Katherine Marie Brunner

December 4, 1930August 4, 2018
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Katherine Marie Brunner, age 87, of Tucson, Arizona passed away on Saturday August 4, 2018. Katherine was born December 4, 1930 in Norton County, Kansas. Katherine is survived by her husband of 68 years, Curtis Brunner, her daughters Linda (Brunner) Nolin and Lou Ann (Brunner) & Marlin Schrock, her grandchildren, Ann Marie (Nolin) Gaston, Benjamin & Monica (Spence) Schrock, Christopher & Julie (Martinez) Schrock, Joseph & Mallory (Fulton) Schrock, Emilie (Schrock) & Logan Hoffman, and her great-grandchildren, Madison Gaston, Alexander Schrock, Haley Schrock, Grant Schrock, Holly Schrock, Moses Schrock, Kati Schrock, Hazel Schrock, Ana Schrock, Quince Schrock, Daylen Schrock, Ari Schrock, June Schrock, and Rosemary Hoffman.

She is also survived by two sisters, Mavis Ohlson and Imogene Davison, and a brother, Loren Railsback as well as many nieces and nephews.

A visitation for Katherine will be held Friday, August 10, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at East Lawn Palms Mortuary, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. A funeral service will occur Friday, August 10, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. A committal service will occur Friday, August 10, 2018 from 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. A reception will occur Friday, August 10, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. A burial will occur at EAST LAWN PALMS CEMETERY, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, Arizona 85712.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Brunner family.


  • Visitation Friday, August 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, August 10, 2018
  • Committal Service Friday, August 10, 2018
  • Reception Friday, August 10, 2018

Katherine Marie Brunner

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Graduation Photo - Lebanon, Nebraska


This is the youngest picture I have ever seen of my mother. She looks like she is probably 4 or 5.


Railsback Family Picture 1941
Front Row starting with John Lloyd Railsback, Leona Celestia Railsback is holding Verlyn, Mavis, Dee. Second Row: Donald, Dort, Maxine, Merl, Ila, Loren held by Imogene, and Kate.


Maxine holding Loren,Dee, Mavis, and Katherine

This is one of the photos that survived the farm fire.


Railsback Family Circa 1941
Ila, Imogene, Leona holding Verlyn, John Lloyd, Kate, Merl in Back, Donald in front, Dort in back, Dee in front, Mavis in back, Loren in front, Maxine.


Railsback Family Circa 1942

Back Row:Mavis, Maxine, Dorothy, Ila, Merl, Leona holding Verlyn, John Lloyd
Front Row: Dee, Kate, Imogene, Donald


Kate and Loren sitting on the car. Dee standing looking at Mavis on Maxine's back.


Maxine and Kate in front of the motor court.


Kate, Maxine, and Friend


Katherine Marie Railsback was born on a farm in Norton County, Kansas to John Lloyd Railsback and Leona Celestia (Palmer) Railsback on December 4, 1930. She was the 9th child to be born, and the youngest daughter out of 13 children. She was raised on a farm, but moved to town after graduating from Lebanon High School.

After High School, she moved to Ogallala and worked for GoodAll Industries. She met Curtis Brunner at a dance, and on January 5, 1950, they married. Due to the Korean War, Curtis decided to enlist in the Air Force. This began their life on Air Bases both here and abroad.

Their first daughter, Linda Kay, was born on April 30, 1953 while stationed at Witchita Falls, Texas. Soon after, Katherine was diagnosed with a brain tumor in her cerebellum. This was removed by surgery in Denver at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital. Because the cerebellum regulates motor functions, she had to learn to walk and talk all over again. The doctors told her that she should not have any more children because it would be too hard on her body after such a serious surgery. Remember, this was 1954, and brain surgery was not what it is today.

Despite the doctor’s warnings, she gave birth to a second daughter, Lou Ann, on November 20, 1956 in Altus, Oklahoma. They also told her due to the radiation treatments, she might not have hair on her head again as they had shaved it completely off for surgery. However, they were wrong about that too.

The following are the places they lived before settling in Tucson:

1950-1952 Ogallala, Nebraska
1953-1954 Wichita Falls AFB, Texas
1955-1956 Altus AFB, Oklahoma
1957-1959 Anderson AFB, GUAM
1959-1962 Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona
1962-1964 Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
1964-1966 Goose Bay AFB, Labrador
1967-1968 Columbus AFB, Mississippi
1968-1970 Anderson AFB, GUAM
1970-1971 Westover AFB, Massachusetts
1972-1973 Ogallala, Nebraska
1973-1974 Grissom AFB, Indiana
1974 Goldsboro AFB, North Carolina
Fall of 1974 Tucson, Arizona

After Curt retired from the Air Force, they moved to Tucson. At first, they lived in their house on Calle Dened that they bought in 1960, but soon made plans to move out to “the country” or in Tucson’s case, “The Desert”, or as Curt refers to it: "The Ranch". They lived at 10361 Called Del Este just off of Houghton Road until the winter of 2014. Kate suffered a Grand Mal Seizure which caused both of her arms to pull free from their sockets. One shoulder was completely shattered so a new shoulder had to be built. The other had pins and screws in it. Kate was already showing signs of Alzheimers/Dementia by this time. After surgery, it was clear that she needed more care so they eventually ended up at Copper Canyon, her final resting place.

Katherine was an Avon lady since 1960. She enjoyed getting out of the house and talking to people. She was also an avid bowler and was on Bowling Leagues most of her married life until Curtis retired and they started traveling. Every summer they would travel to Indiana to escape the desert heat, and to spend time with the Indiana grandkids. Katherine loved to play Rummy and taught this card game to all of her grandkids.

Katherine was dedicated to the church that they helped plant, Desert Skies United Methodist Church. She was an active member of the Flea Market Club. They met every Monday to sort and mark everything from clothing to furniture. Each fall, they would turn the church into a market place. All proceeds went to ministries around the city.

Everyone loved Katherine. She was a meek child of God, and showed her love for others by giving of herself. She was known by most as "Kate", but her sisters often called her "Katie".

Katherine liked to sew and embroider. She made embroidered dish towels for all of the grandchildren. She loved them all and made each one feel like they were the only one in her universe. She loved unconditionally.

Katherine passed peacefully from this world to the next during the night of August 4, 2018. She was 87 years and 7 months at the time of her passing.

Katherine will be missed by all who knew her.