Luella Mae Brunelle, age 81 of Cass Lake, MN began her journey on Monday February 28, 2022 following a battle with a rare brain disease.
Luella was born on December 19, 1940 in Cass Lake, MN to Clifford and Margaret Beaulieu. She was an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation. Luella graduated from Cass Lake High School in 1958 and then moved to Minneapolis, MN where she achieved her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) education at Golden Valley Hospital in 1960. She worked at St. Barnabas Hospital in Minneapolis, MN before she began a successful career with the Leech Lake Reservation and Indian Health Service (IHS).
In 1961, Luella relocated to Belcourt, ND where she met her husband, William ‘Gus-Billy’ Brunelle. They married on October 6th, 1962. Following their marriage, they moved to Minneapolis, MN, Cleveland, OH, and Sunnyvale, CA due to the Indian Relocation Act. During this time, they had four children: William, Jeff, Brian and Lisa. In 1971, Luella returned to Cass Lake, MN where she worked as an LPN for the Leech Lake Head Start Program. In 1976, she completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Shortly thereafter, she worked at the Rosebud Hospital, SD and then returned home again to the Leech Lake Reservation where she served as a Community Health Nurse out of the Cass Lake Indian Hospital. She was instrumental in developing the Leech Lake Reservation Community Nursing Program. For the remainder of her career, she worked as assigned in various Indian Health Service locations: Bad River Reservation, WI, Red Lake Indian Hospital, MN, Federal Medical Center, Rochester, MN, Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Health Center, Bloomfield, NM. In 1988, Luella served as Director of Nursing and eventually Chief Executive Officer for many years at the Cass Lake Indian Hospital. In 2005, she retired as Chief Executive Officer at the Southern Bands Health Center in Elko, NV. Other special accomplishments include completing training at the Federal Law Training Center in Glencoe, GA, and becoming a Commissioned Corps Officer; obtaining the rank of Captain in the United States Uniformed Services.
Luella was an exceptional mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother. She had a powerful spirit; she was a strong, resilient woman who never showed weakness during difficult times. Luella always had a positive attitude and motivated others to do their best in life. She loved going to the casino with her siblings. She supported her children and grandchildren in all sports and activities. She never missed a game until her health declined. Her family was blessed with such a wonderful, caring woman. Her legacy will live on forever.
Family waiting for Luella are her husband, William Brunelle; her parents, Clifford and Margaret Beaulieu; brothers, Marvin Joe, Edward, and Richard “Dick” Beaulieu; auntie, Ann Oberg; special companion, Richard “Oly” Brown; nephews, Todd and Craig Pemberton and Joel Roy, Sr. and daughter in-law, Alana Brown. She leaves behind her children, William “Bill” (Wendy) Brunelle, Jeffrey Brunelle, Brian (Alli) Brunelle, and Lisa (Jamie) Mitchell all of Cass Lake; special son, Colin “Kelly” Brunelle; brother, Kent (Deb) Beaulieu; sisters, Gloria Hanson, Katherine Pemberton, and Susie (Tom) Roy; special grandson, Dakotah (Hallie) Brunelle, 14 grandchildren: Amber Brunelle, Cassandra Brunelle, Autumn (Aaron) Brunelle, Kaylee Brunelle, Alexa Brunelle, Coltin Mitchell, Hannah Brunelle, Bryanna Brunelle, Jessica Brunelle, Nakomis Mitchell, Mataya Mitchell, Aubree Brunelle, Serenity Brown. Dez Connor; seven great grandchildren and numerous other family members.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 2022 and 11 a.m., Friday, March 4, 2022 at Alliance Church, Cass Lake, Minnesota
Funeral Service will be at 12 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2022 at Alliance Church with Reverend George Ross officiating.
Pallbearers will be Tim Beaulieu, Ed Hanson, Myles Brunelle, Clifford Beaulieu, Tony Brunelle, Jared Pemberton, Colin Brunelle, and Alex O’Neal. Alternates are Randy Brunelle, Joel Roy, Jr., Marcus Roy, Chuck Hanson, Del Brunelle and Terry Lavendure. Honorary Pallbearers are her grandchildren: Amber, Cassie, Autumn, Kaylee, Dakotah, Alexa, Hannah, Dez, Coltin, Bryanna, Jessica, Nakomis, Mataya, Aubree, Serenity
Interment in the Spring at Pine Grove Cemetery in Cass Lake, Minnesota
Arrangements entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker. Online condolences may be left at www.northernpeace.com.