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BRUCE – George Dowers

January 25, 1934 – August 1, 2010

George Dowers Bruce, passed away at the McKenzie Towne Care Centre in Calgary on Sunday, August 1, 2010 at the age of 76 years, after a lengthy illness. His family is relieved that he is free of his pain, and is finally at peace. He leaves to mourn his loving wife and tireless caregiver, Ethel; daughter Sandra and grandson Tyler of Calgary; son Stephen (Lori); and grandsons, Cody and Tanner, of New Port Richey, Florida.

George grew up in Toronto, ON where his life revolved around hockey, hockey and more hockey, a love that never died, even when it was time to retire from the “Oldtimers” league.

George and Ethel were married in Toronto but soon settled in Oakville where he worked for Bell Canada, before striking out on his own. He opened his own business, Comet Pools on Kerr Street, which later became Comet Pools and Sports, located in Hopedale Mall for nearly thirty years. George and Ethel remained in Oakville until 2009, when they moved to Calgary to be with daughter Sandra, and where George was finally forced to convert to the Calgary Flames as his team of choice (he still snuck out a Leafs t-shirt every once in a while). Although his health was declining, and he had very minimal eyesight and hearing, he never missed a broadcast of his two loves, Hockey Night in Canada and Monday Night RAW.

A diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia can mean a slow and progressive decline, both physically and cognitively, a process not only difficult for the individual living with it, but for loved ones as well. No matter how much of the person we knew as George slowly disappeared from us, he always managed to keep his quick wit and dry humour.

Our family has been blessed to have had access to some very special people who helped with George’s care over the years. Professionals, volunteers, family and friends have been there for us during some very challenging times. We would like to thank the Acclaim Health Day Program in Oakville; Club 36 Day Program in Calgary; our wonderful Home Care team including Alum, George’s special “girlfriend” from WE CARE, who would come every morning and make him clean and shiny to go to his day program; the staff at the Rockyview General Hospital, particularly Unit 59, who cared for George during his last stay at “the hotel” (as he referred to it) and, finally, to the AWESOME staff at McKenzie Towne Care Centre. You each treated “Mr. George” with the respect and dignity he deserved. That has meant so much to us, during this long and painful journey. Thank you to you all!

Through many changes, George always remained in “dad” mode, forgetting that his children were grown up adults with kids of their own. Sandra would say good-bye after a visit at the hospital, as he was heading off for his afternoon siesta and his response would be “Now don’t be coming home late and waking your mother with all that noise you make!” (a common theme in the house during the teenage years). Steve would always get the same comment at the end of each phone call, to be “good”. Well, tonight George/Dad, we are sadly quiet, but you are at rest.

Enjoy your sleep and wherever your new journey takes you, don’t forget to say Hi to Elvis!

We will love and miss you always. You were a proud and loving husband, father and friend. A private family memorial service will take place at a later date in Oakville, ON. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in the memory of George towards research and a cure for Alzheimer Disease and related dementias. Please donate your time or your funds to an Alzheimer Society in your community. You will truly be making a difference!

In living memory of George Bruce, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Aunt Ethel, Cousins Sandy and Stephen and families,
    I guess George thought he’d deliver himself to Harry as a birthday present!
    So sorry for your loss.
    So glad he is now at rest.
    All our love,
    Gwen, Neil, Riley and Krista

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  2. Jan Palmer & Ernie Kowalec :

    Dearest Ethel, Sandy & Tyler

    It has been a true honor to have known your wonderful father. We shall always remember Christmas 2009 and the 3 desserts!

    The fish and chips he loved so much and the sharing of the beer! How special!

    Cherish the memories of the wonderful man you called husband, father and grandfather. It will keep you strong.

    Thanks for sharing him with us, even if only for a short time.

    Love to you all,

    Jan & Ernie

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  3. Debbie Brewer :

    Hi Ethel,
    My thoughts are with you today. I am sorry to hear of George’s death. Your devotion to him through the years speak volumes of your deep love for one another.
    I admire you so much and I pray that you are at peace with his passing.
    Love and Blessings,

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  4. My sincere condolences to George’s family. He was always kind and considerate to me. Hockey brought us together as friends and love of the Leafs made us sympatico. Rest well George, you have earned it.

