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David Bruen, Lifelong Brewster Resident and First County Exec, Dies at 84

A Mass is scheduled for Wednesday.

David Duncan Bruen, born in Brewster on Aug. 14, 1929, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 1, at his home. He was 84 years young. 

David was born to Matthew Raymond Bruen and Mildred S Duncan. On June 16, 1951 after graduating from Fordham University, David married the love of his life, Marilyn Ann King of Brewster.

David has been a resident of Brewster all his life. He is survived by his nine children, Diana Bruen Stevens (Tom), Margaret Bruen, David M. Bruen (Karen), Bonnie King (Jim), Kathleen B. McGrath (Brian), James Duncan Bruen, Mary B. Tedesco (Mike), Marilyn B. Merkel (Fred), Susan B. Power (Tom) and 22 grandchildren. He is survived also, by his brother, Donald P. Bruen, and sister, June H. Garcia. David also has a brother-in-law, James E King.

David was a lifelong member of the St. Lawrence O’Toole parish, where he served as lector. He began his career as a special marine agent for The Insurance Company of North America in White Plains and, eventually, owned and operated a successful insurance and real estate business in Brewster.

David served Putnam County as an elected official for 26 celebrated years.  After 18 years as county treasurer, he was elected as the first Putnam County executive in 1978. In 2003 the Putnam County Office Building was dedicated and renamed The David D. Bruen County Office Building. David’s contributions and dedication to our community include Brewster Rotary, The Salvation Army, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Bruen also served on the boards of directors for the Putnam County Savings Bank, the Brewster Public Library and Preserve Putnam, as well as the executive board of the Putnam Hospital Center.

Although an avid golfer, sailor, skier, hunter, stargazer, nature lover and humanitarian, David will be most remembered for his unyielding love and respect for family, friends and country, and for always lending a helping hand without question, without judgment.

Dunc, Dad, Grandpa, Pop, Papa, David, Silver Fox, Daddy O, Mr. B, Honey, Alley, Mr. Bruen you will be sorely missed.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church (31 Prospect Street in Brewster). Interment will follow in St. Lawrence O’Toole Cemetery in Brewster. Mr. Bruen will be lying in state from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at The Historic Court House (44 Gleneida Avenue in Carmel). Friends may call later that day, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Beecher Funeral Home (1 Putnam Avenue in Brewster, beecherfuneralhome.com) from 4-8pm. 

Contributions in Mr. Bruen’s memory may be made to the Brewster Rotary Club at PO Box 162, Brewster, NY 10509.

Editor's note: Beecher Funeral Home provided this obituary. It's been edited for style.

Jane E. Schneider February 03, 2014 at 09:23 AM
I am so sorry to hear that Mr. Bruen died. The Bruen family had been an integral part of our growing up in the Saint Lawrence O'Toole church/school. But what I will never, ever forget is how Mr. Bruen made a point of stopping by every once in a while to visit my bedridden, dying mother back in 2004. Our family really appreciated his thoughtfulness and kindness, and his visits brightened my mum's day each time. For that I am in his debt. My sincere condolences to the entire Bruen family. Jane Sechny Schneider
Ann Fanizzi February 03, 2014 at 10:34 AM
It was a privilege to have known, David Bruen, who was active in the Town of Southeast Open Space Committee. Sincerest sympathy to his family.
Annie Hanaburgh Bulmer February 03, 2014 at 12:36 PM
From family ties in North Salem to North Creek, we are saddened by your loss, he was a wonderful man... The Hanaburgh family in North Creek...

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