Remembering Bruce Denler

Last weekend, Liz’s great-uncle Bruce passed away. We gathered today with several family members in Indiana, to attend his service and to say goodbye.

About five years ago, I trekked out to Iowa with the Denler family for Bruce’s surprise 80th birthday party. I think I met uncle Bruce only that one time, and that trip was also my introduction to a lot of the family on the Denler side.


A lot of folks gathered to remember Bruce.


A rotating group of photos, spanning the full range of his life, played in the background, prior to the start of the service. Many folks would walk by the photo display on the table… then linger and watch as the images played on the screen.

There was also some music on in the background, in the room. As everyone settled into their seats before the service, a few folks began singing along to In the Garden, (sung by Elvis Presley). A few more voices joined in, and it was a very lovely, impromptu moment.

The singing never got overly loud. The words were sung quietly, but there were many voices.


Aunt Vaughn and Kim, with Uncle Bruce in the background.

The service was led by Greg, and it was a very heartfelt and meaningful service. Greg used humor to lead the crowd to laughter, and gently moved the room from stories and memories to prayers, and talked on the nature of mourning.

Kim also spoke, and gathered stories from those who remembered Bruce. Both Greg and Kim did a wonderful job, and it really was as much of a celebration as it was a service.


After the service, family gathered at Greg and Kim’s house, where folks had lunch and visited for a while. In the late afternoon, everyone gathered by the dock to say a final farewell.


Greg, leading the gathered in prayer.


Rob, Kevin, and Kim, spreading Uncle Bruce’s ashes on the water.

Related:
Great Uncle Bruce’s 80th Birthday Party
Remembering Janice Denler
Janice Denler: In Memoriam

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