Willa Dean Brunette
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Willa Dean Brunette
  • September 29, 1941 - January 23, 2017
  • Henderson, Mississippi

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Browning Funeral Home

141 West Oxford Street
Pontotoc, MS 38863
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Willa Dean Wise Brunette went to her Heavenly Home January 23, 2017. She passed away quietly at her home near Henderson, TN, after complications from a recent heart attack. She was 75 years old. She was preceded in death by her mother, Dena Mae Coleman Wise; her father, Lee Russell Wise, and her son, Bill Brunette, Jr.

Willa Dean was born in Union County, MS, and lived on a farm until her family moved to the outskirts of Memphis, TN, when she was about 13. She graduated from Bartlett High School in 1958 at the age of 16 and was soon working as a secretary. That job lasted until a young man, Bill Brunette, came into her life. They fell deeply in love, were married the next year, and celebrated 57 years of marriage a few months ago. Bill was in the Navy, and she followed him to many different states during his 10-year Naval career. During that time, they had four children-three girls and one boy. She and Bill were also very active in being foster parents for many years. After raising her children, she went back into the work force and was a very successful business woman, helping establish and run an employee leasing company. In the late 90's, she and Bill started their own business in that same field and payroll outsourcing. She continued to work until she had a massive stroke in late 2000 that paralyzed her right side and took most of her speech. Even though she was in a wheel chair after that, she maintained an amazing attitude and was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Willa Dean loved the Lord, her husband, her family, music, and the outdoors, in that order. Her passion was music, and she was singing before she could walk. She could pick up any instrument and just start playing it, and she could sing any song put before her. She co-wrote songs with her father, two of which are published in the "Old School Hymnal," used in Primitive Baptist Churches nationwide. She also wrote several songs that were published in Southern Gospel Convention books, the first one when she was only 13. She taught several singing schools and guided and supported all of her children, grandchildren, and sisters in learning to sing. In fact, she never hesitated to let anyone know if they were singing something wrong, even when she could only wave her good hand and start shouting, "No! No!" She left a musical legacy that lives on in the generations she left behind.

She leaves to grieve her absence from this vain world, her beloved husband, William (Bill) Brunette; three daughters, Patti Glaspy and husband, Jim, Becky Chapin and husband, Jeremy, and Bonnie Ferzacca and husband Levi Booth; three sisters, Carol Wise Rushing, Judy Wise Featherston, and Barbara Wise Burns and husband David; a step-sister, Charlotte Jawhar and husband Jimmy; a step-brother, David Hardin; ten grandchildren, Adam Hook, Kevin Hook, Amanda Brunette, Jessica Chapin Fink, Dalton Brunette, Jacob Brunette, Austin Brunette, Elizabeth Ferzacca Waddell, Heather Ferzacca Nichols, and Justin Ferzacca; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family will receive visitors on Friday evening, January 27, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with a celebration of Willa Dean's life beginning at 11:00 a.m. All services will be at Browning Funeral Home, 141 West Oxford Street, Pontotoc, MS 38863.

Arrangements under the direction of Browning Funeral Home, Pontotoc, MS.