Robert Steven Bruner, 75 years, of Bethany, Missouri, passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at St. Luke’s Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri. Steve was born in Big Spring, Texas, on September 23, 1943, to Robert and Betty (Taggart) Bruner.
He spent his first two years in post-war Germany with his mother and father, as his dad was an Army/Air Corps band director. His early years were spent in Bethany, as his dad was the music teacher in the Bethany School District. The family moved to Indianola, Iowa, in 1952 where Steve graduated from high school in 1961. The day after his graduation he flew to Lackland AFB for his basic training. After graduating from basic, he served in the SAC Band at Offutt AFB for 18 months. This is where he met his future wife, Ginger Plambeck. They were united in marriage on December 13, 1962. He was then stationed at West Ruislip in London, England, as a musician. Their first son (Bob) was born in the military hospital on the base. He then was stationed at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio for a short period of time prior to his discharge in 1965.
The family moved to Maryville, Missouri, where he attended Northwest Missouri State University. He held part-time jobs and was a professional musician during his time in college. He graduated in 1969 from college and started his teaching career in Bethany as the band director. He earned his Master’s Degree in secondary administration from NWMSU during his time in Bethany. The other two children were born in 1969 (Bryan) and 1971 (Brad). In 1973, the family moved to Spalding, Nebraska, where he served as the K-12 Principal and he also started a combined instrumental music program with the Catholic School in the community. He spent summers attending Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, where he was in the first graduating class earning the Specialist Degree in the Suprintendency.
In 1975, the family moved to Guide Rock, Nebraska, for his first job as Superintendent of Schools. After a three year stay, the family moved back to Missouri to assume the Superintendent’s position in the Worth County RIII Schools in Grant City, Missouri. After a seven year stay, the family moved to Tarkio, Missouri, in 1985 where Steve served as Superintendent of Schools. Their stay in Tarkio lasted twelve years, until 1997, when Steve retired from the Missouri Public School Systems.
Not wanting to fully quit education, the family moved to Bennington, Nebraska, where he served as Superintendent of Schools for the next seven years. He retired from that position in June of 2004. Following retirement, he served as an interim superintendent in Pattonsburg, Missouri, for most of the 2004-2005 school year and then returned to Tarkio, Missouri, to serve as an interim superintendent during the 2005-2006 school year. He ended up spending thirty-seven years in the field of education.
He published and sold a software program for Missouri school budgeting to many schools in Missouri. He received the Outstanding Young Educator’s Award while in Bethany in 1973. He was a life member of MASA (MO Association of School Administrators); Nebraska Administrator’s Association; and AASA (American Association of School Administrators). He was a paid-up-for-life member of Post 20 of the American Legion in Fremont, Nebraska.
He loved working with kids. During his years as an active administrator, he also was a registered track official with the Missouri State High School Activities Association. He did this for 39 years and worked every spring being a starter/referee for high school meets both at the local level and the MSHSAA state competitions. Even though he retired from education, he continued with his track official’s work.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ginger; and his parents, Robert and Betty Bruner. He is survived by three sons, Robert (Shawn), Bryan (Cheryl), and Brad. He is also survived by two sisters, Linda (Lee) and Kathy (Andy). He has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a private service at a later date at Memorial Cemetery in Fremont with military honors. Should anyone desire, donations can be made to your local hospice organization in memory of Robert S. Bruner. Online condolences may be left at www.mosermemorialchapels.com.