Obituary of Ferne Brunner
Ferne (Schilling) Brunner passed peacefully from this life in the early morning hours of February 10th, 2021.
Hers was a life well lived.
Katherine Ferne grew up in the loving home of Thomas and Ferne (Young) Schilling in the thriving community of Paterson. Summers were spent with her family in Lake Hopatcong, where she was quite the tomboy, climbing trees and fishing with her younger brother Tom.
Ferne’s high school years were spent palling around with her cousin, Dot and her best friend, Eleanor. It was there that she met her future husband, Arthur Brunner. He was so smitten with her that 75 years later he could tell you what she was wearing on the day they met.
Ferne spoke in later years of her senior prom, and afterward seeing Frank Sinatra at the Hotel Astor in New York City.
She went to secretarial school and busied herself working in an office while Arthur was off being a bomber pilot during WWII.
They married while he was on leave and moved to Texas where he was stationed.
Ferne and Arthur then moved back to Paterson and started their family with the birth of daughter Ferne, followed by the arrival of Mary, Kathleen and Arthur Jr. As the family was growing, they purchased a lot in the small country community of Pine Brook and built their dream home. Fifth child Patricia was born shortly after moving to their new abode.
In the ensuing years Ferne was active in the newly formed St. Pius X Church parish, which was headed by Father Meyer, the very priest who had performed their wedding ceremony. Ferne was President of the Rosary Society for a number of years and formed lifelong friendships with the other members, as well as with the people in their neighborhood. She always stressed to her children the importance of family and community. Ferne and Arthur generously opened their home to friends of their children during difficult times.
As the children grew up and married, their family expanded to include 13 grandchildren: Steven, Jennifer, Jeff, Sarah, Bethann, John Thomas, Michelle, Candace, Stacey, Chelsea, Nicholas, Brian and Adam.
Ferne had 13 great-grandchildren: Tucker, Garrett, Daniel, Tyler, Brady, Ashlee, Madison, Brooke, Reagan, Sarah, Tifanie, Savanah, and Ashlee, and 2 great-great-grandchildren, Ophelia and Ollie.
One of Ferne’s great joys in life was spending time with her grandchildren whenever possible. She may have spoiled them, “but in a good way”.
One cannot think of Ferne without recalling her love of a good cup of tea…or six.
She retained her feisty independent nature right to the end. She used to say “We’re all different and that’s what makes the world go ‘round. It would be a very boring place if we were all the same.”
Her last two years were greatly enriched by the loving care of Natasha McRae and Terry Sylvester.
Ferne was predeceased by Arthur, her husband of 75 years. She will be greatly missed by those she has touched with her presence.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 10:00AM at St. Pius X R.C. Church, Montville. The church will be live streaming the service - please go to www.st-pius-x.org. The interment will take place at Laurel Grove Cemetery, Totowa at 11:30AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ferne’s memory to Breast Cancer Charities of America, PO Box 132962, The Woodlands, TX 77393-2962 would be appreciated.
Final Resting Place
107 Essex Avenue
Boonton, NJ 07005
Richard J. Codey, Owner, NJ Lic. #3175 | Garrett C. Jones, Manager, NJ Lic. # 3904