Bruce Gress
1935 - 2020
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Passed away on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Eighty-five years earlier, he was born in the superintendent's house in Kitchener's Victoria Park, September 23, 1935. His parents, Clarence and Annie (Hawes) Gress, lived there as part of Clarence's duties as Kitchener's parks superintendent. For six decades Bruce's life centered around Victoria Park: his childhood and teenage years were followed by a 40-year career with the parks department. Although retiring in 1992, Bruce retained great interest in the city's parks during his retirement. He attended Victoria Public School and Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate. While at high school he met the love of his life, Dolores Syrotiuk — "Dolly" to everyone who knew her. They married in 1956 and had three children: Denise, in 1958; Bruce, 1962 and Brad, 1965. After Dolly passed away in 1990, Bruce devoted most of the rest of his life to taking care of Denise's special needs. In his 40 years' service with the city, Bruce held many positions and watched the parks department grow from a small ten-person workforce managing a dozen parks to the highly-professional organization with some 200 city parks. In his retirement, anything with an engine — cars, trucks, lawnmowers, snowblowers — interested Bruce and he became an expert small-engine mechanic working out of his well-equipped garage workshop. Bruce was predeceased by his parents: Annie in 1963, Clarence in 1971; wife Dolly in 1990; his children Denise in 2017 and Brad in 2014. His only sibling, sister Dorothy, had died in 1964. He is survived by son Bruce, niece Lori Mills and nephew Richard Mills. Also surviving are niece and nephew Pamela Hartleib and Gord Hartleib. The family wishes to thank doctors, nurses and staff at St. Mary's Hospital and the Freeport campus of Grand River Hospital for care during Bruce's late-in-life battle with diabetes, cancer and dementia. Without their help, his final months would have been much more difficult. At Bruce's request, there will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place followed by a private interment. As expressions of sympathy, donations to St. Mary's Hospital, Grand River Hospital's Freeport Campus or the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the Henry Walser Funeral Home or by calling 519-749-8467). Visit www.henrywalser.com for Bruce's memorial.


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Published in Waterloo Region Record on Nov. 21, 2020.
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November 21, 2020
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Barb DEVOOGDT
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