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Russell D. Bruce

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LAKELAND - Russell D. Bruce entered Life Eternal on Wednesday, April 11th at his home in Lakeland, FL, ending a courageous seven year battle with mantle cell lymphoma. The youngest son of Gail and Harold Bruce of Sault Ste. Marie, MI, he spent his early years in northern Michigan. Russ attended Cornell College where he was an accomplished athlete in football and track. After graduating, Russ married his college sweetheart Marquetta, and was immediately drafted into the Army, spending two years stationed in Germany. After returning, he earned his MA from the University of Michigan and taught mathematics and physical education in Iron Mountain, MI. While there he served as head football coach, leading the team to win three consecutive conference championships, and was named coach of the year. After receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, he was a professor of physical education at Eastern Michigan University and Northern Michigan University, and served as department head at Lake Superior State University. He spent a lifetime committed both professionally and personally to health and well-being. He was an avid runner for over thirty years, starting in the late 1960s. He discovered his passion for the sport of orienteering on a trip to Europe in 1972, and spent decades as an active participant and organizer, receiving the coveted Silva Award in 1987. In 2006, Russ was inducted into the UP Sports Hall of Fame in honor of his many achievements and contributions in football, track, and orienteering.
Russ was an avid traveler, spending many summers driving through the United States and Europe with Marquetta and their children in the early years, and later as a couple exploring many near and far-reaching parts of the world. In their retirement, Russ and Marquetta were Volunteers in Mission with the United Methodist Church, serving a year in Kathmandu as educators with the United Mission to Nepal.
Married for 58 years, Russ and Marquetta were blessed with four children: Nancy Herbolsheimer (Robert T.) of Falls Church, VA, Michael Bruce (Gretta) of Tampa, FL, Thomas Bruce (Carolyn) of Falls Church, VA and Jennifer Pfannenstiel (Michael) of Traverse City, MI. He relished in the joys and accomplishments of his ten grandchildren: Cameron, Courtney, and Katie Herbolsheimer, Jack Bruce, Owen and Ellie Bruce, and Paige, Kalina, Abby, and Ellery Pfannenstiel. Russ has one brother, Richard Bruce (Connie) of Park Ridge, IL. Besides being actively involved in education, sports, church and community activities, Russ's favorite times were those spend with family, especially summer get-togethers at their cottage on Sugar Island in northern Michigan.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 18th, 2:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, with interment in the church columbarium. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be set to The Russell Bruce Scholarship Fund, Lake Superior State University Foundation, 844 N Campus Ct, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

Published in Ledger on Apr. 15, 2012
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