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Obituary: Richard “Dick” L. Brunell, 94, Wellsville


WELLSVILLE - Richard “Dick” L. Brunell, age 94, of Hill Street passed away at home surrounded by his family on Friday, February 20, 2020. On June 30, 1925 in Allegany he was born to the late Howard and Neva Drake Brunell. In April of 1949 he married the former Mary Ellen Hennessy who survives.
Dick graduated from Bolivar Central High School in 1942 and later had attended classes at St. Bonaventure. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the US Navy during WWII and served on the USS Saratoga as a Radio Gunner in a TBM-3D Avenger. His Advenger had been tasked as a spotter for navel gun fire on Iwo Jima. As they flew off the Saratoga deck the ship was hit and sunk by Japanese kamikazes. His damaged Advenger eventually landed successfully on the Escort Carrier USS Bismark Sea and shortly after landing that ship was hit and sunk by a kamikaze. Forced to abandon ship Dick survived the night in the ocean and was picked up in the morning by the Destroyer Escort Edmonds. Dick was a 25 year employee of Air Preheater from where he retired. He was a member of the American Legion Post #702 and the Immaculate Conception Church both of Wellsville. He was a former member of the Wellsville Lions Club and was one of the founders of the annual Intertube Regatta. Dick enjoyed golfing and was a past member of the Wellsville Country Club.
He is survived by his wife Mary Ellen of 71 years; four daughters, Cathi [ Roger Keener] Beatty, Christie [Daniel] Greene, Cindy [Mark] Armitage and Caren Brunell; four grandchildren, Jeffrey [Diana] Greene, Patrick Greene, Jacinda [Ledon] Green and Chelsea [Matthew] Mayer; eight great grandchildren; a brother, Howard [Janice] Brunell; four sisters, Betty Bender, Sally [Doug] Fancher, Kay [Hugh] Billhimer and Nancy Noble; in addition many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded by his sister Jean Vossler.
There will be no prior visitation and a private memorial Mass will be held at a later date followed by burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials in Dick's name may be made to the Immaculate Conception Church or to the donor's choice. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

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