FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. – Bruce G. Soden, 74, of Fayetteville and Brantingham, N.Y., died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico on Feb. 10, 2013.
Born Jan. 21, 1939, in Plattsburgh, N.Y. to New York State Supreme Court Justice Harold R. and Eunice G. Soden and raised in Lake Placid, he spent his childhood roaming the Adirondack Park. He attended Lake Placid schools before completing his secondary education at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. where he played football and was named to the All-American Team his senior year. He moved down the road to Princeton University
where he studied English Literature, played football on the undefeated 1954 squad and discovered what would become a lifelong passion when he joined Princeton's Varsity Heavyweight Crew. After graduating in 1960, Soden continued his education at Columbia Law School where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi Honor Society and served as the Chief Judge of Kent Moot Court. Upon graduation in 1963, he joined the firm of Hancock, Estabrook, Ryan Shove and Hust as a trial attorney and settled in Syracuse. He was a Lieutenant in the New York National Guard JAG Corps from 1963-69. In 1985, Soden was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 1989, he joined the law firm of Greene Hershdorfer and Sharpe where he remained until his retirement in 2006.
Soden was predeceased by his first wife, Alison Walbridge Soden.
Throughout his life, Soden was generously engaged in the communities in which he lived. Over his lifetime, he served as the President of the Onondaga County Preservation Association, was an Elder and Sunday School teacher at Park Central Presbyterian Church, a member of Gyro International and The Century Club of Syracuse, a volunteer for Aurora of Central New York, a Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee Volunteer and a U.S. Rowing Association Judge Referee. In retirement, he applied his legal skills to advocating for victims of 9/11 and volunteering his time with the Onondaga County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyer Project providing pro bono legal services.
A guiding principle in Soden's life was to "leave it better than when he found it." He realized this creatively, professionally, and within the community organizations to which he gave so much of himself. He had a deep and abiding enthusiasm for life. He enjoyed sharing experiences with the people around him and made new friends everywhere he went. His unrestrained and genuine laughter will be missed.
Soden is survived by his beloved wife, Priscilla Brazie Soden; his children, Matthew (Jeannine) Soden of Silver Springs, Md., Laney (Robert) Izard of Liverpool, N.Y., Mark (Colleen) Soden of Winchester, Mass., Scott (Sheila) Brazie of Ballston Lake, N.Y., Darin (Kathalyn) Brazie of Fayetteville, N.Y., Elizabeth (Tyler) Thickstun of Kenai, Alaska; his sister, Marcia (Vaino) Kola of Deer Isle, Maine; 11 grandchildren; a great-grandchild, five nephews and two nieces.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Friday (March 8, 2013), from 4-9 p.m. at Eaton-Tubbs Fayetteville Chapel, 7191 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville, N.Y.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday (March 9, 2013), at 11 a.m. at DeWitt Community Church, 3600 Erie Blvd., DeWitt, N.Y.
For a guest book, directions and florists, please visit scheppfamily.com.
The family respectfully asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Aurora of Central New York or the Onondaga County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyer Project.