Cover photo for William  Robert Bruns II's Obituary
William  Robert Bruns II Profile Photo
1944 William 2021

William Robert Bruns II

March 29, 1944 — December 14, 2021

William Robert Bruns II, of Indianapolis, passed peacefully Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, after a lengthy illness. He was born March 29, 1944, the son of the late William Robert and Muriel P. Ruch Bruns, at St. Francis Hospital, Indianapolis.

His wife, Sallie Marie Carrico Bruns, whom he wed Aug. 28, 1965, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, Indianapolis, survives, as well as his son, William R. Bruns III, and daughter-in-law Deborah Andrea Bruns; daughter, Monica Marie Stone, and son-in-law Jeffrey L. Stone; daughter, Elizabeth Ann Bruns, and son-in-law, Joseph E. Isert. He also is survived by grandchildren, Marlie Ann Bruns, and William Thomas Charles Bruns; cousins, nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.

Bill earned his undergraduate degree in English from Xavier University of Cincinnati, Ohio; his Masters of Pastoral Theology from St. Mary of the Woods, Terre Haute, Ind.; and his MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

In his professional life, Bill served as executive director of Communications for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and as corporate communications editor for Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis. He was a longtime member of St. Barnabas Catholic Church and was a Grand Knight with the Xavier University Council, Knights of Columbus.

A devoted and devout Catholic throughout his life, Bill held a vast knowledge of all things, was a trivia master and potential Jeopardy winner. He had a wry and rapier sense of humor, and was concerned about and committed to others through his church, philanthropy and personal participation.

An author of two books on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Bill was a teacher and had a passion for the written word, as a writer and editor. His children, and many who worked with him, both remember and praise Bill’s biting critiques and gentle mentorship, and credit him with helping hone skills they would use throughout their life.

He enjoyed drawing and doodling, and creating beauty with his hands, heart, and vision. Music was another passion; Bill had a special fondness for folk music by groups such as Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver and The Beach Boys.

Family and friends recall Bill’s special and distinct qualities, including his loving and compassionate nature, a true passion for cooking – and enjoying – food (he was a natural born chef), and his lifelong love of reading. A fanatic for being on time, Bill considered anyone who arrived on time late, and any late arrival as unacceptable.

He enjoyed vacations and cruising with Sallie, especially trips to the Caribbean. A favored trip was to San Francisco in 1987, where he and Sallie had the good fortune to see Pope John Paul II. Bill exclusively planned annual Easter egg hunts for his family, setting out boots on St. Nicholas Eve and time with his well-traveled children and many friends.

The family is celebrating Bill’s life with a private service to ensure health and safety during COVID-19, as he would not have wanted anyone to feel unsafe or to risk anyone becoming ill at his funeral.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Vincent de Paul or the Indianapolis Zoological Society. O’Riley Funeral Home is serving the Bruns family. Please visit to share a favorite memory of Bill with his family on the online guest registry.

To send flowers to the family in memory of William Robert Bruns II, please visit our flower store.

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