Obituary and Condolences

Veronica "Ronnie" Brighton

January 23, 1948 April 29, 2019
Veronica "Ronnie" Brighton
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Obituary for Veronica "Ronnie" Brighton

Veronica “Ronnie” Brighton was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa, in January, 1948, to Harold and Bernice Brighton. There was a blizzard raging in Iowa on the day of her birth and her parents were unable to get their car to start, so a neighbor gave them a ride to the hospital. She has never liked winter since.

Ronnie grew up in Williams, Iowa, and received a very good primary & secondary education from the public schools in Williams and Blairsburg, Iowa. She became a strong proponent of excellent public schools. She attended Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Des Moines and became a registered nurse in 1969. She practiced nursing in the Des Moines area in critical care at Mercy, Methodist & Broadlawns hospitals for several years, then returned to school at the University of Iowa for her BSN. After that Ronnie switched her focus to psychiatric / mental health nursing and received a master’s degree in 1977 in that specialty. She practiced psychiatric nursing in some capacity since that time and considered it the “best kept secret in nursing”, and a specialty she tried very hard to get other nurses to pursue.

She taught nursing in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Iowa City. She served on the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Nursing for over 20 years, and really loved teaching beginning nurses whether they were undergraduates or graduate students.
Ronnie was a postulant at Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey (OLM) of the contemplative Cistercian (Trappistine) order in 1983-4. Although she left the order, she continued her strong interest in contemplative spirituality. She joined the Associates of the Iowa Cistercians (AIC) in 2003, made her commitment in 2006 and was an on-going member.

Over the years, Ronnie served in various capacities in the Iowa Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). She volunteered at the animal shelter as a “cat petter” and for various horse owners as a groomer.

She was a member of St. Wenceslaus Church in Iowa City, and maintained strong ties to her childhood parish, St. Mary’s in Williams and to the New Melleray Abbey and OLM Cistercian communities in Dubuque.

Ronnie found almost everything interesting, especially when she learned about it from someone who could convey their passion for the subject – she was good at practically nothing. She especially liked reading, all sports, especially baseball, yard work, cooking, music, movies and thinking about and discussing politics & current events. She had a well-known love for cats and horses.

Ronnie is survived by her mother, Bernice Brighton of Ankeny; a sister Margaret (Curt) McJunkin of Ft. Worth, Texas; brothers John (Ann) and Steven of Des Moines; sister in law Kris Brighton; seven nieces and nephews and her cats, Shirley, Goodness, Mercy and Peanut.

She was preceded in death by her father Harold, a sister Rosemary Brighton, a brother Bill Brighton and a sister in law, Carla Howser.

Her death, at the extra-inning, seventh game of the World Series that the Cubs won at Wrigley Field, was just how she would have wished. She died very happy.

Visitation will be held Sunday, May 5th, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City, where a rosary will be recited at 4:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, May 6th, at 11:00 am at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Iowa City.
Burial will be at a later date in Williams, Iowa.

Memorials may be directed to Friends of the Animal Center Foundation or the Trappist Casket Children’s Fund, c/o New Melleray Abbey.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Veronica "Ronnie" Brighton, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM 5/5/2019 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 5/5/2019 4:00:00 PM
Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City

605 Kirkwood Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

A rosary will be recited at 4:00 pm

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City
605 Kirkwood Avenue Iowa City 52240 IA
United States





11:00 AM 5/6/2019 11:00:00 AM
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church

630 East Davenport Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church
630 East Davenport Street Iowa City 52245 IA
United States

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