TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Richard Valentine Brunner

May 30, 1922 - January 1, 2024

The world mourns the loss of Richard V. Brunner, DDS, "Doc", a compassionate dentist, devoted family man, and distinguished member of his community. After a life well-lived, Richard peacefully passed away on January 1, 2024, in his hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio, at the age of 101.

Born on May 30, 1922, in Portsmouth, to Oscar and Emma (Nee Roth) Brunner, Doc embarked on a remarkable journey, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. His spirit of determination and service was evident from a young age, graduating from Portsmouth High School in 1940 and later attending The Ohio State University's prestigious band, where he showcased his musical talent through his adept trumpet playing. Marrying the love of his life, on January 25, 1946, Betty Jean (Nee Barry) Brunner whom they shared Fifty wonderful years together.

Doc's commitment to Army ROTC program then, the Navy in 1945, then commission to the Marine Corps, where he valiantly served his country until 1955. Following his military service, Richard was hired by Williams MFG. Co. to develop an in-house dental clinic for employees, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to improving the health and well-being of others.

Driven by his passion for dentistry, Doc proceeded to open his private practice in 1959, providing compassionate care to his patients for over three decades until his well-earned retirement on June 30, 1995. His commitment extended beyond his practice, as Richard accepted an appointment to the State Board of Health by Governor James Rhodes in 1963, selflessly serving on the public health council for seven years.

Doc's exceptional contributions to his profession did not go unnoticed, as he was elected a fellow of the prestigious American College of Dentists in 1963. Additionally, he was a member of the Pierre Fuschard Academy and proudly maintained a lifelong membership with the American Dental Association. Doc's dedication to his community was evident through his active involvement in various organizations, including serving as a delegate to the Ohio Dental Association and the American Dental Association. He was also highly regarded for his perfect attendance record and passionate involvement with the Rotary Club. Doc chaired the Polio Plus Project, making a significant impact in eradicating the disease.

Outside of his professional achievements, Doc lived life to the fullest. He possessed a love for travel, creating cherished memories through extensive family vacations and visits to loved ones. Whether it was enjoying the thrill of Coney Island, exploring the wonders of the zoo, or basking in the sun in Florida, Doc found joy in experiencing new adventures and cherished every moment spent with his beloved family at their spot by the river.

Doc's musical talents also contributed to his vibrant life. He was a dedicated trumpet player for the TBDBITL and Portsmouth Community Orchestra, sharing his passion for music and bringing joy to those fortunate enough to hear him play. Within his spiritual community at the Evangelical United Church of Christ, Doc served as a deacon, trustee, and was an integral part of the pulpit committee. He held the distinguished honor of being the sole male member of the choir, using his resounding voice to uplift the congregation.

Doc's legacy of love, kindness, and unwavering commitment to service will forever remain in the hearts of his cherished family. He leaves behind his loving daughter, Marsha Diane (nee: Brunner) Yarbrough, of Portsmouth, who continue his legacy of compassion and integrity. Richard was also blessed with two granddaughters, Dawn Michelle Yarbrough of Florida and Davina Kay Yarbrough of Oregon, who will carry his spirit of kindness and generosity forward. He also treasured the kinship of his cousin John (Cindy) Brunner of Stockdale, Ohio and (Debbie) Brunner of Missouri.

Doc was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Emma (Nee Roth) Brunner, devoted wife of fifty years, Betty (Nee Barry) Brunner and his loving daughter Marybe Wainwright (nee: Brunner) Enterline and son in law Tim Enterline.

Graveside service with Military Honors will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery on Wednesday January 24, 2024 at 1:00 PM. American Legion Post #23 and Reverend Ralph Clay officiating.

Celebration of life gathering immediately following at Hillview Retirement Center, Forest Room, 1610 28th Street, Portsmouth. Sandwiches and light refreshments will be served.

Family and friends will gather to reflect on his achievements, share cherished memories, and offer comfort to one another during this difficult time of loss. Doc's love, wisdom, and unwavering spirit will continue to inspire all who were fortunate enough to know him.

Doc's legacy of compassion, dedication, and unwavering love will remain with us always. May his gentle soul rest in eternal peace.

Dick was a member of the marching band in 1940 and 1941. He played Eb Trumpet.