Shirley May Cain Brunner, 65, of Spring City, Utah, returned to her Heavenly Home on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was a resident of Tehachapi for 32 years.
Shirley was born June 27, 1951 in Santa Monica, Calif., to Maslen and Louise Cain, longtime residents of Tehachapi. She was married to Thomas George Brunner and they had three sons: Jason Brunner (wife Megan), Steven Brunner and Jesse Brunner (wife Kayla). In all, they have five grandchildren: Ryley, Logan, Carson, Danielle and Sienna. Shirley was preceded in death by her father, Maslen Cooper Cain, and a brother-in-law, Leon Dries. She is survived by her husband, children and grandchildren, her mother, Louise Cain, her sisters, Carolyn Bartholomew, Margaret Dries, and Barbara Chapman and her brother, David Cain.
Shirley had many talents and enjoyed sharing them. Her mastery of the art of cooking endeared her to her family and friends. She earned a BS degree in biology and became a school teacher of eighth grade science for 20 years in Rosamond, Calif. She had a great love for the scientific method and learning about things around her. Often, she would take family and friends on walks in the garden or in the mountains to teach them about plants or other outdoor wonders.
Her love of learning never ended. At one point in her life, backpacking with her husband, Tom, in the Sierras was a regular pursuit (sometimes taking their llama). After retirement, in 2010, Shirley and her husband, Tom, moved from Tehachapi to Spring City, Utah, and spent time making their home a place where all could come and enjoy being together. As a natural in the kitchen, she was always planning for the next “food event.” Even the last weeks of her time here on earth were spent in planning and preparing food for company and family.
A graveside service was held on Saturday, Feb. 4, in Spring City, Utah.
In her last days of battling cancer, she stated that “today it’s ‘come what may and love it!.’ I am not fearful anymore and I have learned to appreciate each day as a great gift.”