Elizabeth “Beth” Anne Brunelle, 46, of Ithaca, NY, died at Hospicare from a ferocious fight with cancer. She was born on May 7, 1973, in New Bedford, MA, to Gertrude Brunelle from Albany, NY, and the late Leo Brunelle. In addition to her mother, Beth is survived by her twin sister Aimee Brunelle of Schenectady, NY, her brother Marc Brunelle, and her partner of 15 years, Cheryl Jewell, and their dog, Charlie.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at SUNY Cortland and her Masters of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Biomechanics. She enjoyed a productive career in higher education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Salisbury University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Ithaca College, and SUNY Cortland. Her professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm resulted in her receiving many awards including the Staff Award from the Ithaca College Multicultural Affairs and AAHPERD Research Consortium. Her research article “The Effects of Walking Poles on Ground Reaction Forces” was published by the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and has been cited. ( BRUNELLE, E. A., and M. K. MILLER, Res Q Exerc Sport. 69(Suppl.):A30,1998. ) At each of these campuses, she loved her work. She had such passion and heart working with, and teaching college students. She also had careers at Planned Parenthood, SPCA of Tompkins County, and Racker Centers. In (what year?) Beth was recognized as one of the Seven Outstanding Women You Should Know in Central New York.
What she ultimately leaves behind and what was very dear to her were her community services, which kept her actively engaged until the end of her life. At the Cancer Resource Center, Beth recognized the need for a support group for young people living with cancer. Her collaborative efforts resulted in the inception of the Young Adult Support Group at the Cancer Resource Center, now named Beth’s Group in her legacy. She volunteered for many years at the SPCA of Tompkins County, and was a Camp Counselor and on the Board of Directors for the Southern Tier Region for Camp Good Days, and Girl Scout Camp Archbald in PA. She also served on the Friends of Stewart Park Board of Directors, participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for six years, the1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, the SUNY Cortland Alumni Board of Directors, and the Ithaca Concert Band where she was President/Board of Directors for nine years and a member for 17 years. She loved performing in the orchestras for many local high school musicals, where she played the baritone sax, flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet. Beth loved giving to and engaging with her community.
Calling hours are Friday from 4:00-6:00 pm at Perkins Funeral Home at 55 W Main St, Dryden, NY followed by a Funeral service at the Unitarian Church at 306 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY at 8:00 pm. She will be buried at Green Springs Cemetery, 293 Irish Hill Rd, Newfield, NY 14867 at 11:00 am on Saturday. Those wishing to remember Beth with a memorial donation are asked to donate to the Ithaca Concert Band at P.O. Box 902, Ithaca, NY 14851 and Hospicare in memory of Beth at 172 E King Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. A special thank you to all the nurses, aides, and staff at Hospicare for their kindness and tremendous work. Also, a special thank you to the past and current staff of the Cancer Resource Center.
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