- Category: Obituaries
Keith Royal Brunson
Jan. 13, 1951 ~ Jan. 9, 2017
On January 9, 2017, four days before his 66th birthday, Keith passed away from a tragic accident in his home.
He was born Jan. 13, 1951 in Fillmore, UT, to Rulon Alma and RuJean Rogers Brunson. They had the Millard Florist shop there for five years. The family moved to Salt Lake City which was Keith’s home base for many years. He lived off and on in Fillmore and attended Granite High School and Utah Technical College in Provo, UT.
Keith never married. He joked that all of his friends were married, some of them three times. He was President of the Fillmore Water Users Association for many years, a job that gave him a lot of pride and satisfaction. Keith was very precocious as a youngster. He was always creating and trying new things. When he was 12, he set up electrical wiring from the house to the garage. He built an elaborate tree house in the elm tree in our backyard. We set up a big tent in the yard and for three days we had all of the kids in the neighborhood camping out and working on the tree house. It was repeated the next year and they built a roof over it, and put finishing touches on it. Keith was the designer and engineer. The lumber was scrap from Forsey Furniture packing crates.
Keith joined the Operating Engineers Local 3, and completed his apprenticeship as a Journeyman Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic and Operator. He was an exceptional crane operator and was the crane operator on the Huntington Power Plant, the Bonanza Power Plant and the Power Plant at Delta. He worked on the Vat Tunnel Project at Currant Creek (Central Utah Water Project) maintaining all of the equipment including the giant rock borer and the main train.
Keith was a gifted musician who played the mandolin, piano and sometimes picked up RuJean’s accordion. He was an accomplished guitar player, playing classical guitar and all other styles. He had to give it up when he developed acute arthritis, which also put an end to his work as an operating engineer.
Keith moved into the Brunson family home in Fillmore– later his father, Rulon Brunson, lived with him until his (Rulon’s) death. They both had many medical problems and provided support for one another. Keith had insulin dependent diabetes for 25 years and was in the latter stages of kidney disease.
Keith was always trying and learning new skills. He took lapidary classes at Craft House with his mom and learned to cut and polish gem stones. He became a Silversmith and created many jewelry pieces. He learned leather working. At the time of his passing, he was learning flint-knapping, making arrowheads. He could create anything with metal and welding rod.
He loved the west desert country riding motor bikes, Easter outings with his cousins and their kids at White Mountain, and doing assessment work on the Roger’s lead mine in the Cricket Mountains with his grandpa Noah and his Uncle Jay Rogers.
Keith acquired a camper and he and his mom, RuJean and Aunt Daisy Lee took a trip together every year. “We had wonderful times going to Yellowstone, Goblin Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce’s, and the San Rafael Swell, stopping wherever our fancies took us and camping wherever we could find a spot. Great times!” Keith was too sick to go this year.
He valued his special friends in the Asian community. They were family to him. He helped them with many problems and they helped him in return.
Keith was preceded in death by his father, Rulon A. Brunson, grandparents, Noah and Daisy Rogers, his cousins Teresa Colledge Hardy, Lauralee Colledge, and Linda Colledge Larsen. He is survived by his mother, RuJean Rogers Brunson, his brothers James (Connie) Brunson, and Leslie Brunson; special “adopted” brothers, Russell Goodrich, and Steve Horstmanshoff, his older sister Anne Souza (James) Bigelow in Milton, Fl; cousins Ralph (Anita) Colledge, Marilynn Colledge (Byron) Morill, Cecilia Colledge, Mikayla (Mike) Colledge Smith, Douglas Sly, Arleen Reese, and Leland Brunson. Keith’s Uncle Jay T. Rogers and Aunt Daisy Lee Rogers Colledge held a very close place in his heart and in all he did. Their lives were closely entwined.
Keith has been cremated. The family will hold a memorial party in Fillmore about the first of June, and you will be notified. See you all then.