Robert Arthur Bruce
January 13, 1935 - April 10, 2021
Robert 'Bob' Bruce was born on January 13th 1936 in Detroit Michigan. He was the first child of James and Harriet Bruce and came out to Whittier with his sisters Janet and Barbara via Route 66 in 1946 after his dad was transferred to Dupont's Automotive Paint Division in Southern California. He graduated from Whittier High School in 1953 and, after exploring interests ranging from being a florist to assisting LA County Land Surveyors, discovered the joys of education and began his life's work as a teacher.
Also during the 1950's Bob met his first wife, Lynn Livenspire, and was married in 1957. That same year he joined the California Army National Guard where in October of 1962, as a Corporal, typed-up invasion orders for Cuba. Fortunately that invasion never came and Bob continued teaching 5th graders throughout Whittier in the 1960's, eventually earning a Masters in Education from Whittier College. He and Lynn also had their first daughter Carol, born in 1960, and their second daughter Dana, born in 1963. Over the years he progressed his career in education from teaching 5th grade, to being a Vice Principal, later teaching Special Education, and finishing-up at East Whittier Middle School where he taught the school district's first classes in computer networking.
In 1976, Bob was remarried to fellow teacher Frances Brewster and became a stepfather to her three boys Jon, Billy, and Jimmy. Having moved to Friendly Hills, Bob helped guide the boys to achieving success in college and eventually in their diverse careers as a Naval Officer, California State Geologist, and Chemical Engineer respectively. While Bob continued to teach in the 1970's and 1980's, he also became a licensed Real Estate Agent, working for Caldwell Realty in Whittier. In 1990 he became a proud grandfather when Carol, now farming in Colorado, gave birth to her first daughter Kelsey, and again in 1993 when Carol's second daughter Kathleen joined the family. Eventually the boys caught up to Carol, and by 2012 Bob had an additional seven 'step grandkids' to keep him busy. But Bob didn't stop there, as a proud member of the Whittier Chapter of Lion's International he earned its highest honor, the Melvin Jones Award in 2015.
Bob is survived by his wife Frances of Whittier CA, his two sisters, Janet Richardson (Gary) of Clovis CA and Barbara Puls (Richard) of Goldendale WA, two daughters Carol Heupel (Kurt) of Weldona CO, and Dana Bruce (Kath Sirona) of Perth Australia, three step sons, Jon Brewster (Michele) of San Diego CA, Bill Brewster (Maria Chavez) of Woodland CA, and Jim Brewster (Jenny) of Albuquerque NM, two grand daughters Kelsey Curley (Tyler) and Kathleen Noggle (Matt), his great granddaughter Emerson Noggle, and seven 'step' grandkids Jessica, Morgan, Quetzal, Audrey, Ellie, Jack, and Avery. He will be deeply missed.
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