Kevin Bruce

Obituary
  • "I haven't seen Kevin for a few years, but our families came..."
    - Deidre Ganopole
  • "I believe we each knew Kevin would become the person he..."
    - Michael Haller
  • "Dear Laurie and Family of Kevin Bruce: We were very..."
    - Tom and Theresa Obermeyer
  • "I went to school with Kevin. I was a year ahead of him. ..."
  • "May the God of all comfort strengthen the family during..."

Kevin Keith Bruce died at home in Anchorage on October 13th with his wife, Laurie, by his side. He was 60 years old. Kevin had been diagnosed with a rare form of slow-growing cancer more than 11 years ago.

Kevin came to Anchorage with his family from California at the age of 7 when his father was hired by Governor Bill Egan to be the State's first petroleum geologist. He grew up in West Anchorage and lived there most of his adult life.

He had no fear of change or challenge, had a highly competitive spirit, and never asked anyone to do more than he was willing to do himself. His eclectic career consisted of both public service and entrepreneurial endeavors. He had no time for rear view mirrors; he always looked forward.

He was a Renaissance man in his personal life, which included a lifelong interest in history, art, cooking and enjoying fine cuisine, travel, and the pursuit of fish. Though possessed of a quick, often-acerbic wit and competitive drive, he also had a compassionate nature and supported a number of charitable efforts through both financial and pro-bono service contributions.

Kevin earned a B.A. in Justice from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1980. He worked throughout his student years in several areas related to judicial matters.

Upon graduating, Kevin served as Professional Aide to the State Senate Judiciary Committee chair. He became a Special Assistant for Gov. Bill Sheffield in 1982, serving as the Governor's liaison to the Departments of Commerce, Public Safety, Law and Corrections. In 1983, the Governor appointed him Deputy Commissioner of Corrections where he was responsible for management of 14 state correctional facilities. Kevin worked with the correctional facility design team, helping create what would become the Anvil Mountain prison in Nome, and the maximum security Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward.

In 1985 Kevin moved to the private sector and started a private community residential services company, providing managed living in halfway houses for criminal offenders who were preparing to reenter society. After nearly three years, he sold his interest in the company and moved on to his next entrepreneurial venture.

He was a founder of Northwest Strategies, a public relations and advertising firm, heading it up as President. Kevin's efforts built it into one of the most respected and largest agencies in the state, serving some of Alaska's largest entities, from Native corporations to state agencies to oil companies. Just a few years after the creation of the agency, he met Laurie Austin Taylor, and the two became a couple. They married on July 27, 2001.

He sold the agency in 2002, and Kevin re-entered public service for three years to serve as Deputy Port Director at the Port of Anchorage. He then became a private consultant, providing governmental relations services to a variety of clients dealing with the Municipality of Anchorage for the last several years.

Given his work and non-profit contributions, his family, friends and associates recognize his positive impact on the community. Kevin accumulated an excellent record over his lifetime, and anyone who knew him well knows that his progressive vision for Anchorage was extraordinary.

Despite challenging health conditions in the last years, Kevin always kept his wit, wisdom and sense of humor, and was much loved by his family and friends. He and Laurie enjoyed extensive travels around the world and to their vacation home in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Kevin was preceded in death by his father, Donald Bruce. He is survived by his wife, Laurie Bruce; son Dein Bruce and daughter-in-law Christy Bruce; daughter Erin Gallagher and son-in-law Ryan Gallagher; grandchildren Kyrah Bruce, Ayden Bruce, and Darion Jones, all Anchorage residents. He is also survived by his mother, Lois Pierce of Thousand Palms, CA; sister Karen Whetstone of Silverdale, WA; and brother Eric Bruce of Farmington, NM.

His family extends heartfelt thanks to Providence Hospice for providing him excellent care in the last weeks of his life.

A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, November 15th at 6:00 p.m. in the Atrium of the Anchorage Museum.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 28 to Oct. 29, 2012