Jump to content
PattyClaus

Wally Bronner Has Passed

Recommended Posts

PattyClaus

To all of the Santa's and Mrs. Clauses that have attended the CWH Santa School:

I have just heard that Wally Bronner has passed away. He was 81 years young and had inoperable cancer. Wally Bronner was the founder of Bronners in Frankenmuth, MI. Shoppers from all over the country have come for years to Bronner's to take in what is touted as the world's largest Christmas store. One of the highlights of the CWH School is the trip to Bronner's after the fabulous chicken dinner at the Bavarian Inn also in Frankenmuth.

One of the highlights of last year's class was the honor to meet this gentleman. We were early to the chicken dinner and he was in the room setting up. We were able to speak to him one-on-one and he was such a fine fellow. A joy to talk to. Later that evening he invited all of the Santas to the Silent Night Chapel on the Bronner's grounds. He sang Silent Night in Austrian to us all and it was an awe-inspiring moment and one that I will never forget.

For those of you who are not familiar with him, here a quote from Wally that will help show the type of person he was:

"You want to know the truth?" he asked a Detroit Free Press reporter in 2004. "The truth is no decorations are needed at all at Christmas. What's really needed at Christmas is that we decorate our hearts. "

"We get so busy with all of our preparations that we forget that this is such an important time of year to stop and take time to reflect on our lives, our faith, our world. "

"What matters most to me? Helping people to decorate their hearts with peace and love."

I know you will all join us in saying a prayer for Wally Bronner and wish him well on his journey.

wallywithbook.jpg

Edited by Santa Rielly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kona

I had the great pleasure to meet him last November at his store. He was signing copies of his book as there was such a long line I had decided to come back later that day. Then all of a sudden I heard Hey Santa don't forget about me on Christmas Eve I have been very good this year. Everyone line just broke put laughing. We have lost a great man and a great supporter for our craft. May he rest in peace.

:Santas-Hat:

Edited by Santa Kona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iowa Santa Claus

Mary, Grandma Claus and I also got to meet Wally last year at Bronners during C.W. Howard Santa School. He was a very funny man , he sure could tell jokes and crack up the crowd. I got 2 of his books sign . And also the Wally Bonner Possible Dreams Figure signed. He will be missed by so many. This should be a national holiday christmas people around the world. Til we meet again , Good Bye Wally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Rielly

A look at Wally Bronner's life

http://blog.mlive.com/saginawnews/2008/04/...nners_life.html

Too short to excerpt

The Saginaw News

by Lorri Lea

April 02, 2008

Frankenmuth's Wally Bronner died Tuesday.

Here's a look at his life and what he wrote about himself on the Bronner's Christmas Wonderland Web page:

"My hobby of signs, displays and decorations developed into a full-time business, and I never went to work. Since I never went to work, I don't have to think of retirement, and I'll continue the hobby, God-willing, but only on days that end in 'y'."

March 9, 1927 -- Wallace Bronner is born in Frankenmuth to Herman and Ella Bronner. He has two older siblings, Helen and Arnold.

1943 -- At age 16, Bronner starts an after-school sign painting business in the family home's basement, although he considered 1945, the year he graduated from Arthur Hill High School, as the official start of his business career.

1951 -- While decorating window displays for Bay City's Jennison Hardware Co., Bronner meets with Clare merchants who were looking for Christmas decorations for their community's lampposts. Bronner and his sole employee, Eddie Beyerlein, design and make the decorations, marking the beginning of Bronner's Christmas ventures. The same year, Bronner marries Irene Pretzer at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Hemlock.

1952 -- Wayne Bronner, the couple's first child, is born. Through 1966, the Bronners are blessed with three more children, Carla, Randy and Maria.

1954 -- Wally and Irene Bronner construct their first building in Frankenmuth. Half housed the sign painting business, while the other half was for Christmas decorations.

1963 -- The Bronners add on to their business. Three years later, they buy the Frankenmuth Bank Building and rename it Bronner's Tannenbaum Shop, a store featuring Christmas decorations.

1971 -- The business expands again. This time the Bronners acquire the former Hubinger Grocery Store and open Bronner's Bavarian Center.

1977 -- Bronner consolidates his three businesses under one roof on a 45-acre tract of land on the southern edge of Frankenmuth, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland at 25 Christmas Lane.

1991 -- Bronner's store doubles in size.

1992 -- The Silent Night Chapel, a replica of the original chapel in Oberndorf, Austria, where the popular Christmas hymn was penned, opens at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.

1998 -- The Bronners transfer the company's leadership to their children. Wayne becomes president and chief executive officer, while Carla and Maria serve as vice presidents.

2000-02 -- In 2000, Bronner expands the store's shipping department and two years later expands the building to encompass an area the size of 5.5 football fields.

2002 -- The Wallace and Irene Bronner and Family Performing Arts Center opens at Frankenmuth High School. The Bronner and Family Foundation donated $1 million for the auditorium. Through the years, the Bronners support numerous organizations, including St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, Frankenmuth Beautification Committee, Michigan's Own Inc. Military & Space Museum and Gideons International.

April 1, 2008 -- Wally Bronner dies at age 81.

<SOURCE>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kona

We have lost a great supporter of Christmas spirit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elf Gary

How sad,This is among the worse news i could ever wake up to find.

i never had a chance to meet him but hoped i would soon,but life never gives you what you want, it just gives you what it does and leaves you to make sense of it.

we can at least take comfort from the fact that the Bronner family will continue his legacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Santa JerryO

Patty, we have lost such a very good man. I too had the honor of meeting him this year at school and he was so full of the Christmas spirit. He took the time to thank me for stopping and talking with a little girl as she called out Santa!. I told Mr Bronner (and he said call me Wally), that it was he that I should thank for the opportunity to meet him for he always is in the Christmas spirit. To be there in the Silent Night Chapel with him was truly an honor that my wife and I will never forget. You could feel the heart felt joy he had and the love for Christ in Chrsitmas as he always said as he sang Silent Night.

