Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 29, 2011

Theodore Francis 'Ted' Bruce

FRANKFORT — Theodore Francis "Ted" Bruce, 60, of Frankfort, died April 25, 2011. Ted was born Nov. 25, 1950, the third of 11 children, to the late Jack and Bernadine Bruce, of Pinnebog.

He was a decorated Vietnam War veteran.

On April 28, 1973, he wed Kathleen Marie Fisher in Pigeon. His wife, Kathie and two sons, Todd Bruce and Kirk (Heather) Bruce, survive him. He has been reunited with his daughter, Kalee, who was tragically lost in 1998.

Ted developed his hard work ethic and empathy for those less fortunate from a childhood spent in poor circumstances. Ted farmed from the age of eight until he was 37. In 1988, he and his wife moved their family to Benzie County to purchase Timberline Shell in Benzonia. Because he normally worked there 14 hours a day, seven days a week, he became well known and loved by the community. Noted for his sunny disposition, cheerfulness and optimism, Ted gave generously of his time and money to those around him. In 1999, Ted and Kathie sold Timberline Shell. In 2004, he returned to the convenience store business, purchasing with his wife and sons Stapleton's Corner Market in Benzonia.

Ted Bruce will be sorely missed by the elderly whose gas he pumped at his "self" serve station, by the developmentally challenged, whom he often would take to the bank or grocery store, by the teen mother for whom he bought diapers when she couldn't afford them, by the people whose driveways he plowed, by the people whose lawns he mowed, by the people — young and old — who sought his wisdom and advice.

Ted's generosity knew no bounds except the limited hours of a day. He routinely slept less than four hours per night and likely lived more in 60 years than many who live to be 100. From humble and difficult beginnings, Ted worked and earned his way to becoming a successful and well respected member of the business community.

While Ted lived most of his life in the public eye, no one will miss him more than his family, for whom he worked very hard to provide, to whom he taught important life lessons and supported, teaching to always reach for their dreams. He was the man you could call 24/7 because his phone was never off. He was a patient teacher, a dedicated father, and a proud and doting grandfather to Fisher and Quincy Bruce, who survive him.

Ted is also survived by his siblings, John Bruce, Dan (Sally) Bruce, Jim (Harriet) Bruce, Bill (Linda) Bruce, Lorie (Ray) Krohn, Cathy (Randy) Kerr, Mike Bruce, Dave (Edwinna) Bruce and Brad Bruce; step siblings, Gary (Paulette) Kivel, Kevin Kivel and Sherry Burns; and stepmother, Pat Bruce.

He was also preceded in death by his siblings, Linda (Paul) Smith and Don (Barb) Bruce.

A visitation will be today, April 29, from 2 to 8 p.m., at the Jowett Family Funeral Homes in Benzonia. A private funeral Mass will be held for his family only Saturday at St. Ann's Catholic Church, with Father John Porter officiating. A public celebration of Ted's life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Benzie Central High School gymnasium. Burial will be in the Blaine Township Cemetery.

Contributions may be directed to the family at PO Box 231, Benzonia, MI 49616, to be donated by the family to community causes that were close to Ted's heart.

Please share thoughts and memories with the family on Ted's online guestbook at right.

Arrangements are by Jowett Family Funeral Homes.

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