TRAVERSE CITY — Bruce Barry Beebe, 79, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Traverse City. Born in Warsaw, Ind., and raised in both Indiana and Toledo, Ohio, he was the son of the late Isabelle and Donald Beebe.
After high school Bruce served in the U.S. Army.
He then continued his education and graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in education before pursuing the first half of his career as an educator. Bruce’s enthusiasm for reading, history, flora and fauna equipped him well as an educator, spending the majority of his career at Central Lake schools. In addition to traditional methods of instruction Bruce was known for introducing more eclectic curricula, such as insisting his students learn cribbage as a means to develop agility for basic arithmetic.
His adventurous spirit eventually led him to pursue his passion for teaching and learning by entering an entirely different field — antique dealing. “Grubby Paws Antiques” was born. He was passionate about this work and enjoyed the treasure hunt of finding antiques and solving puzzles as to the nature of primitive antiques and the story behind them. This latter career afforded him the opportunity to travel the country extensively.
Outside of work Bruce’s passions were tied to the outdoors (game hunting, fishing, and most particularly morel mushroom hunting). This interest, instilled to him by his mother, he passed along to his two sons, Otto and Kirk, spending many hours in the woods, lakes or streams with them during their youth. As the years challenged his abilities to hike through woods and streams his interests transitioned into golf and the mental challenge of bridge, both of which he pursued with intense enjoyment with his wife, Nancy, as they traveled extensively during retirement.
Bruce was a devoted member of a local “club” that motivated him to continually strive to better himself. Bruce was also well read; he could discuss many subjects with credibility and conviction.
Bruce also had a lifelong love of sports (although he attempted to downplay his interest in his later years). His friends and family recall many a time when there was no disguising his emotion as one of his favorite teams let him down. Throughout his life, he enjoyed attending Tiger games with his sons in their youth and his wife, Nancy, in his later years.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Nancy Yarbrough; son, Otto, his wife, Janet and their four children, Portia, Tristan, Lachlan and Natasha; son, Kirk, his wife, Melanie and their two children, Audrey and Liam; three stepchildren, Karen Connick, Tom Dvorak and Janet Hernandez; and seven step-grandchildren.
A private memorial service will be held for family and close friends at a later date in 2014.
Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s personal preference.
Condolences should be directed to www.CovellFuneralHomes.com.