Cover photo for Robert E. Bruening's Obituary
Robert E. Bruening Profile Photo

Robert E. Bruening

September 19, 1930 — September 16, 2023

Robert E. Bruening


Robert “Bob” Ernst Bruening, age 92, was born September 19, 1930 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  He died on September 16, 2023, three days prior to his 93rd birthday, after a short illness.  Most recently, he has been a resident at Generations at Neighbors in Byron, Illinois for 6 ½ years.  Prior to that, he lived in Milwaukee for about 50 years. 

Bob grew up in Milwaukee, graduating from Lutheran High School in 1948.  He then went to Concordia Teacher’s College in River Forest Illinois, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. 

Bob served as a teacher, church organist, music and choir director at 3 different congregations throughout his career.  While first serving at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia Missouri, he met Dorothy Borgelt who was a member of his adult choir.   They were married on May 29, 1954.   Bob later served at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saginaw Michigan, and Our Father’s Lutheran Church in Greenfield Wisconsin.  In the classroom, he taught 5th & 6th grades.  He also taught his students to sing and enjoy music as part of their daily life.   As an organist, he often added the musical sparkle of a descant with the last verse of a hymn.  And when it came to directing his 3 choirs ...  a children’s choir, his male chorus, and the adult choir ... Bob was always preparing music for an upcoming worship service.  Bob often combined his 3 choirs for a special service occasion.    He really loved and enjoyed directing a large choral ensemble!   After retiring from teaching, he worked many years as a Masonry Laborer for H.C. Breest Construction Company in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  And then on Sundays, he continued as organist for several inner-city Milwaukee churches.  He also regularly ministered to inner city youth, encouraging them to sing in one of his choirs. 

Bob has been one of the most passionate and loyal Packer fans over the course of his life.  He was also a long-time supporter of the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers, along with his Wisconsin Badgers.  And if he felt it was needed, he was the type of fan that would easily pick up his pen and author a letter or two, addressed to the coaching staff, offering his advice on how to improve the performance of his favorite teams.  He was also an avid back yard gardener, taking great pride in the volume of produce at the end of the growing season.  He loved the outdoors, doing anything that would offer an opportunity to soak up some sunshine.  He especially enjoyed swimming.  And as long as he was able, he would continue to pursue the very best choirs in the Milwaukee area ... either attending concerts, or singing in his favorite chorus or barbershop group. 

Bob was a wonderful father, grandfather, and friend.  His dedication and love for the Lord was a guiding priority each day.  He so often expressed his abundant gratitude for how richly blessed his entire life has been.  As a family, we are so thankful for his presence in our lives.  He has been an inspiration for all of us. 

Bob was predeceased by his parents Martin E. and Anita (Kuechle) Bruening; his wife of over 40 years Dorothy (Borgelt) Bruening; and brother Thomas Bruening.  He is survived by 4 daughters: Miriam Bruening (Tim Smith) of Oregon, IL; Kathryn Bruening (Roger Gonnering) of Schaumburg, IL; Elizabeth Bruening of Peoria, IL; and Lorraine (Scott) Ibe of Peoria, IL; 8 grandchildren: Marni Gonnering, Ann Gonnering, Kayla Weinzimmer, Zachary Weinzimmer, Nicole Weinzimmer, Roxanne Ibe, Vince Ibe and Trisha Ibe; and sister Barbara (Bruening) Unger, of Lindenhurst, IL.  Memorial service will be held at 12:00 noon on Monday, October 2, 2023 at the United Church of Byron at 701 W. 2nd Street, Byron, IL with the Reverend Ron Miller of Peoria, IL officiating and Scott Ibe of Peoria, IL as organist.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Generations at Neighbors in Byron, IL or to an organization of the donor’s choice.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”   Matthew 6:33

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, October 2, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

United Church of Byron

701 W 2nd St, Byron, IL 61010

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