H. (Horace) Bruce Bylund was born July 24, 1920, in his family home in Santaquin, Utah. He passed away surrounded by his loving family on Aug. 22, 2014, at the age of 94 in Orem, Utah. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Rhea. He is survived by a magnificent posterity of eight children, many wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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Bruce was raised during the hard times of the Great Depression. His family didn't have much, but they were close and loved and supported each other. This love of family and strong commitment to supporting his family was something he prioritized above all else throughout his life.
Bruce's early years were made harder when his father was killed in a mining accident. In his late teens and early 20s he found work in a variety of difficult jobs, including laying tracks on the railroad, logging with a crosscut saw and breaking rocks in a quarry with 14-pound sledge hammer. In the early days of World War II, he found a job in Burbank, California, at the Lockheed aircraft factory. While working in California he met his future wife, Rhea Bowen, a young woman from Spanish Fork, Utah.
Bruce was an officer and pilot in the United States Navy assigned as a flight instructor when he and Rhea were married. After Bruce was discharged, the family drove cross country back to Utah, where over the next six years Bruce completed both his bachelor's and master's degrees. Bruce then went on to earn his doctorate degree from Penn State University. The rural sociology department there thought so highly of the young Ph.D. that he was hired onto the staff, where he was a valuable faculty member for another 10 years.
Being a contributing member of the LDS Church was always a priority to Bruce. While in Pennsylvania, Bruce served the Church in the local branch as well as being a counselor in the district presidency. In their earliest days in Pennsylvania, it was said that the entire State College branch could fit into the Bylunds' station wagon.
In 1964 Bruce was recruited by the Utah State University sociology department, and the Bylunds moved back to Utah. This moved was followed by many years of teaching, child rearing, adventurous family vacations and service in the Church. After retirement, Bruce and Rhea served a mission to Australia where they made many friends and served with great devotion.
Bruce will be remembered for his great kindness, his numerous stories and anecdotes, his powerful example, his devotion to his family, his quick wit, and his support, encouragement and wise advice. More than once during his academic life, both as a graduate student and as a professor, Bruce often sacrificed other activities in order to give more time and attention to his large family. That sacrifice has made all the difference to a posterity that reveres him as a beloved patriarch.
Bruce lived a long life that was well-lived. He grew up in hardship that gave him depth and dimension. As a young man, faithful in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he learned what mattered most and chose to always put family first. We love him dearly for it.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Logan 8th Ward chapel, 325 Lauralin Drive. There will be a viewing Saturday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment will follow in the Logan City Cemetery with Military Honors. Funeral directors are Allen-Hall Mortuary, Logan.
34 East Center Street
Logan, UT 84321
Published in Logan Herald Journal from Aug. 28 to Aug. 29, 2014