GREENSBORO Joseph (Joe) Edmiston Bruner (70) died on September 30, 2018 at his home. He anticipated death, happy and grateful that he got to live his life in full measure and enjoyment, filled with pride in his children and grandchildren and he had no regrets. His cause of death was a "worn out heart" from loving life. Joe was born on September 29, 1948, in Salisbury, North Carolina to Nell and Joe M. Bruner, Jr. He is survived by his partner in love, Betty Schadle, his son Bo Bruner and wife Brooke and their two daughters Caroline and Kate; his daughter Amy Bruner de Rodriguez and husband Charly and their daughter Olivia; Dorothy Davis, Bo and Amy's mother and his sister Susan Bruner Bradner and husband Ken and their sons John Bradner and wife Katie and Matthew Bradner and wife Ana. Joe grew up in the eastern part of the country as his father's employment with Coca-Cola sent the family to Georgia, West Virginia, New Hampshire, and finally to Framingham, MA, where he graduated from high school. He received an undergraduate degree in business at the University of Georgia. Thereafter he enrolled in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and upon completing his basic training, attended law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Joe's early adult life was notable for his focus and desire to serve his community and country in law enforcement. This began with college summers working as a Guilford County sherriff's deputy and as a police officer in Virginia Beach, VA. This continued after law school when he served first with the US Department of Treasury as an IRS criminal investigation special agent and then as an FBI special agent, stationed in the Miami, FL field office. Joe always relished his years in the FBI, where he did important work for his country and made many life-long friends. After several years serving with the Bureau in Miami, Joe was transferred to the New York City field office. Not wanting to move his young family to New York, he left the Bureau and returned home to North Carolina, where he practiced law for the next 39 years. Joe began his legal practice with the Guilford County district attorney's office as an assistant district attorney before gaining experience on the other side of criminal practice in the Guilford County public defender's office. After these many years of public service, Joe entered into private practice with the firm Bretzman, Brinson and Bruner (later Bretzman, Bruner and Aldridge) in High Point, North Carolina. In the mid-nineties, Joe struck out on his own and later thoroughly enjoyed and treasured the experience of being able to practice for a period of time with his son Bo as Bruner & Bruner. Joe was a presence in the High Point courthouse and legal community for years. Joe primarily practiced criminal defense and his substantial law enforcement experience gave him a unique insight that proved invaluable to his clients. As much as he will be remembered as a successful attorney, his greatest professional legacy is as a mentor and role model to the innumerable young attorneys he so freely gave his time to over the years. Joe never met a stranger and never forgot a joke. Laughter was music to his ears and he looked for every opportunity to make it happen. He was a consummate storyteller, ever crafting and practicing his stories through countless retellings, but always on the lookout for new material and jokes that were waiting to be discovered within the mundane doings of daily life. He loved other people's jokes as much as his own and was always at the ready with his big boisterous laugh as the other person's punch line landed. Per Joe's request, no funeral memorial service and burial will be held. Alternatively, over the next few weeks and months, there will be celebrations of life and laughter (filled with good food, good drink and good jokes) held here locally and in Texas for various groups of Joe's extended family, friends and work associatesstay tuned for details. In the meantime, please gather to bring to and share at the celebrations yours and Joe's favorite jokes and funny stories that you and he have enjoyed through the years, certainly including the ones where Joe is "the butt" (he truly loved those). Better yet, don't waitgo ahead and share them with someone now and let the laughter flow easily and longfor Joe, there is no better way to honor his memory than to make someone laugh every chance you get. Arrangements are entrusted to Triad Cremation & Funeral Service of Greensboro.
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