Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Retired Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett, who led the Archdiocese of Seattle from 1997 to his retirement in 2010, died Jan. 31. He was 86.
Alexander Joseph Brunett (January 17, 1934 – January 31, 2020) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Seattle from 1997 until his retirement in 2010. Brunett previously served as the Bishop of Helena from 1994 to 1997 and after his retirement he served as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland, California from 2012 to 2013.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Brunett was ordained to the priesthood in Rome in 1958. From 1959 to 1994 he held several church positions in the Detroit area. In April 1994 he was appointed Bishop of Helena, Montana by Pope John Paul II and was consecrated bishop later that year. He was appointed Archbishop of Seattle in October 1997, and held that office until he reached his mandatory retirement age in 2010. In 2012, Brunett was appointed as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland and held that position until a permanent bishop was installed in 2013.
After returning to Seattle, he suffered a stroke in 2013 that severely restricted his mobility. Despite his impairment, Brunett was a fixture at major events around the archdiocese until he suffered a fall April 26, 2019.