Although his spark went dim much too soon, Jeffrey Bruns made such a significant impact on the lives of those who knew him during the time he was here. He was vibrant, fun-loving, and outgoing with a contagious zest for life that was hard to miss. Jeff was a sports enthusiast, a horror movie lover, and the king of practical jokes who worked hard in an industry he found to be incredibly rewarding. Even though he accomplished so many things throughout his life’s journey, there was nothing that made him more proud than he was to be the father of the little boy who was the light of his world. Life was best when Jeff was surrounded by his family and friends, and as his loved ones can attest he certainly brought laughter and fun wherever he went. The days will never be the same for those who knew Jeff without him here, but the memories he leaves behind will remain lasting treasures that will never be forgotten.
The 1980s were a decade unlike any other when the cultural fabric of our nation was being transformed. Technology was the word of the decade with things like video games, camcorders, and cassette tapes becoming part of the American vocabulary. E.T. phoned home, Michael Jackson made wearing one glove a trend, and the Huxtables gave us a different view of the American family. Amidst this time of great change was the year 1986 that was filled with great joy for Steven Thiel and Kathryn Bruns as they welcomed a baby on February 11th. Jeffrey Jon was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was raised in the area. His family, which included his stepmother, Cheryl Kasiske, and his younger siblings, Ryan, Krysten, Alyssa, and Tyler, was greatly important to him throughout his life.
From the time he was a young boy Jeff was a bustle of activity. Of course there was sibling rivalry, teasing, and crazy pranks to deal with at times, but Jeff took his role as a big brother to heart and was very protective and encouraging of his younger siblings. He enjoyed swimming, especially at Wisconsin Dells with his family in addition to playing some of his favorite video games including Pokémon and Mario. As a wrestling fan Jeff was the “Cruncher” with his siblings, and he was forever the goofball who always had a silly personality that made him so much fun. Camping, fairs, visits to Chuck E. Cheese, and festivals were memorable times with his family as well. It was quite an event to remember when his mother gave Jeff a haircut as a boy with a razor without a guard, which left him with bald spots right before school pictures of course! Jeff loved Christmas because it was a time for the family to be together, and it was never surprising when he put on a Christmas hat or tried on the clothing that other family members received only to strut around “modeling” the gifts while talking in a strange voice and doing the lollipop dance.
With an adventurous and fearless spirit, Jeff was game to try almost anything once. He was the first to volunteer to go on any ride at the fair and was a fan of horror movies. In fact, the gorier the better as far as movies were concerned. Jeff continued to enjoy video games, was into tattoos and card games in addition to playing pool, and loved just hanging out with his family and friends. He loved sports, and as a teen he decided to play football but that came to an abrupt end after only one day since he discovered that being on the team meant that he had to practice! Jeff’s favorite color was green, which isn’t surprising since his Irish heritage was very important to him. He loved all things Irish including taking part in the Irish tradition of consuming alcoholic beverages with his friends. Jeff liked following Wisconsin Badgers football, swimming, and camping, and he found cemeteries, where he liked to go and light fireworks, to be intriguing. His music of choice was metal, rap, and hip hop, and he looked forward to seeing live bands every year at Summerfest. In addition to horror movies, Jeff also appreciated a good comedy and liked clowns.
Jeff was one to work hard in everything he did. He spent several years working in catering at Best Western. Jeff was proud to achieve his longtime career goal of earning his associate’s degree in welding from Milwaukee Area Technical College, which soon led to a welding position at Allis Roller. He was always gifted in creating things with his hands beginning from the time he was a young boy who loved drawing. Jeff used the lotus flower as an emblem because this flower grows only out of the murk, which was symbolic of the way Jeff viewed his life.
Life was forever changed for Jeff when he entered into a relationship with Faith Terlecki as it was through this relationship that he became a father to Nevan James Terlecki (Bruns) on August 1, 2010. He loved being a father and viewed the day his son was born to be the greatest day of his life.
Sometimes known as Jazzy Jeff, Lotus Child, Jeff-er-ry, or Jeffy, Jeffrey Bruns (Thiel) was a charmer and a ladies man who was the heartbeat of the world around him. He had a style all his own, often including a hat from his extensive collection, and who couldn’t appreciate his sense of humor that was often steeped in fun-loving sarcasm. Jeff’s love and devotion for his siblings was easy to see, and of course no one could mess with them – except for him! An extraordinary person to know and love, he will be deeply missed.
Jeffrey Jon Bruns (Thiel) died on April 14, 2014. Jeff’s family includes his son, Nevan James Terlecki (Bruns); parents, Steven Thiel and Kathryn Bruns; stepmother, Cheryl Kasiske; siblings, Ryan Toetz, Krysten Kopecky, Alyssa Kopecky, and Tyler Bruns; grandparents, Annette Bruns and Ruby Thiel; great-grandmother, Joyce Johnstone; and several aunts, uncles, other relatives, and many friends. Visit with Jeff’s family and friends on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at the Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 7:00 p.m. Entombment Forest Hill Memorial Park, Oak Creek, WI. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave(414) 744-5156. Please visit www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.
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