Owner Al Jung displays a
package Tuesday afternoon of Dale’s Local Blend, on
sale at Dunn Bros. Coffee in West Bend. The special
blend is in memory of the late Dale Brunner.
a regular at the store, was a Washington County
John Ehlke/Daily News
WEST BEND -
Dale Brunner was passionate
about coffee and the Special Olympics so it seems
fitting that those two seemingly unconnected things
should be a part of his legacy.
Brunner, of Jackson, died of brain cancer Aug. 12.
“Dale started coming in shortly after I opened in 2011,”
Al Jung, owner of Dunn Bros. Coffee at
950 W. Paradise Drive, West Bend, said Tuesday
morning. “He became a regular so one day I sat down with
him and asked him what his story was.”
Jung said he learned Brunner had been an Army Ranger, a
Milwaukee Police officer and had been a Washington
County Sheriff’s deputy for 10 years before retiring.
The two weren’t in conversation very long before it
turned to coffee, Jung said.
“He told me he had worked at Morning Glory as a coffee
roaster and that he had made a special blend that
customers really liked,” Jung said. “It was a blend of
Columbian and Guatemalan coffee beans.”
“I tried it and it was really smooth. From then on, I
would make some up special for him and he’d come by and
buy bags for his family and friends,” Jung said.
Dale Brunner of Jackson, seen
with Cindy Bentley, a Special Olympian, died of
brain cancer in August. He was the first director of
the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
also discovered Brunner’s other love — the Special
Olympics of Wisconsin.
“He was very involved in fundraising for the Special
Olympics and loved to talk about it,” Jung said.
One day, Jung said, Brunner stopped coming to the coffee
“I asked around about
him and heard that he had been diagnosed with brain
cancer,” Jung said.
Wanting to do something that would
be a tribute to the customer who had become a friend,
Jung decided to use the coffee bean concoction Dale had
come up with as part of the Dunn Bros. rollout of its
“local blends,” line of signature coffees. “It’s called
‘Dale’s Blend’ and $1 of every bag sold goes to the
Special Olympics,” Jung said. “Dale was a true supporter
of me and of the shop when it opened so I’m happy that I
have the opportunity to do something in his memory for a
cause that meant so much to him.”
Betty Brunner said she was “beyond
thrilled,” when she heard about Jung’s idea of selling
the blend her late husband had perfected.
“I think Dale would have been very
happy because he loved his special blend but most of
all, he would have been so pleased about the money
benefiting the Special Olympics. That would have meant
the world to him,” Betty Brunner said.
was the first director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run
for Special Olympics and carried “the flame of hope” on
the local, national and international level. He was also
a recipient of the International Torch Run Hall of Fame
Award given by Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy
Shriver, founders of the Special Olympics, according to