Debbie Bruni

Debbie Jean "Deb" Bruni (Vitella)

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Debbie Jean Bruni (Vitella), age 65 years, passed away May 10, 2019, at the residence of her son, Chris Crane, in West Bend, WI. She was born on December 5, 1953, to James and Edith (nee Kizer) Vitella Sr. She was born in Portsmouth, VA, but was raised in Milwaukee, WI. She graduated from James Madison Senior High School in 1971.

Debbie was a homemaker who also did childcare in her home during her children’s younger years to help make ends meet. Her hobbies included reading, traveling, country line dancing, gatherings with her family and friends, watching cooking shows and movies, writing to pen pals and maintaining friendships with lifelong friends, scripture study, and attending church. She was a devoted Latter-Day Saint and over the years had faithfully served the Lord by performing several callings within the church, which included Sunday School teacher, leading the congregation in song, and indexing and genealogy work. Debbie was baptized by proxy for many on behalf of those who have died before her. In 2008, Debbie generously donated her kidney to a stranger, who later became a good friend.

Debbie Jean is survived by her husband Robert Bruni, sons Bill (Shannon) Willis II, Chris Crane, daughter Kellie (Jason) Kendall, daughter Holly Willis; brother James (Kathy) Vitella Jr., brother Mark (Robin) Vitella, sister Cathy Johns, and many nephews and nieces. She is also the proud grandmother of Pfc. Donald Flowers, Gracie, Lukas, Brayden, Lillian, Charlotte, and Gemma; stepsons Daniel and Paul. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Edith Vitella Sr, other relatives and friends.

A Funeral Service for Debbie Jean will be held at 2:00pm on Thursday, May 16th, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (120 W Paradise Dr, West Bend, WI, 53095). Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 12:00pm until time of service. Interment will be at Washington County Memorial Park.

Memorials to the American Diabetes Association or your choice appreciated.

“I testify that Heavenly Father lives; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God; that we are led by a living prophet today; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth. Amen.”
-Debbie Jean Bruni
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 | 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    120 W Pardise Dr
    West Bend, WI 53095
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 2:00pm
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    120 W Paradise Dr
    West Bend, WI 53095
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Bishop Michael Moran
  • Interment

    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 | 3:00pm
    Thursday, May 16th, 2019 3:00pm
    Washington County Memorial Park
    3358 W Paradise Dr
    West Bend, Wisconsin 53095
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Chris, Amanda, and Gavin Vitella sent flowers to the family of Debbie Jean "Deb" Bruni (Vitella).
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Kellie Kendall

Posted at 12:01pm
A Mother like no other.
Not many people in this world get to experience unconditional and pure non-judgemental love. We did. To be honest I don't know how to live without it. I guess a part of me died a little that day too. The world will never look the same again. Not once you lose someone so truly special and monumental in your life as she was. I almost feel like a rain cloud follows me everywhere I go now. Like the sun doesn't shine as bright and flowers aren't quite as brilliant. When I think of her my cloud rains a little. So I try to pretend she's sitting in her chair at home. Sneaking chocolates and enjoying a Diet Coke. Funny how the silliest things can make me cry now. Diet Cokes. My brain can't handle the reality yet. I'm not sure I will ever be at peace with not seeing my Mommy anymore.
I picture her in heaven sitting at a kitchen table talking so animatedly to her parents she's been missing all these years. Like she did when she was younger. Before her body betrayed her.

She deserved so much better than she ever got. Maybe that's what made her so humble. Who might she have been without every single struggle to perfectly shape her beautiful soul.

I realize now, I know exactly what heaven looks like. Its not magnificent mansions dripping in marble and gold. Its home. There is no where else she would rather be. Mom's heaven is at her Mom and Dad's house. Where she can speak to and hug her Mom and Dad daily. Where she loved on her brothers and sister and felt safe and protected. The old laminate kitchen table with the padded metal chairs. Where family who love each other come to laugh and reminisce.

We go through these stages in our lives. Never even realizing each transition is a chapter ending. Never knowing when our last meal, at this table, in this house, with these friends, and family will be our last. We smile in remembrance but still feel the sting in our hearts.

I will always remember her sweet smile with her head tilted just a little. Her soft voice perfectly made for singing nursery rhymes. Her gentle hugs an example of her consistent tenderness. Her hearty chuckle when you got her and she couldn't hold it back. She was the best of us. I can only hope to become half the mother she was. I love you Mommy.

Cathy Johns

Posted at 02:51pm
Deb and I loved singing together. We mostly sang when riding together in the car on the way to our destination during a lull in conversation. I was the loud singer and Deb sang soft harmony. She could harmonize to any song. It just came naturally to her. We loved to sing hymns or put in a CD and sing along to Carol King, James Taylor, the Beatles, and most recently to Jason Mraz. When our day together was done, and I was driving her back home, one of us would invariably grab the others hand and together we would begin to sing, “Sisters, sisters, never were two more devoted sisters”, then give a quick hand squeeze and smile at each other. It was our “sister ritual” until next time we were together.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 04:58pm
Bob, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Debi was such a sweet woman and will be missed by many. You have our condolences. Love, Norb & Heidi
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Chris, Amanda, and Gavin Vitella

Posted at 03:21pm
So sorry for your loss. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.
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Chris, Amanda, and Gavin Vitella purchased flowers for the family of Debbie Bruni. Send Flowers


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