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MITCHELL, Bruce Jawn Michael

February 4, 1945 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
April 28, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Bruce went to rest peacefully with the Lord, free from pain on the evening of April 28th, after a difficult struggle with heart failure.

Bruce was born in Winnipeg and from an early age loved music and performing. Only 15 years of age, he moved to Vancouver where he started his first band, playing for teen dance parties. He continued singing and performing in various bands throughout western Canada, cutting some 33s, throughout the late 60s and 70s.

Following his passion for entertainment and the arts, he became involved in film, theatre, and musical theatre where he excelled, receiving an award for best actor in Ireland in 2012. A kind and compassionate man, Bruce received his training as a licenced practical nurse in 1991 and worked as an LPN for over twenty-five years prior to retiring in 2015.

Bruce and his best friend and life partner, Angela, loved, lived, and laughed together for 30 years. He will be deeply missed. His housecoat, a warm fire and their furry family bring strength to ease the day and get through these sad empty nights. Friends in the theatre community (including Liffey Players, Storybook Theatre, Painted Fish, Broad Minds and 17th Street Theatre), church community at Saint Francis of Assisi Church, the close-knit neighbourhood Bowness, and the health care community which Bruce was part of, remember him fondly.

Thank you to the cardiac doctors and nurses at FMC and the heart failure team, especially Dr. McMeekin, Tracy French, Peter Lawson, and the amazing Community Paramedics who cared for Bruce and supported us through this difficult journey. Your kindness, compassion and understanding were appreciated.
Bruce is survived by his wife Angela Laura Mitchell (nee Yetman), sons Mark (Sean) Stevens and Bruce (Suzi) Mitchell, and their families, his sister Sandra Langley (Brennan) and her children Janice (David) Frost and Jason, many nieces, nephews, cousins and parents-in-law, Kevin, and Agnes. He was predeceased by his parents Jawn and Mona Parastiuk and close aunts Margaret (Jerry) and Alda.

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle N.W., Calgary, AB) on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Reception to follow at the Funeral Home.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (211 – 6th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB) on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Bruce Mitchell, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. CALGARY, AB, T3G 2T3. Telephone: 403-241-0044.

Service Video of Bruce Mitchell Part 1

Service Video of Bruce Mitchell Part 2

Photo Memories

Offer Condolence for the family of MITCHELL, Bruce Jawn Michael

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Condolence Messages

  1. It is with a heavy heart that I send my thoughts and prayers for you both.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Bruce was a wonderful kind person. My heart goes out to you all. May all your warm memories bring your comfort during this difficult time.

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  3. Words can never express enough during a time like this. It was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to meet Bruce and to see him perform on stage and film. My thoughts are with you.

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  4. i am so sorry for your loss my prayers are with you

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  5. Margie and Pat :

    So sad to hear the news about Bruce and we send our heartfelt condolences to Angela and the rest of the family . Bruce was a kind, intelligent and gifted man with a warm heart . It was our privilege to share some meals and laughs with him over the years.

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  6. Angela, my thoughts prayers and love is with you in your memory’s of over 30 years of shared love friendship and laughter with your husband Bruce. life is a precious journey. RIP Bruce God Bless

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  7. Lorne Hamilton :

    So sorry to hear of Bruce’s passing. He was a good man with a big heart and a kind and gentle spirit. I always enjoyed his company and his willingness to laugh. He will be missed.

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  8. Pat and Cindy Kozicky :

    Very sorry to hear of Bruce’s passing….notification came too late for us to attend his service. I’ll always remember Bruce’s performance in “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” that we saw at the community theatre. Bruce was a talented and kind man, who had to leave before his time. Best wishes Angela…hang in there.

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  9. Tracy Wilson :

    Dear Angela, Mark and Sean
    I am so sorry for your profound loss. Bruce was such a kind man, always ready to laugh and smile.
    I’m certain you have many fond memories, and that Bruce will live on in the retelling of the many stories of good times.
    The world is a better place for having had him here.
    Love Tracy

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  10. Ferrin Riggins :

    Hi. My name is Ferrin.
    I met Bruce around 1985/86 in Calgary. I was working as an institutional aid at Baker Center. As a musician myself, Bruce and I had many hours playing guitar and singing together. Just hanging out and talking.
    I was young at the time, (only about 19/20.) and had no real direction or even knew about who I was as a person. Bruce took me under his wing and for a short while became a mentor and friend.
    So many years have past and although at times we both tried to reach out to each other over the years to get together for lunch or a drink, we just couldn’t seem to make it happen.
    I am sad that I could not attend his memorial. I only discovered his passing today as I was looking to find him just to say hi.
    He was a good and kind man. A good friend. He was the one who convinced me to pierce my ear. He was the one who convinced me I had a voice. He was the one who convinced me that I had the world to explore and take as my own and not just settle for what scraps may be left. He was very much a part of who I am today.
    My condolences to you all for your loss. My heart breaks for you.
    Rest In Peace “Captain Goodguy”.
    Much love and gratitude.
    Your side kick “Citizen Wolf”.

