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Interior Design student to be awarded posthumous degree

Jacqueline Brunberg of Chesapeake will be posthumously awarded her Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design at Tidewater Community College’s 61st Commencement Exercises to be held Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

More than a dozen friends and family members will attend the commencement in her honor. Brunberg was completing her final math course when she died unexpectedly last summer.

Her husband, Steven, said she always had a knack for turning a house into a home. As a Navy wife, she moved 20 times, adding her special touches to each new place. “We moved from base to base for a lot of years,” he said. “Even when the property was pretty poor, Jackie would turn the place into a warm home.”

Jackie Brunberg was a stay-at-home mom for many years before returning to the classroom. “She absolutely loved going to TCC,” said her husband, a retired Navy chief. “She dressed up to go to school and was energized by what she was learning.”

Jennifer Hopkins, head of TCC’s Interior Design program, said, “Jackie was a vibrant personality with a high GPA, and her work reflected her passion for the industry.”

Interior Design instructor Robert Pappas added, “Jackie loved learning and she always amazed me with her creative and professional class projects. Her time at TCC was filled with hilarious challenges with computers that only she could encounter, but she overcame every obstacle with a determination that only Jackie had. I admired that about her. She was a delight to have in class and I am going to miss her.”

Jackie Brunberg was active in the community, serving as a Navy Ombudsman for 10 years. The ombudsman assists families with navigating Navy life through resources and information. She also acted and sang in community theater.

Two of the four Brunberg children are TCC graduates, and a third child has taken classes at the college.

“A few times, Jackie ended up in class with one of the kids. It was great for everyone,” Steven Brunberg said.