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  5. Ross and Heather Dryden :

    Dear Ethel, Sandra and Steve: Our sincere sympathy to you all. I am sure he will be missed by many people. He was a pleasure to know. Ross and Heather

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  6. David Hawkins :

    To Ethel, Sandra and Stephen:

    Our thoughts are with you all. We will always think of George as the guy who made a difference. Such a gentle and generous man who has left us with many sweet memories as our families grew and thrived in Oakville. With our deepest sympathy Bob, Ellen and David Hawkins

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  7. Ralph Meldrum :

    Ethel, Sandra & Stephen,
    It was with great sadness that we read of the passing of a wonderful human being. George was a friend to all & an inspiration to the youth of Oakville. His sponsorship of the Oakville Blades & other minor league hockey teams was examples of his generousity. When our son Stephen was advised, he said that it is indeed a very sad day. As you may recall, Maureen & I moved to Horseshoe Valley 23 years ago. Stephen, his wife Susan & son Sean 17, daughter Megan 14 live in Aurora. Our daughter Susan, husband John daughter Lily 16 & twins Kate & Jack 13 have lived in Singapore for the past 3 years.
    George will be remembered by all who met him & share in your loss.
    Maureen & Ralph Meldrum

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  8. Dear Aunt Ethel, Sandra & Steve,

    Though I haven’t seen you folks in years, I fondly remember Uncle George from my early life.

    Deepest sympathy for your loss. May the brothers enjoy a happy reunion in a better place.



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  9. Cameron Bruce :

    Dear Aunt Ethel, Sandra and Steve;

    I was so sorry to hear about Uncle George, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Although life has taken us in different directions I want you to know that I have thought of you often. I have very fond memories of swimming in your back yard as a youngster while Uncle George barbequed and made jokes. He was a wonderful man and I was so sorry to hear how illness wore him down. The messages of condolence made me feel great. I was so happy to hear that Uncle George had maintained the wit and sense of humour that I remember so fondly. I hope and pray that time heals your sorrow and that all the great memories of your husband and father grow stronger each year. I hope that one day our paths will cross again as I would love to see you all. All the very best and take good care!

    Cameron, Kelly, Nicholas and Lindsey

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  10. Jacquie Walsh :

    I am so very sorry to hear that George has passed away. I am here at the moment in Edmonton visiting my brother and his wife and I decided to browse my Sheridan email.
    I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your family during this very difficult time.

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  11. Joel Saunders :

    To Mrs Bruce, Sandra and Steve,

    My condolences go out to your family at this very difficult time. I was fortunate enough to work for Mr. Bruce at Comet Sports (Hopedale Mall) during high school. They were some of the best times of my life. Mr. Bruce was great mentor and friend to all who worked there (and customers too!).

    His memory will live on with all of us.


    Joel Saunders
    Camarillo, Ca.

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  12. Jill Halpenny :

    To the Bruce Family

    I was saddened to hear the news of the passing of George. I worked at Comet Sports many decades ago and still remember to this day how kind, funny and what a great person he was to those who worked for him and the customers that just came in every morning to say hi. Alot of great and funny memories remain with me from that time.

    Rest in peace.

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  13. Norm, Betty, and Paul Chivers :

    To our friends, the Bruce Family

    We are sorry for your loss. What an amazing relationship our families had growing up, and George will always be remembered as a friend to all in Sport. Ethel feel free to call us anytime as mom has often mentioned you in our conversations


    Norm, Betty, and Paul

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  14. To Ethel, Sandra and Steve, Just got the news today, my best wishes. George was the best guy I ever worked for. He had lots of stories about his hockey days. George would send me down the mall in the morning for coffee and danish. George loved his Leafs and we would have lots of fun going over the game from the night before. I miss those days with George Scott Kitto and our mechanic Quat. All the Best Doug Harrison

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