Benita Nadine (Lively) Bruce, 79, of Scottsbluff, Neb., passed away Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at her home after a courageous battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26, at St. Francis Episcopal Church with the Rev. Mark Selvely officiating.
Benita was born Aug. 13, 1934 at Goodland, Kan. to William "Bill" Jr. and Loretto (Lehman) Lively. She received her early education at Padroni and graduated from Sterling High School in Colorado.
She was married to Robert E. Luthy on Aug. 31, 1952, at Aurora, Neb., and they made their home in Woodrow. They moved to Aurora in1958, raising four children. She continued her education at the University of Nebraska, achieving completion in real estate and business. She became proficient in sewing and tailoring, was an accomplished artist in water color and acrylics. She started her own doll repair business in the 1950s and continued her love of dolls throughout her life,
Benita married Vern (Earl) Bruce, Jan. 1, 1985, and moved to Scottsbluff and enjoyed working with horses, partnering with her husband, exhibiting teams and stagecoach while selling real estate in the area.
She was an avid knitter and loved sharing her talents with family and friends. Throughout her life Benita enjoyed traveling and made friends worldwide, was a lover of books and reading, she played the piano and loved all music. She enjoyed archeology and the outdoors. She was an advocate for youth, hosting many young foreign students in her home, then volunteering for CASA.
She was a member of the Nebraska Realtors Association, Realtors Land Institute, International Foundation of Doll Makers, Nebraska State Genealogical Society, Sherman County Historical Society, International Rose Society and Pilots Association.
Benita will be remembered by her many close friends she made in the Scottsbluff area. She is survived by her children, Roberta (KW) Moore and their sons, Joshua and Jake Hayden; Carolyn (Doug) Pence and their children Duane (Cheyann) Donnell and their children, Peyton and Dodie, Derek Pence, and Courtney Vcelik and her children, Cayden and Addyson; R.J. (Lori) Luthy and their children, Jordon (Chelsea) and their children Robert and Kaylee, Katie and her son, Kaden; and Cody; and Paul (Stacey) Luthy and their children Kristen and Alex; sisters, Rita Smith of Sterling, Marilyn Carr of Prairie City, S.D. and Jane Snow of Wellington, and many loved nieces and nephews and beloved pet, Schatzie.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Robert E. Luthy and Vern Bruce.
Memorials have been established to the Riverside Discovery Center and Festival of Hope. Tributes of sympathy may be left at dugankramer.com.