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! we will truly miss you Wally!

:Santas-Hat:

Edited by Santa JerryO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Rielly

I am honored to have been there at the Silent Night Chapel this past October. When we all sang Silent Night in the Chapel it brought me to tears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iowa Santa Claus

Guy , We the class of 2007 have the priviledge of being the last C.W. Howard Santa School class to get to see Wally and have the priviledge of his rendition of Silent Night in the Chapel. It was a great honor to hear him speak and to hear him sing. There will never be another Wally Bronner, he was one of a kind and the mold was broken after him. To his family time will heal the hurt and loss, but we all know he is in a better place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Rielly

If you would like to send well wishes to Irene Bronner and family here is the link to the guest book

Guest Book

The Saginaw News will compile all these well wishes into a hard cover book to give to Irene and family.

The book will also be available to purchase with the proceeds going to the St Lorenz Lutheran Church foundation and the other groups the family has identified.

The deadline to write to the guest book is May 3, 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elf Without Jingles
To all of the Santa's and Mrs. Clauses that have attended the CWH Santa School:

I have just heard that Wally Bronner has passed away. He was 81 years young and had inoperable cancer. Wally Bronner was the founder of Bronners in Frankenmuth, MI. Shoppers from all over the country have come for years to Bronner's to take in what is touted as the world's largest Christmas store. One of the highlights of the CWH School is the trip to Bronner's after the fabulous chicken dinner at the Bavarian Inn also in Frankenmuth.

One of the highlights of last year's class was the honor to meet this gentleman. We were early to the chicken dinner and he was in the room setting up. We were able to speak to him one-on-one and he was such a fine fellow. A joy to talk to. Later that evening he invited all of the Santas to the Silent Night Chapel on the Bronner's grounds. He sang Silent Night in Austrian to us all and it was an awe-inspiring moment and one that I will never forget.

For those of you who are not familiar with him, here a quote from Wally that will help show the type of person he was:

"You want to know the truth?" he asked a Detroit Free Press reporter in 2004. "The truth is no decorations are needed at all at Christmas. What's really needed at Christmas is that we decorate our hearts. "

"We get so busy with all of our preparations that we forget that this is such an important time of year to stop and take time to reflect on our lives, our faith, our world. "

"What matters most to me? Helping people to decorate their hearts with peace and love."

I know you will all join us in saying a prayer for Wally Bronner and wish him well on his journey.

wallywithbook.jpg

Thanks, Wally Bronner. Your store's famous motto still says it all: "Enjoy CHRISTmas, because it's HIS birthday! Enjoy Life, because it's HIS Way!" Rest in peace, dear friend.

Santa Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Donations

    All donations go directly towards the cost of hosting and running ClausNet!

    Your support, through donations or simply by clicking on sponsor links, is greatly appreciated!

    Donate Sidebar by DevFuse
  • Our picks

    • Every Once in A While
      Every once in a while I see some flagrant abuses of Santa’s appearance and etiquette. It strikes me some men don’t care about how they act or portray the beloved character of Santa.

      Gentlemen, you undertake an awesome responsibility when you button up your Santa Suit. Don’t take it lighty!

      The “World” has an image of Santa as represented by illustrations, traditions and personal contact. Believe it or not, you’re being measured by those who see you for your authenticity.

      You’re fooling yourself if you believe that no one notices or cares if your bead is yellow or unkempt. Maybe you’re also missing a few of those pearly whites, or they are stained from tobacco products. Again, don’t fool yourself….kids notice everything! I have a gold crown capping one of my lower teeth. Every once in a while, I have an inquisitive youngster question what that gold thing is in my mouth. Years ago I thought it was well hidden however; kids have uncanny radar to pick out any of our flaws….

      You may be asking yourself, “What difference does it make? “It’s not the Christmas Season.” Maybe it isn’t however, If you’re representing Santa, you’re representing one of the most recognizable characters in the world. What you do reflects upon me and every Santa reader of this article. If you’re going to be recognized then do justice to the character we are reenacting.

      Over the years I have been a Santa, I have frequently been by told by people about the Santa they hired or saw which left a very poor expression. Most of their comments were predictable. Their Santa did not interact with the children as expected or he was unprepared. He was unanimated, had a dirty suit or lack luster beard. Obviously these are sure fire ways never to be called to this group again.

      Think about what impression you make as a Santa and pay attention to developing your character. You can become one of the best Santas in your area by learning everything about your character and performing from the heart.

      Always remember: It's not about you. It's about the children.

      Santa Lou Knezevich is the creator of the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
      Contact Santa Lou at: LegendarySantasMentoringProg@gmail.com
        • Love
        • Like
      • 1 reply
    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
        • Like
      • 26 replies
    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
        • Sad
        • Love
        • Like
      • 1 reply
    • Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?
      Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?

      Do you think we should start calling out those in our community whose actions or behavior is unbecoming of Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus?
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 94 replies
About | Forums | Blogs | Newsletter | Contact


© 2019 MJR Group. LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Copyright IP Policy

Proud affiliate of My Merry Christmas!

Subscribe to the ClausNet Gazette

Enter your email address to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

About ClausNet

The ClausNet community is the largest social network and online resource for Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and Santa helpers for the purposes of sharing stories, advice, news, and information.
×
×
  • Create New...