WWII vet Raymond De Brunner, 95


Raymond Thomas De Brunner — father, father-in-law and dear friend — passed away April 13, 2017. He was 95, and succumbed to pneumonia.

In the loving care of Mercy Hospice staff in Redding, California, he left his family and friends peacefully and with dignity. Within a few hours, the world was treated to three beautiful rainbows — his final gift to the family.

Although he lived his first 60-plus years in New York City, he touched many lives in Upstate New York, North Carolina, Georgia and California. He was born in Inwood, where he had many adventures swimming and boating in the Hudson River. Those early days sparked his lifelong love of the natural world.

He later lived in Marble Hill and lower Riverdale, until his retirement.

He was a gentleman, well loved by many, and possessed a robust humor and a sarcastic wit. 

He was a proud veteran of World War II, landing in Normandy on D-Day, and worked in military intelligence through France, Belgium, Germany and the British Isles. In his final years, he frequently wore his World War II veteran cap, and it was heartwarming to see people of all ages come up to shake his hand and thank him for his service. He always said, “It was nothing. It had to be done.”

He was preceded in death by his wife Ruth Katharine Daly, and his son Raymond Thomas De Brunner. His daughters Jane Andersen and Claire De Brunner, as well as their spouses and his many beloved nieces and nephews, will keep him forever close to their hearts.

On Oct. 7, with an honor guard providing a final salute, some of his ashes will be buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, alongside his wife and son. The last of his ashes will be set adrift on the Hudson River, near where his life began.