Obituary: Andrew Brunette / Hopewell manager, high school coach

July 21, 1966 - March 11, 2014

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If there was something going on in Hopewell, Andy Brunette was there with a smile on his face.

Andrew "Andy" Brunette is remembered as a devoted family man, encouraging coach and dedicated public servant. The municipal manager in Hopewell and high school coach died Tuesday at age 47 after collapsing while playing tennis.

His legacy is deeply ingrained in the Hopewell community. He coached the boys and girls bowling and tennis teams for Hopewell Area High School. He began working for the township in 2002 and became township manager and controller in 2010.

Born in Sewickley to George Anthony and Rachel Brunette, he graduated from Quaker Valley High School and Robert Morris University, where he earned a degree in accounting. He was a member of Aliquippa Christian Assembly Church in Center.

After years with USAir, his move to work for the township "was a natural fit," said commissioners President Norm Kraus.

Mr. Brunette used his gift for organization and numbers to "improve everything he worked on," Mr. Kraus said.

"When he took something on, it was a success," Mr. Kraus said, praising Mr. Brunette's work to improve the township's financial systems. "He did it with an unbelievable flair. You never had to worry about things being taken care of."

For every township event or youth sports clinic, Mr. Brunette jumped in to lend a hand, knowing that a successful event benefitted the community, especially the children.

District athletic director Don Short called Mr. Brunette "a tremendous person and coach."

"He was a coach everyone looked up to," Mr. Short said. "He was a teacher and promoter of the game, always so encouraging to the players."

His enthusiasm made him a popular figure in the community, touching countless lives in the district.

"Everyone knew him, always with a smile on his face," he said. "The kids loved him. For many of them this is like the death of a close family member."

Programs flourished under Mr. Brunette's coaching. His teams notched record-win seasons and advanced further in postseason tournaments than ever before. On Saturday the boys bowling team, which includes his son, Andrew, will compete in the state bowling tournament, playing in honor of their coach.

Mr. Short said the district has received condolences from many coaches and athletic directors, a testament to how respected Mr. Brunette was among his peers.

"It's a tremendous loss for the school district and the community," Mr. Short said.

Mr. Brunette is survived by his wife of 20 years, Lori; children Andrew and Raquela; and a brother, Anthony.

Visitation will be from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Tatalovich Funeral Home, 2205 McMinn St., Aliquippa.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday at Aliquippa Christian Assembly, 166 W. Shaffer Road, Aliquippa. Private interment will follow in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery.

Lauren Lindstrom: or 412-263-1964.

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