Cover photo for Mary B. Brunstetter's Obituary
Mary B. Brunstetter Profile Photo

Mary B. Brunstetter

Mrs. Mary Beatrice Reed Brunstetter, 74, passed away on May 17, 2017 at the Crossings at Falls Run in Fredericksburg, VA after a long illness. She was predeceased by her parents Robert Clark Reed and Lillie Heaviland Reed, her infant brother Robert Clark Reed, Jr, and her loving husband of 44 years Dr. Frank Howard Brunstetter. She is survived be her elder sister Margreta Seashore of New Haven, CT, her younger sister Mardee Ulmer of Highland Lakes, NJ, her eldest son Scott of Alexandria, VA, her youngest son Daniel of Irvine, CA, her daughters-in law Lisa and Odile, and her granddaughters Moira and Anouk.

Born of Januray 31st 1943 in Shrewsbury, NJ Bea grew up with her elder sister Greta and her younger sister Mardee, as well as cousins Lonnie, Suzanne, Patsy and Kathy. She spent her younger years in Shrewsbury and Red Bank, NJ where she enjoyed trips to the beach, especially Spring Lake and Sea Bright., family trips, and endless hours of childhoop playtime. Even at this young age, Bea’s creativity, caring for others, kindness and hapiness defined her.

Her creativity found outlets in her love of music, playing the flute, painting, photography and even gardening. She studied flute with Frances Blaisdell and played iwth the New Jersey All State Band. She was particularly fond of James Galway and all Irish music. Many of her artisic works-pictures of a swan at Spring Lake, a watercolor of a palm tree, or a painting of a garden in France-endure, hanging on our walls as fond remembrances of her wonderful life.

Bea earned a B.A. in Nursing from the University of Bridgeport and then a Registered Nursing degree from Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. After granduating, she was a Registered Nurse for over two decades, specializing in pediatric nursing. Nursing was a direct outgrowth of her altruistic nature, caring for the most vulnerable when they needed the help.

Shortly after she gradutated with her RN, Bea packed up her MG car and moved from New Jersey to Denver, CO, following her love of mountains. There she met Frank Howard Brunstetter and on September 1st, 1969, they were married in a small ceremony first at the U.S. Airforce Academy amid a snowstorm and then shortly thereafter again in Shrewsbury, NJ surrounded by family. They were married for 44 wonderful years and raised two wonderful children, Scott and Dan. They also managed to travel together, enjoy scuba diving, and relax surrounded by mountains of Colorado.

During their time with the U.S. Airforce, they lived together in Denver, CO, San Antonio, TX and O’Fallon, IL. As an Air Force spouse, she took care of her children while Frank was deployed and became actively engaged in the Air Force community, especially around the holidays. She created stability and a sense of expanded family for her children Scott and Dan as friends moved away and the family moved across country.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1984, Bea, Frank and their two sons settled in Honeoye Falls, NY, where Bea and Frank happily remained for over thrity years. There they had a farm and cared for horses, sheep, dogs, ducks, rabbits and a cat. Bea enjoyed small town life, painting her photographs and vistas of nature, spending time close to nature at Mendon Ponds Park, and working as a photographer at the local paper The Sentinel.

In her life, Bea was pervasively happy. It was infectious-her omnipresent smile and laugh, her joyus good nature, and her absolute kindness to others, humans and animals alike. In the most difficult times, she stayed calm and patient, making life for others around her better. Even as dementia took her mind in her final years, she instinctual happiness always shone through-a beacon of light to those around her that lamented in her suffering.

She remain deeply connected to her family-parents, sister, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She made sure that the extended family was an immediate family, that cousins were siblings, aunts were second mothers, and grandmothers were special. She built memories and experiences for her children that defined a lifetime and molded them into who they are today. And she was fiercely loyal to her loved ones, determined to ensure they had every opportunity in life. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, happiness, creativity, and dedication to others.

Bea will be buried with her husband, Frank, at Arlington National Cemetery on Novemeber 6th, 2017 at 10am. A celebration of her life with friends and family will be held at Rosslyn overlooking Washington, DC on November 5th.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary B. Brunstetter, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 6, 2017

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Arlington National Cemetery

Fort Myer, Arlington, VA 22211

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Funeral Home

Cunningham Turch Funeral Home

811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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