Spotlight: Don Bruns
Don Bruns ’59 and along with Pat, his wife of 51 years, have done as much, if not more, in “retirement” than most people do in an entire career.
Don retired in 1997 after 38 years in production management. Don’s continued involvement with community youth organizations, like Little League baseball, soccer, football and basketball, as well as Cub Scouts, PTA and 4-H, inspired him to start a trophy and awards store. Don and Pat operated the trophy store until 2002, when they turned the business over to the third of their four sons.
Don and Pat also started and operated other successful businesses including an antique store, a coffee shop and a restaurant. The restaurant was sold in 2002 after Don was diagnosed with cancer.
In November 2007, Don and Pat moved into a brick, federal-style farm house built in 1901, which the couple worked to restore almost entirely on their own.
Don is now in what he calls his “fourth retirement,” although he still works part-time for the local supermarket and enjoys cooking for the deli. “Retirement is great, should have done it 50 years ago. When I get the urge to work, I lay down until the urge passes, unless it's cutting grass, entertaining one or all of the five grandkids, or just wasting time outside in the yard. Oh yes, I also have a rocker on the screened in porch, if things ever get too rough,” says Don.
While attending Culver-Stockton, Don was involved in many organizations. Among others, these included Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, President of Student Senate, Dome Staff, Megaphone Staff, Gamma Upsilon and U.N. Seminar. “I had the opportunity to get involved in many extracurricular activities that would not have been available in other schools. Other students encouraged me to join these activities, and I can truthfully say I learned a great deal.”
Don says Culver-Stockton College changed his life, “C-SC gave me a chance to appreciate the fact that there are a lot of great people from all walks of life. Everyone was friendly. By association, it made you somewhat the same. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe I would work harder to stay out of mischief. But that was fun too.”
Don sums up the difference at C-SC, “My oldest son wanted to go to a large college. When we went up to get him registered, there were thousands of kids running around trying to get registered by of other kids who could care less. When we brought our second son up for registration at C-SC in 83' it was as I remembered mine. We were met by friendly, helpful and courteous people. This made it fun and enjoyable. At C-SC, you know almost everyone, and the professors know you and want to help you in any way they can.” He continues, “if you want to get a good well rounded education, I highly recommend C-SC. It might be small, but the advantages are unbelievable.”