John "Bruce" Blucker

John "Bruce" Blucker
February 2, 1929 - January 18, 2014
Resident of Castro Valley
Bruce Blucker was raised in Castro Valley where his family had settled in 1932. He rode horses and enjoyed country living. Although he didn't dress like a cowboy, he never lost that cowboy spirit. And this led to an unusual occupation. He became an accomplished stamper of Western saddles. It was a skill that took countless hours to perfect. He was a master of cutting and stamping intricate and detailed floral designs on saddles and leather goods. His work was so exquisite that it was published in trade journals. He worked at this craft for 25 years.
Bruce graduated from Hayward High School in 1946 and began working in aircraft electronics and then as Principal Electrician at Livermore Lawrence Lab for 13 years. The last 13 years of his career were spent working for Physics International where he was sent to work for a time in France and in Germany. He retired as a Master Technician in 1982. While working, he also attended Diablo Valley College at night, graduating with honors. He was so fascinated with his studies that he had difficulty putting his books down to perform more mundane tasks - like eating.
The passion that he had for life manifested itself in many ways throughout his lifetime. He was a fitness buff who worked out with weights, played pickup basketball, enjoyed Country Western dancing and pilates, continuing exercise classes into his 80's. He was a striking presence because he was handsome and tall (6'3").
Bruce never lost the feeling of wonder. He was an early riser, anxious to get to work on unending projects. After retiring, he became a licensed building contractor. He was able to repair almost anything and his garage was often lined with items that he would repair for neighbors and friends. He also had a great deal of knowledge of antiques which he collected and sold.
Bruce's greatest legacy in life, however, was the loving relationships that he formed. He was a gentle and kind person with strong morals and a huge heart. He was generous and charitable, often championing the causes of people who were down-on-their luck or of neglected or mistreated animals. He was an incredible father to his three daughters and could often be found on the floor letting them ride him like a horse. He was full of hugs and kind wisdom. He also had a great wit and enjoyed a good laugh, particularly when receiving insulting birthday cards. He maintained that sense of humor until the end of his life, even when ill.
Bruce endured his illness with strength, dignity, and grace, never complaining. He will be missed by his loving wife, Sharon, who cared and comforted him to the end, and his sister, Gail. Adoring daughters and spouses Janet and Wayne Reel, Laurie and Steven Owens, and Julie Enzor-Wilson, and step-children Steve and Bonnie Shamblin and Scott and Julie Shamblin will also miss his loving presence. Grandchildren including: Jaydie and Greg, Brian, Ashley, Brittany, Blake, Sean, Isabella, Austin, and Tyler and many friends and neighbors, including John Owens and family, mourn his passage. In lieu of flowers, the family will appreciate donations to the SPCA.
A memorial service will he held at the First Baptist Church in Castro Valley at 2:00 on February 22nd.
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
An' listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever, but I ask you please
Don't fence me in
Cole Porter

Published in Inside Bay Area on Jan. 26, 2014