We are sad to announce that Cmdr. Wright Brunson Jr. passed away on Jan. 11. Wright was the first alumnus of both JCC and of the former New York Community College System, having earned his associate's degree here in June 1951. Below is a reprint of his obituary. An online guestbook is available here. We'd like to express our pride at his long and proud history of service to our country. Our condolences to his family.


Cmdr. Wright A. Brunson, Jr.

Wright A. Brunson Jr., '51Commander Wright Abel Brunson Jr., Ret. U.S. Navy of Hobe Sound, Fla., passed away Jan. 11, 2016.

Commander Brunson was born in Watertown, N.Y., on June 25, 1931. He was the son of the late Dr. Wright A. Brunson Sr., and the late Floss Reed Brunson.

He graduated from Falconer High School class of 1949, and attended Jamestown Community College. He was the very first graduate of Jamestown Community College, and the very first graduate of the New York Community College System receiving his associate degree in June 1951. In November 1951, he entered the U.S. Navy's Naval Aviation Cadet Program. He was awarded his naval wings of gold and was commissioned an ensign in May 1953. Commander Brunson received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., in February 1965 and an Masters of Science degree in systems management for the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., in 1970.

Commander Brunson's Naval career spanned 26 years and included the Korean and Vietnam wars. His many U.S. assignments included aircraft carrier- based and land-based aviation squadrons involved in antisubmarine warfare flight operations, flight instructor (NAAS Whiting Field), assistant navigator aboard the USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39), patrol plane commander with Patrol Squadron Twenty Three (VP-23), current operation office with Fleet Air Wing Six, operations and briefing officer assigned to the National Military Command Center, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Commanding Officer of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Dallas, Texas.

Upon his retirement for the U.S Navy in June 1975, he was employed by a number of aerospace firms. His 21-year civilian career ended in October 1996 when he retired from his regional manager's position with Lear Astronics Corp. of Santa Monica, Calif.

Commander Brunson with his wife, the late Nancy Harkins Brunson, co-authored the book, Grieve Not for Wrightsie, that chronicled the family experiences during the 11 month terminal illness of their 8 year old son, Wright III. In July 1978, the manuscript was published by Logos International, Plainfield, N.Y.

Commander Brunson is survived by his wife, Phylis Burke Harrison of Hobe Sound, Fla., (formerly of Mayville, N.Y.); his daughter, Elizabeth M. Brunson of New York City; stepdaughters: Beth Anne Renswick of Ashland, Va., Marcia H. Trantas of Baltimore, Md., and Tucson, Ariz., Julie H. Manley LaTulipe of Guilderland, N.Y., and Christine Harrison of Springfield, N.J.; and his granddaughter, Sarah LaTulipe of Guilderland, N.Y.

Commander Brunson was predeceased in death by his son, Wright III, in September 1972; by his wife, Nancy Harkins Brunson of Danbury, Conn., and Arlington, Texas, in May 1994; and by his wife, Joyce Sullivan-Brunson of Danbury, Conn., and Sun City Hilton Head, S.C., in June 2005. He was also predeceased in death by his sister, Patricia Brunson Sampsell of Sinclairville, N.Y., and Ponce Inlet, Fla.; his twin sister, Nancy Brunson Price of Fluvanna, N.Y.; and sister, Janet Brunson Bloomquist of the Falconer-Kennedy Road, N.Y.

A traditional Anglican burial service will be conducted during the Summer of 2016 at Fort Meyers Chapel in Arlington, Va., and inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Local arrangements are entrusted to Aycock-Young and Prill Chapel in Stuart, Fla.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 12:53pm
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