Spontaneous and fun, Bruce Saunders lived a life rich in family and friends. Bruce never met a stranger, and with natural comedic timing, he inspired laughter and good times wherever he was. He embraced each day as a gift and found joy in the simple things, especially spending time with those he loved. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bruce will long be remembered and so very missed.
The mobilization of war efforts in 1942 was quick and effective, with carmakers and other manufacturers changing to the production of weapons of war. Gas rationing, Scrap Days, and Victory Gardens became the norm. At the same time, The Declaration of the United Nations, the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, and The Voice of America assured that every citizen had their eyes focused on a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as Donald and Charlene (Garrison) Saunders welcomed their son Bruce to their family on November 26.
Growing up in the rural community of Vicksburg, Bruce's early years were filled with activity and lots of time outdoors. His father, a pipefitter, and his mom, a school teacher, provided a home rooted in family values. As a kid, Bruce loved hunting and fishing.
During his high school years, Bruce began dating the love of his life, Margaret "Mikie" Reddy. The couple dated throughout most of their high school years, attending prom and graduating together with the Vicksburg High School class of 1960. Just two years later, the happy couple married on September 17, 1962.
The newlyweds began their marriage in Kalamazoo, where they soon became parents. In time, they welcomed three children to their family. Jodi, Don, and Kevin quickly became the centers of their world and Bruce's pride and joy. Bruce dedicated himself to providing for his family, working as a lift truck driver for General Motors. During his 27 years with the auto manufacturer, he only missed three days of work.
Bruce was a licensed pilot who loved an adventure, especially when it was shared with his bride. Over the years, the couple traveled near and far, enjoying many natural wonders, including the Hawaiian islands. Bruce loved leaving home around the first of October and maybe returning around Christmas. One of his favorite places to spend time was in the Upper Peninsula near Ralph, Michigan, where many an hour was spent fishing, hunting, gathering around the campfire, and generally enjoying the outdoors.
A terrific cook, Bruce's favorite ingredient was bacon grease. His favorite meal of the day was breakfast, which he traditionally followed with a hearty nap. In addition to hunting and fishing, Bruce enjoyed making his own fishing rods and working with leather and stained glass.
Without a doubt, life is significantly duller in Bruce's presence. And while his good humor and playful company are deeply missed, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in carrying his legacy forward. With each breakfast feast we indulge, line we cast, walk in the woods we take, and bonfire we share with those we love, we will continue to celebrate the many ways Bruce gifted our lives. In this way, we will keep his spirit alive and inspiring much-needed smiles and good times.
Bruce C. Saunders of Vicksburg passed away on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at the age of 78. Bruce is survived by three children: Jodi Saunders of MN, Don (Chris) Saunders, of Mendon; and Kevin (Crysta Kline) Saunders, of Climax; four grandchildren: Tyler, Cayden, Gibson, and Greyson; and one great-granddaughter: Maddison. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law: Patricia (Bruce) Imanse of Schoolcraft; Val Saunders, of Vicksburg. He is preceded in death by his wife, Margaret "Mikie," and two siblings: Bonnie and Jon.
A funeral service will be held for Bruce on Monday, November 29th at 1 pm at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, beginning at 12 noon. Burial will be at McKain Cemetery.
While at www.mccowensecord.com, please take time to read Bruce's full obituary, sign the guestbook and/or share a memory with the family. Those who wish may make a contribution to Generous Hands and/or South County Community Services.
The Saunders family is being cared for by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 South Main, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269) 649-1697.