Cover photo for Harlan Bruner's Obituary
1930 Harlan 2023

Harlan Bruner

April 1, 1930 — March 6, 2023

Old Hickory, TN


Harlan Keith Bruner passed away peacefully on March 6, 2023, less than one month shy of his 93rd birthday. He was born an April Fool’s baby in Hawesville, KY, on the Ohio river, in 1930. One of his favorite stories of his childhood was delivering newspapers from a rowboat during the historic Ohio river flooding in 1937.

In 1952, after 2 years of college, Hal entered the Air Force as an Aviation Cadet, and completed training at Columbus Air Force Base, MS. Here he met Hilda Clemmons. They married September 1953. He flew in Korea in 1954, then was assigned to University of Texas (Austin) to get an Electrical Engineering degree, and graduated in Summer, 1959. The family was then assigned to Air Force Weapons Lab in Albuquerque, NM where he worked on Minute Man 1 guidance control systems. In 1963, the family went to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and he attended Air Force Institute of Technology and received his Masters in Electrical Engineering – Guidance Control in Summer, 1966. After which the family was transferred back to Albuquerque, this time to Sandia Base, where he worked at the Field Command Defense Atomic Support Agency, where he worked on strengthening America’s deterrence response. From there, the family was transferred to Hanscom Air Force Station in the heart of Historic Revolutionary America, where he served in the Intelligence Directorate of the Electronics Systems Division. He retired from the Air Force as a Lt. Colonel, after serving our country for 22 years in August, 1975.

The family moved to Nashville to begin a new adventure. He started a new career with the State Labor Department, working for 20 years, making sure employees had safe working conditions as a Safety Inspector. In January, 1982, he was remarried, to LaWanda Elliott. They had a wonderful retirement together, square dancing, traveling, and bowling. In her later years, LaWanda developed Parkinson’s, and Hal was by her side, taking care of her until her death in November 2005.

While bowling, Hal and LaWanda were in a bowling league with many friends. One of their friends was Dot Dye. After LaWanda passed, Hal and Dot became very good friends. Their close friendship lasted until his death. They spent most every day together.

He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Lillian Bruner, his brother Raymond Bruner, his wife LaWanda Bruner, and his first wife Hilda Bruner. He is survived by his three children Rick (Mindy) Bruner, Ken (Karen) Bruner, and Becky (Gary) Halvorsen, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews all of whom loved him very, very much and will miss him immensely.

Just as a short note, we his children and their spouses, think it’s very cool that, while in the military, he learned to fly jets (T33) and he flew a C47D (goonybird).

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


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