Iris C. Brunner

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CROSS PLAINS–Iris C. Brunner, 92, of Cross Plains, died on Jan. 8, 2023, after a very brief illness, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on Nov. 9, 1930, in Blue River. She was the daughter of Harley and Alma (McKinney) Couey. She graduated from Blue River High School in 1948 and set off for the big city of Madison. On Mar. 27, 1951, she married her love, Gerald Brunner, from Cross Plains. Together they chose to make their home in Cross Plains where they owned Brunner’s Store, whose motto was “Pleasing you, Pleases us.” Those words were how she lived her life even after they sold the store in 1976.

In addition to helping run the store, Mom was busy raising eight children. When the kids were older, Mom worked several jobs including Lands’ End for all 17 years they had a call center in Cross Plains, retiring only when they closed in 2005.

Dad preceded her in death on Feb. 3, 1999, sharing nearly 48 loving years together. Her heart was broken but she continued living a life filled with family, friends and travel. Almost 24 years later, we are sure Dad was waiting for her with an open arm.

Mom was an amazing spouse, mother and friend whose home was welcoming to all.  She was an avid cheerleader and loved attending her kids and grandkids’ games and activities, going to Cross Plains Home Talent Baseball games and in her later years watching the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.

In addition to nurturing and caring for her kids and their families, she also gave back to her community. She was an active member of St. Francis Xavier Church including Christian Mothers and the Council of Catholic Women. She was a member of St. Francis Choir for 50 years. She also volunteered for many local organizations including The Golden Agers, The Silvertones, driving for RSVP and making Cancer Caps.

Anyone that knew Mom knows that she was an avid and competitive card player. She played in many card groups and was always up for a game of 500, Euchre, Solo and many other games. Even during Covid, she continued to play cards online and helped her younger friends figure out the technology so they could all play together. Her final euchre hand, the day before she passed, was a lone hand that she laid down with a knowing grin.

Her memory and legacy is carried on by eight children, Tim (Sally), Chery (Carl) Theis, Jeff, Deb (Stan) Gudel, Kevin (Kristal Gerbick), Mary (Chuck) Roessler, Doug (Paula) and Julie (Mike) Baldwin; grandchildren, Emily, Max, Theo, Lydia, Chris, Carter, Dana, Sara, Maggie, Tony, Abbie, Jessica, Jonah, Sienna and Ari; 13 great-grandchildren; brother and sister, Bernie Couey and Rosemary Jewell; in-laws, Joyce Couey, Bob Brunner, Corrine (Pat) Crowley, Kay (Mike) Crowley and Bev Brunner; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by Dad; her parents; infant son, Robert Jacob; daughter-in-law, Jenn Brunner; brothers, Benny, Gene (Eathel) and Armin; and in-laws, Carol Couey, Alberta Couey, Roger Jewell, and Babe and Gordie Brunner.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Francis Catholic Church, 2947 Thinnes St., Cross Plains, on Jan. 16, 2023, with Father Scott Jablonski. Burial was held at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Visitation was held at the church on Jan. 15, 2023, and also prior to the time of the Mass on Monday.

Our family would like to thank the staff at Merriter Hospital, especially the amazing nurses for their compassionate and loving care of Mom and us.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cross Plains Baseball, Northwest Dane Senior Services or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at

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