Zachary Mathias Brunner
Zachary Mathias Brunner was born on Christmas Day, 1970, the second child and first son of Dean and Penny Brunner – an incredibly special Christmas gift!
Zac was a very small child and yet extremely strong, brave and fearless. His love of the outdoors began early when his “Grandpa B” would take him, his brother Cy and cousin Andy fishing. Fishing led him into a love of camping, hiking, hunting and anything to do with daring outdoor activities. He collected multiple “articles of assistance” for every activity he ever engaged in. One flashlight, knife, rope, hiking stick, or bike was never enough; at least 20 of each was way better!
Zac attended Isla Vista Elementary School, Goleta Valley Junior High and Dos Pueblos High School where he graduated in 1989. As a young child, he participated in soccer, basketball, YFL football and Dos Pueblos Little League, excelling at all. At Dos Pueblos High School, he played football and began wrestling as a freshman. As a wrestler, he placed 3rd in CIF as a sophomore and was ranked 6th in State as a senior, but an injury at CIF ended his dreams of actually going to the State meet. He continued his education at Santa Barbara City College where he played football for 2 years and helped lead the Vaqueros to the Potato Bowl and their most successful season in SBCC history.
Summers for Zac always included working for his father’s painting business, which led him to becoming a contractor and starting his own business – Brunner Painting. As a man in his 20’s and 30’s he developed multiple skills including woodworking, tile setting and fixing anything and everything; a true “jack (Zac) of all trades”.
In 2012, Zac moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, and in March of 2018, he was diagnosed with a very rare salivary gland cancer. He fought valiantly for 2½ years to defeat this brutal enemy that had invaded his body. In June of this year his disease had become so invasive that his cousin Andy Simonsen and his lifelong friend, Jason Wallace, drove together to Klamath Falls to bring him back home to Goleta.
Still the warrior, Zac fought courageously for every second of life he could get, but on Friday, October 16th he lost this final earthly battle, only to begin his heavenly journey, joining his father Dean, brother Cyrus, his Grandparents, Aunts and baby niece.
Zac is survived by his four children, Elysé, Jasmin, Zachary and Madden, Grandchildren, Zinnia and Mateo, mother Penny, five siblings, Jami (Stoney), Tawnia (Keith), Justin (Amber), Beau (Leticia) and Tiffany (Jamie), his many cousins, nieces and nephews. Definitely a “one of a kind” guy, Zac’s legacy of being a brave warrior will live on through those who loved him and knew him well.
Due to COVID, services for Zac will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Athanasius Orthodox Church building fund, 300 Sumida Gardens Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93111.