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Bruce Norton Goodsell

Bruce Norton Goodsell, 61, died at Roger Williams Hospital on June 13, 2008, while recovering from surgery for colon cancer.
Bruce was born on Dec. 23, 1946, in Newton, Mass.
Bruce was an attorney in Westerly and was heavily involved with the Westerly Land Trust, The Shelter Harbor Fire District, The Westerly Charter Revision Commission, The Rhode Island Shoreline Coalition and the development of the Narragansett Indian Tribe Amicus Brief to the United States Supreme Court, a milestone in Rhode Island history.
Bruce was an avid woodworker and artist in many mediums with projects ranging from a Colonial Rhode Island corner chair to tables inspired by the designs of George Nakashima. Bruce often used antique hand tools for creating his furniture. Bruce was a founding member of the Westerly Artist Cooperative, where he displayed his art for many years. Bruce's woodworking talents included building a two-story post and beam building using hand tools for the main skeletal structure and building a bell tower for his church.
Bruce dedicated over 28 years to the planting and distribution of Gingko trees; the Gingko leaf was his signature on his woodworking pieces. He was also a member of The Bamboo Society and The American Chestnut Society.
Bruce was a great reader, book collector and a shareholder at The Boston Athenaeum and a member of the John Russell Bartlett Society. He was founder and president of Tools & Books, Ltd.
Bruce graduated from Carmel High School in California and attended the Coast Guard Academy for two years and graduated from URI in 1970 in political science and physics. Bruce joined the U.S. Army earning a Trainee Leadership Award while at Fort Dix. He was the top graduate of 176 in the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning. Bruce became 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army with the National Security Agency and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal in 1975. He received an M.S. in Telecommunication Systems from George Washington University in 1975. Bruce was a graduate of Suffolk Law School in 1978 and became Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court in 1994. He became a member of the Vermont Bar Association in 1998.
Bruce is survived by his daughter, Marion Eaton Goodsell, and by Allison (Barrington) Goodsell. He is predeceased by his son, Benjamin Norman Goodsell. He leaves his parents Norton and Phyllis Goodsell of Wakefield and Port St. Lucie, Fla.; two sisters, Pamela Sheerin of Rye, N.H., and Port St. Lucie, and Marsha Bouchard of Westminster, Md. He also leaves his nieces, Kimberly Medeiros, Melanie Sheerin and Rebecca Sheerin; two grandnephews and a grandniece. Bruce is survived by many lifelong friends and colleagues in the arts and the law and also leaves Alan Barrington, Ruth Barrington, Nathan Barrington, Gail Barrington and eight other nieces and nephews.
Bruce was a life-long member of the Episcopal Church and, in the past few years, converted and became a member of The Orthodox Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.
Please come and share Bruce's life and view his art work at a memorial service at Christ Church, Westerly on Thursday, June 19, at 1 p.m. with a reception following. There will be a service at Holy New Martyrs Church, 364 Canterbury Turnpike in Norwich, Conn., at 7 p.m. on Thursday and a funeral at Holy New Martyrs Church at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 20.
In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts in remembrance of Bruce to Holy New Martyrs Church, The Westerly Land Trust, The Rhode Island Scottish Heritage Society, The American Chestnut Society, or National Public Radio.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckler-Johnston.
For online condolence shared memory books go to www.buckler-johnston.com.
Published in The Westerly Sun from June 15 to June 17, 2008
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