Cover photo for Elizabeth Jean Brudniak's Obituary
Elizabeth Jean Brudniak Profile Photo

Elizabeth Jean Brudniak

January 4, 1931 — February 24, 2022

Elizabeth Jean Brudniak

Elizabeth Jean Brudniak ("Jean”),* beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, February 24, 2022, at the age of 91. She was born on January 4, 1931, in Hinsdale, Illinois, to Margaret and Harry Lauchle. As a sophomore at Downers Grove High School (near Chicago, Illinois), Jean met Ted Brudniak, who was instantly smitten and thought she was "the prettiest girl in the school." The two high school sweethearts married when Jean was 23, enjoying a 68-year marriage together and making their homes successively in Prairie Village, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Jean's generosity of spirit was apparent from a very young age. When a neighbor admired her lovely brunette curls, three-year-old Jean went home, found some scissors and cut off a few locks, and then returned to present them to the shocked neighbor at her door! Not surprisingly, Jean was called to a career of serving others, and she graduated in 1952 from Wesley School of Nursing in Chicago as a Registered Nurse, working at a number of hospitals from 1952 to 1958. Her warmth, competence, and air of calm assurance no doubt brought comfort to many.

Jean was an avid gardener (and a dedicated bird feeder!), and enjoyed nature, tennis, and travel throughout her life. Jean and Ted felt very fortunate that Ted’s work helped to facilitate travel to some of the lovely places they were able to visit, including Europe, Puerto Rico, and Hong Kong. Some of their most memorable trips were made to Germany and to Japan to visit their treasured friends there. A member of her high school glee club, Jean later sang for many years in the choir at her Methodist church. Her home and garden were filled with plants lovingly nurtured with the aid of her renowned "green thumb." Woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and other birds (as well as the occasional furry critter) flocked to her bird feeders, providing entertainment for Jean and her husband (who had pet names for many of them).

Some of Jean's other interests included reading, cooking, sewing, movies, and crossword puzzles. A lifelong sports fan and "jockette," Jean was on her high school basketball team and played tennis throughout her life. An enthusiastic football fan, she was known for announcing calls in the living room before the referees did. She was very involved in the lives of her children, serving as a Girl Scout leader and stopwatch timer at innumerable summer swim meets. In later years in Hot Springs Village, Jean enjoyed playing tennis with her good friends in the HSV Tennis Association League, leading groups for the POA Landscape volunteers that maintained the Village's beautiful gardens, and socializing with her wide circle of friends. Her warmth, humor, and caring nature drew others to her, and she will be very deeply missed by many.

The eldest daughter of Margaret (Martin) and Harry Lauchle, Jean was preceded in death by her brother David Lauchle and by her sister Sarah Oswald, with whom she shared a bedroom growing up. Sarah hopped on the heavenly shuttle just a few hours before Jean, on their father's birthday -- confirming that a joyful family reunion was "on." Her family takes comfort in the thought of her Grand Welcome Home.

Jean is survived by her loving husband, Thadeus "Ted" Brudniak; by her sister, Kathy Keyes; by her three children: Becky Brudniak, Steven Brudniak, and Laura Brudniak; and by her nieces and nephew and their families. We would like to express our gratitude to the wonderful staff at Mt. Carmel Community for their open-hearted, compassionate care; Jean always expressed how much she loved everyone there, and they have become a second family.

Honoring Jean's wishes, there will not be a funeral or memorial service. Guest register at

* Elizabeth Jean became "Jean" in Marie Slepicka's science class one day in school when she stood up and declared her name from then on would be just that, because she was tired of all the derivatives of Elizabeth at the time (such as "Lizzy" and "Tin Lizzie”).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Jean Brudniak, please visit our flower store.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree