Stephen David Brunson, age 84, resident of Collierville, Tennessee, and husband of the late Susan Hill Brunson, departed this life Sunday afternoon, May 15, 2022, at Schilling Gardens Senior Living in Collierville.
Steve was born September 16, 1937, in Houston, Mississippi, the son of the late Jimmy Bascum Brunson and Marguerite Hester Brunson. He grew up in Moscow, Tennessee, where he attended public schools and, as a young boy, operated a small dairy operation. An enterprising young man, a promising student, and an Eagle Scout, Steve headed far from his small hometown for college. He attended Iowa State University to study dairy husbandry. While there, Steve was a college cheerleader and active in his fraternity. It was at Iowa State that he met his wife of 56 years, Susan Hill Brunson.
Upon Steve’s college graduation, he and Sue moved to San Francisco where Steve was stationed for service in the United States Navy. After serving his country, they returned to Moscow to run a family farm. It was in Moscow that Steve and Sue raised their four children. The entire family was committed to their beloved Moscow United Methodist Church.
Long active in a variety of civic and community affairs, Steve served as a Fayette County Commissioner for many years, including chairing the commission’s Budget Committee. He was active in local and state Democratic politics and served as a long-time member of the state’s Democratic Executive Committee representing the 26th Senatorial district. Steve was also widely known for his work as a conservationist. He was an early and active leader in soil and water conversation at the local, state, and national levels. He served as President of the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts and later served on the board of the National Association of Conservation Districts. He was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation and the Tennessee Conservation League, and he served on the Tennessee Conservation Commission under Governor Ned McWherter.
After retiring from farming, Steve and Sue moved to Germantown where they were active members of Germantown United Methodist Church. Steve ran his own cotton brokerage firm, worked tirelessly on his golf game, and continued his involvement with politics and community affairs.
Steve Brunson was a mentor and advisor to many and a friend to even more. He is survived by two daughters, Julia Moton and Elizabeth Brunson Allen; two sons, Stephen Brunson II (Anita) and Stuart Todd Brunson (Eliza); nine grandchildren, Molley Allen Neace (Casey), Stephen David Brunson III, Samuel Stewart Brunson, William Lane Moton, Emily Catherine Moton, Abigail Elizabeth Brunson, Mason Stuart Brunson, Hayes Sedgwick Brunson and Wade Cabot Brunson; two great-grandchildren, Hunter Lilley Neace and Cayson Thomas Neace; two step-grandchildren, Rebecca Bracknell (Cody) and Daniel Cavin (Stephanie); and two step-great-grandchildren, Ainslee Cavin and Eleanor Bracknell.
Graveside Services for Mr. Brunson were held at 12 noon Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Bethlehem Cemetery in Moscow. The officiating minister was Jeff Marx.
The family requests that memorials be directed to St. Jude Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 or Bethlehem Cemetery Association, c/o Nancy Leggett, 765 Hays Road, Moscow, TN 38057.