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Darla J. Brunsen

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


March 1, 1949 - August 15, 2023


Children laughing. Dogs romping. Cats meowing. Horses galloping. Freshly decorated holiday cookies. Baby blankets. Ballerina’s dancing. A garden of fresh tomatoes. Saltwater taffy. Sweet corn. Darla loved all of these things. We like to think these were some of the first sights and sounds she saw as crossed through the pearly gates to the afterlife.

Darla J. Brunsen passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. She was born on March 1, 1949, in Algona to Phyllis A. Awe (Falk) and Robert E. Carr. She spent her childhood riding horses, traveling, swimming, taking ballet, running around with her best friends (Nancy and Marlys) and her sister, Cheryl (Gary) LaMaster.

In 1967 she graduated from Algona High School and went on to AIB to study accounting before marrying the love of her life Richard Brunsen on Sept. 14, 1968. They settled in Algona and raised three children - Dawn (John) Koenigsknecht, April (Bob) Schumacher, and Blaine (Jessica) Brunsen.

While her children were growing up, she took pride in everything they did. She made sure each and every holiday was special. She also enjoyed the simple things: watching soap operas, taking her kids to the mall in Ft. Dodge with her sister-in-law Ruth Brunsen, making holiday crafts, decorating elaborate ceramic Christmas trees or houses. If you were lucky, she gifted you with a handmade baby blanket.

She fell in love with Colorado while Blaine was going to college there and enjoyed traveling there long after he moved away. As empty nesters, Darla and Dick spent every summer at their cabin in Minnesota. Summertime was about fishing, cleaning fish, eating fish, watching their grandog Tobey, having coffee with her neighbors and listening to their grandchildren romp around the cabin. She left behind seven grandchildren - Maxten Schumacher, Hailey Brunsen (Jackson Helmers), Nolan Brunsen, Jake Koenigsknecht, AJ Koenigsknecht, Colson Koenigsknecht and Whitney Brunsen. She also left behind two great-granddaughters - Sloane and Lennon Helmers. Her nephew, Andrew (Chris) Brunsen, and niece, Christie (Doug) Schoo, also held a special place in her heart. There were countless daycare children that touched her life…too many to name.

Darla was preceded in death by her mother Phyllis (Jerry) Awe and her father Robert Carr, as well as her grandmother, Martha L. Falk, who she was especially close to, and her brother-in-law, Dale Brunsen. Darla will be missed by so many, but we take comfort in knowing she will be watching from above delighting in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s many adventures as they navigate the world.

The family would like to thank Darla’s care team with Hospice of the Heartland, Dr. Lampe and St. Croix Hospice. We can’t thank Danielle Allen enough for caring so deeply for Darla during the last year. You gave her comfort and joy when she really needed it.

In honor of Darla’s wishes, a private memorial and burial will be held. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Croix Hospice and Hospice of the Heartland.  To leave an online tribute, visit

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