Carol Ann Brunssen
Carol Ann Brunssen was called home to the place that Jesus prepared for her on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at Phillips Funeral Home Chapel, 212 E Sixth St., in Vinton.
Carol was born Jan. 31, 1946, in Marengo, Iowa, the daughter of Gilbert and Norma (Shultz) Wardenburg. The second oldest of three children, she and her siblings grew up on the family farm south of Blairstown.
She graduated from Blairstown High School in 1964 and after graduation went to work at Square D in Cedar Rapids. One evening, on her way home from work at Square D, she met a young man who had recently come back from service. They began dating and on Nov. 25, 1967, she married Jerald (Butch) Brunssen, with whom she shared over 52 years of marriage.
Shortly after Butch and Carol married, Carol quit her job at Square D and focused her attention on raising her family. They first made a home in Elberon, Iowa, but after a few years there, she and her family moved to the family farm where she grew up just two miles south of Blairstown. While living on the farm in Blairstown, Carol took great pride in her very large garden that was always planted with many different vegetables. She would spend hours growing and tending to the garden and then harvesting, canning and freezing vegetables and making tomato juice that would be the ingredients for the many great meals that she enjoyed cooking for her family. For Carol, her cooking was a labor of love and there was never a person that sat at her table and enjoyed a meal that did not leave with a full belly and a smile on their face.
As her family got older, Carol went back to work. Of course, she would choose a job that was in line with what she enjoyed and that was as a cook and waitress at a local cafe. After working there for a few years making and serving many delicious meals for the community in where she lived, she decided to work at Middle America restaurant along I-80 in Williamsburg. She really enjoyed working there and said that she liked the fact that she could meet so many interesting people and serve them. Showing them just a little bit of Iowa hospitality before they continued on their journey.
Carol was a member of Grace Lutheran Church where faith was a strong cornerstone of her life. She shared her faith with her family and friends and lived it every day. Her faith always shined through by the way that she treated every person she met with grace and love.
After many years of living in Blairstown, Carol and Butch moved to the Van Horne/Keystone area where they farmed for several years and finished raising their family before finally retiring and moving to Vinton in 2006.
With her family raised and her and her husband retired, she and Butch traveled some. Mostly to Texas to visit their son Vince and to escape the early cold of an Iowa winter. Once back home and the chill of an Iowa winter had set in, Carol would always turn her attention to college basketball. She loved cooking and doting on her family, but when Iowa State, Iowa, or UNI basketball games were on TV the dinner schedule would often be adjusted or pizza would just have to be ordered because nothing was going to get in the way of her watching a basketball game. Many times she would share her displeasure with the coaching of a game and would "coach" from the comfort of her recliner. Many times she would tell her family that if it wasn't for her coaching they would not have pulled out the close games and brought home the win.
Carol also enjoyed spoiling her five grandchildren as every grandmother does. There were many special meals cooked, sundaes made, cookies baked, and other favorites that each grandchild enjoyed because their grandmother made it with love.
Carol leaves behind a legacy in the people that she loved, her husband of over 52 years, Jerald (Butch) Brunssen (Vinton); two sons, Vince (Kim) Brunssen (Round Rock, Texas) and Matt Brunssen (Vinton); five grandchildren, Jessica Brunssen and Jonathan Brunssen (Round Rock, Texas), Alesha Brunssen, Nicole Brunssen, and Kassidi Brunssen (Garrison); a sister, Colleen (David) Eckhart (North English); and many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by an infant son, Brian Brunssen; and her brother, Harold Wardenburg.
Online Condolences can be left at www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com.