Benjamin F. Bruce

July 29, 1920March 16, 2014

Ben F. Bruce, 93, passed away on March 16, 2014 in Golden Living Center, Bloomington, IN. He was born and raised in Bloomington to the late Benjamin and Arie(Nilson)Bruce on July 29, 1920. Ben was the sixth son of twelve children.

He graduated from Bloomington High School and went on to study at Indiana University. His studies were ended abruptly with his enlistment in the US Army during WWII. Ben was in the infantry and was part of the occupying forces when the war was over. He was honorably discharged as Major Ben Bruce. He came back home to his wife Marie Chambers Bruce and his two beautiful daughters, Terri and Suzy. He later became a father once again when his son Joseph Paul was born.

Ben’s love of golf led him to become a golfing instructor at I.U. and later became the teacher for the senior golf games. He also loved to fish and had many stories to tell about both of his great loves, golfing and fishing. His brothers always said to Ben “those that can do (golf and fishing) and those that can’t, teach!” Ben loved to tell jokes and was an excellent story teller. He did what most people dream of.

Ben is survived by his two daughters: Suzann(husband Ron)Fretz of Center Point, IN and Terri Bruce of Kalamazoo, MI and his son Joseph Paul Bruce of Tucson, AZ., two grandchildren: Terri Fretz and Joe Fretz, two great grandchildren: Austin Fretz and Corbin Fretz, his brother: Rex Bruce and one sister: Nellie Long.

He was preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years: Marie Chambers and his second wife of 4 years: Betty Hall. He was also preceded in death by 2 sisters and 7 brothers.

Visitation will begin Tuesday, March 18, 2014 from 4-8 p.m. in Deremiah-Frye Mortuary, 700 W. Gourley Pike, Bloomington, IN 47404. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 1 p.m. also in the funeral home. The burial will take place in Valhalla Memory Gardens with the Monroe County Veterans Honor Guard performing military rites.

Online condolences may be given to the family at


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, March 19, 2014
  • Visitation Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Benjamin F. Bruce

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March 23, 2014

Mr. Bruce was my golf class instructor in the early 70's while I attended Indiana University. I will always remember him as a kind and VERY patient man. His caring, gentle demeanor truly affected how I try to live my life. John Langley BS '75.

Marc Bruce

March 22, 2014

Ben was a great uncle. Had the Bruce sense of humor. He will be missed. I'm sorry for Terri, Susie &JP. He is with his other brothers having a blessed time. I only found out today or I would have been at the service.

Elizabeth Neumeyer

March 21, 2014

Both Ben and Marie were the best of Hoosiers. He indeed was a champion storyteller and because I was a greenhorn, I think he laid in wait just to catch me in one of his story/jokes. I will always remember what he told me when people ask you what you teach. Don't say the subject because you are teaching students first, subject second. Rest in peace.

David Gallahue

March 20, 2014

Ben Bruce was a wonderful teacher and mentor. As a new assistant professor in the School of HPER Ben,along with several older and wiser colleagues, took me under his wing. His infectious humor, laid back but sage wisdom and spot on teaching techniques made their mark on this fledging academic.
As a family, you can take great pride in Ben's life. It was one of service to his country, his community and to Indiana University.

Thanks, Ben. you will not be forgotten.

David& Ellie Gallahue
Professor and Dean Emeritus
Indiana University

Cheryl Messenger

March 20, 2014

Benny, I know you are having fun up there with all your brothers! My dad wants to take you fishin', so I will keep this short. You were a great uncle and I have very fond childhood memories of spending the night at your house! It was always so much fun! Thanks and give my mom and dad a kiss from Cheryl Lynn. Also, say HI to Brian, if you see him.

Dow Myers

March 19, 2014

Ben was a great guy. He always treated you as a friend even it it had been years between visits. I still use the golf grip he taught me. He will be missed.

Bo Henry

March 18, 2014

Coach Ben Bruce will be missed by all that knew him. I remember Coach Bruce being a very hard nose but fair coach. I will always remember the wrestling and football teams that he was associated with. We had many great meets and games (1954-57) that will always be remembered. Our thoughts go out to Coach Ben's family and friends.

Larry and Pat Stuckey

March 18, 2014

Mr. Bruce was a wonderful teacher and great person. He and his brother Tod were great friends of my dad's too. Our sympathies go to Terri, Suzie and Joe. You lost a wonderful father and friend. God bless you and your families.

Sharon Van Horn

March 18, 2014

Nellie, Ben is up in heaven fishing with Jim. What a glorious life they have with our Heavenly Father. We will see them later. Amen!!