1/22/51 - 3/18/21
WINTER HAVEN - Bruce Michael ('Pop Pop') Bachman was born on January 22, 1951, to the late Helen and Robert Bachman. He was called home on March 18, 2021, after a courageous and faith-filled battle with lung cancer.
Bruce was born in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from Boca Ciega High School in 1969, where he excelled in multiple sports, most notably, varsity football. Recruited by many major college football programs, he ultimately accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy where he was a wide receiver for the Midshipmen.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1973, he received his commission as Ensign, United States Navy, and married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Nancy. His initial years in the service involved various destroyer engineering billets. In 1977, Bruce was appointed personal aide and inspector for Rear Admiral John Duncan Bulkeley, President, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), U.S. Navy. His days in the Navy and service spent alongside the Admiral, were the highlight of his professional career, and the inspiration for the published biography he authored, 'An Honorable Profession: The Life and Times of One of America's Most Able Seamen: Rear Adm. John Duncan Bulkeley, USN.' The time spent away from his young family, however, proved too difficult to allow for a life at sea and the dedication to the military service that he loved and held in the highest regard. Bruce received his honorable discharge from the United States Navy in 1979.
Bruce commenced his civilian career with stops in Burke, Virginia, Dade City, Auburndale and, ultimately, Winter Haven, Florida. In Winter Haven, he and Nancy planted what would become life-long roots of family and friendship that they enjoy to this day. Bruce managed Phoenix Industries in Eloise, Florida, for a majority of his post-military career. He spent his last, and what he would no doubt call his most personally rewarding professional years, at Adams Cold Storage in Auburndale, Florida, where he served as the Executive Vice President working alongside his son, Christopher.
Bruce dedicated more than 30 years of service as a member of the Advocacy Board for the Gus A. Stavros Center at the College of Education at the University of South Florida. He spent considerable time, effort and energy furthering efforts in Winter Haven and Polk County as a member of the board of directors for the Winter Haven Housing Authority, chairman of the board of directors for the Polk Community College Foundation, chairman of the board of directors for the Eloise Community Redevelopment Agency, champion for the students, families, and staff of Snively Elementary School in Eloise, Florida and the Winter Haven High School Booster Club. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church.
Bruce's family came before anything and everything else in this world. He was a living example to those that knew him of what he valued most - he was hard working, loyal, honest and true - and expected the same of others in return. Bruce loved his country, the Naval Academy (Beat Army!), the Florida State Seminoles, fishing anywhere, especially the areas surrounding Boca Grande, and, most of all, time spent with his wife, children, grandchildren and dear friends.
Bruce is survived by and deeply loved by his wife of 47 years, Nancy McCarthy Bachman; his children, Bruce Michael Bachman, Jr. (Radha), Christopher McCarthy Bachman (Angie), and his forever princess, Elisabeth Claire Hodges (Ryan); his grandchildren, Ketan Michael, Avni Jane and Annika Grace Bachman, Emily Jane and Brantlee Bruce Hodges and Taylor Weiser; great-grandchildren, Logan, Lainey and Lincoln Weiser; his brother, Robert Bachman III (Bonnie); brother and sister in law, James and Laurie Hobbs; nephews, Bobby, Stephen, David, Tim and Kevan; and nieces, Tammy and Erika.
A celebration of life service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 327 Avenue C SE in Winter Haven on Saturday, March 27th, at 1:00 p.m. The service will be livestreamed with access available on the Grace Lutheran Church website, https:www.glwh.org. Immediately following the service, there will be an informal reception with the family at Venue650, 650 6th Street in Winter Haven. Social distancing and mask wearing per CDC and local guidelines will be observed at both events. A private burial service will follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, any donations may be sent to CMTC Alliance, Attn: Rebecca Gallis, 3715 Wesley Chapel Road, Zanesville, Ohio 43701 acknowledging 'Bruce Michael Bachman' in the memo line or online at www.cmtcalliance.org
. (CMTC- Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita).
Published by The Ledger from Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, 2021.