(NEWS ARTICLE) SWANTON - Maintenance supervisor Bruce Alan Weigel, 63, a familiar face to students and staff in the halls of the Swanton Local Schools system and a re-enactor at local history events, died Sunday in his Swanton home after a two-year bout with bladder cancer.
Mr. Weigel retired in August from the school system where he'd worked for 29 years because of the progression of the disease, his wife, Cynthia, said.
Born on Nov., 4, 1949, to Maurice and Ivah Weigel, he graduated from Swanton High School in 1968 and began working for Dana Corp. in Toledo before he was drafted into the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
A mechanic, he was stationed in Panama City, Fla., but a work accident cut short his career after about two years.
He returned to Swanton and continued his commute to Toledo's Dana factory for nine years before taking a job with Pilliod Cabinet Co.
Mr. Weigel became a custodian with the school system and worked his way up to supervisor. His brother, Kent, was also employed by the schools, so younger students called him "Mr. Bruce" to differentiate between the two, his wife said.
His knack for fixing things was welcomed by teachers and administrators alike, his wife said.
After his cancer diagnosis in June, 2010, he continued to work while undergoing chemotherapy, his wife said.
"He stopped working in August when it hurt too much to walk," Mrs. Weigel said.
Mr. Weigel enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a longtime member of the Black Swamp Primitive Riflemen association and enjoyed primitive camping and re-enacting events from the French and Indian wars, she said.
"He liked doing that long before I met him," his wife said. "But I told him, 'I'm not going with you because I don't want to sleep on the ground ... or wake up and see a raccoon staring at me.'"
He served as president of the association for several years, Mrs. Weigel said.
An avid hunter, Mr. Weigel was a life member of the National Rife Association.
Mrs. Weigel said her husband's enjoyment of black-powder rifles was the inspiration for the final disposition of his ashes after his body was cremated.
Her joke that she would place the ashes inside the powder horn that stored gunpowder for his muzzle-loading rifle drew an affirmative response, she said.
"He said that would be perfect," said Mrs. Weigel, his wife of 20 years.
Mr. Weigel is survived by his wife, Cynthia; children, Sabonna Whitaker, Holly Coop, Megan Weigel, and David Coop; three grandchildren; sister, Paula Spahr; and brother, Kent Weigel.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Weigel Funeral Home, Swanton, where the funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Community Health Professionals of Archbold, Ohio.
Contact Jim Sielicki at: email@example.com or 419-724-6050.
Published in Toledo Blade on Nov. 26, 2012