smile on his face and kind words to share,” she said. “I can still see him running through the classroom when the words ‘hi-fi’ came on the TV, giving high fives until it disappeared from the screen and spinning the wheel to see who would read next or possibly get surprises with candy.”
Both Tallieu and Beal said they remember something Bruney used to say: “Never be a rude dude always a cool kid.”
Gary Bruney was born to Mars and Lucille Bruney on July 14, 1945 in Springfield, Ohio. He graduated from Shawnee High School in 1963. He then attended Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana where he met Bonnie Doelle: they both graduated from there in May of 1967 and were married on June 24, 1967.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Bonnie (Doelle) of Davison, MI; his three sons and daughters-in-law, Jon (Amy) Bruney of Fremont, IN, James (Sarah) Bruney of Howell, MI and Jeff (Amanda) Bruney of Petoskey, MI; his grandchildren, JoLynn (Trevor) Thomas, Jonna, Mya, Gavin, Isaac and Elijah. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mars and Lucy Bruney; brother, Glen “Rick” Bruney and grandparents.
A funeral service was held at Davison Missionary Church with burial following in Davison Cemetery.