Gerald Bruner, 79, passed away peacefully on May 4, 2022 at the Peace Hospice House in Great Falls from Multiple Myeloma cancer. Visitation will be Sunday, May 15, from 6-8pm at Asper/Pondera Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be held Monday, May 16, at 11:00am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Gerald was raised on the Bruner Family Ranch at Dupuyer where he and his siblings learned to work, play and more importantly how to love their family and friends. Gerald graduated from Valier High School in 1962.
Gerald married his first love, Barbara Berland, in 1965. Together they raised two sons, Brad and Scott, on the Berland Family Farm east of Conrad which they purchased from Barb’s parents in 1982.
Gerald was a dedicated farmer and shared his love of farming, hunting, fishing, ‘horsing around’ and the ability to fix and/or build anything with his sons, Brad and Scott.
Gerald and his teams of horses are well known for their presence at the Christmas Stroll, Whoop Up Parades, countless weddings and funerals.
After losing his wife, Barb, to cancer Gerald had a second chance of love when he married Marla Slezak in June 2000. Over the last 21 years Gerald has continued to farm, design and build a self-propelled grain cart, train, sell and buy several horses, travel and spend time at the Berland Family Cabin on Swan Lake.
The highlights of every year for Gerald were seeding, harvest and packing in to hunting camp in the fall of the year. Over the last 20 years hunting camp was replaced with participation in the Montana Hope Project held at Essex in June. The day after spring seeding Gerald started preparing the horses and wagons for the weekend at Essex. His heart was filled with joy as the kids came running to see the horses and sit alongside of him and help hold the reins. Gerald has lovingly passed these reins on to his daughter-in-law Nancy.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Duane & Lizzie (Raty) Bruner; precious grandson, Garrett; wife, Barbara; sister, Linda Bruner Curtis; and brothers, Douglas Bruner and Rodney Bruner. He is survived by his wife, Marla; children, Brad (Nancy) and Scott (Heather); grandchildren, Allison (Ross) Bishop, Meghan Bruner, Gatlin Bruner and Bridger Bruner; step children, Nikki (Andy) Brummond and Gary (Jenn) Wagenseller; and grandchildren, Rachel, Eric & Laura Brummond and Joely and Tripp Wagenseller; sisters, Sharlin (Jack) Arnst, Dorothy (Earl) Perkins, Myrna (Vern) Monroe, Patricia (Joe) Lewis, and Alethea (Lyle) Woelich; sisters-in-law, Trudy Bruner, Debbie Bruner, Cora Lou (Ed) Remus and Donna (Randy) Smith; brothers-in-law, Don (Cyndi) Berland, Robert (Karen) Berland, David (Zerelda) Slezak, and Roger (Diane) Slezak; and sister-in-law, Sharon Slezak; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to Gerald’s favorite project The Montana Hope Project, PO Box 5927, Helena, MT 59604.