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  11. Lina & Adam :

    Sorry Angela for your loss. Bruce was such a kind and good man. I still remember we had DimSum together and the Christmas plays with the kids. He will be missed a lot. I am sad that I did not attend his service. I just discovered his passing last week. My thoughts are with you, Angela.

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  12. Oh Angela,
    I have been thinking of you and Bruce. I only got to hear about his passing sometime last week. I will always remember him for the unassuming kindness at the yearly CVITP clinic in St. Francis church…always a smile, a kind word and always ready to help moving chairs, making coffee etc. Those actions speak volume about his character…..Oh Angela, you will miss him but I know you will have a lot to remember him by. My condolences, stay strong and God bless you.

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  13. B.J. Wilson :

    I believe I speak for all fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 when I say that Bruce has achieved immortality. His portrayal of Zap Rowsdower in “The Final Sacrifice” became an instant classic when it aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. Bruce’s performance has reached an iconic status among MST3k fans, and we are collectively heartbroken over the news of his passing. We wish peace and comfort to the entire Mitchell family during this difficult time, and we promise to do our part to keep Bruce’s memory alive by “circulating the tapes.”

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  14. rockandrollsteve :

    I can’t even guess how many times I’ve seen Final Sacrifice starring Bruce. His performance as Zap Rowsdower makes me smile every time I think of him. Reading this made me understand that there was a lot more to Bruce than a simple movie role. My condolences and thoughts to you, family and friends. I will watch Final Sacrifice again tonight through tears

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  15. Sheila J Fiene :

    So sorry for your loss. Will always remember Mr. Mitchell as Zap Rowsdower as will countless other fans. Rest in peace.

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  16. Rest in peace Mr. Mitchell from one of your many fans south of the border.

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  17. Andrew Weaver :

    The Final Sacrifice is one of the cheesiest films ever to air on the show, but Bruce gave his character a rugged grace and a dedication to the craft that elevated the film to cult classic status. As a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I’d like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bruce J. Mitchell.

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  18. Thank you for sharing the many great photos of Bruce. It’s nice to see him enjoying life so fully. What a beautiful smile. He will always be in our hearts.

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  19. Very sad to hear this news as are all of us who were fans of his work. Deepest condolences to his loved ones.

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  20. Savannah R Ervin :

    Truly heartbreaking. His performance in Final Sacrifice brought joy and laughter to me and my friends and family for literal decades. Sweet man, great sport, great career.
    With love and respect,
    Savannah Ervin
    Spokane, WA

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  21. Pat and Rob Williams :

    My spouse and I would like to leave our deepest condolences to the family and friends. Although we only knew him from his role in Final Sacrifice via Mystery Science Theater 3000, his role as Zap Rowsdower always brought smiles to our faces. We hope love and time can soothe the hearts of his loved ones.

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  22. Sincere condolences from this fan in Ohio.
    RIP

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  23. Though all of the messages have been of the utmost respect, I hope the family truly understands the complete sincerity in all us MST3K fans condolences. To them I know he was so much more than Zap Rowsdower, but I definitely believe there solace to be taken in the following he gained and impression he left on so many of us here in the States. Plus, based on the interview I saw with him he seemed like a great sport and an utter gentleman.

    RIP Mr. Mitchell and deepest sympathies to his family.

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  24. I also speak from seeing him in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode “the Final Sacrifice” and to hear of his passing is truly sad. It is a light taken out from this world that will be missed.

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  25. My deepest condolences for your loss of Bruce. As another fan Mystery Science Theatre 3K his portrayal of Zap Rowsdower resonates deeply with me as well. The MST3K and More Watch Together Group on Facebook will be watching him tonight together in Final Sacrifice in his honor.

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  26. So sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Mitchell. Many of us have such fond memories of his performance in Final Sacrifice, and looking at the tribute video he seems to have enjoyed performing in many other productions as well.
    My condolences to his family and friends, and I am grateful for his life and talents.
    God bless.

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  27. I am one of those “cult fans” mentioned during the service. As much as Zap Rowsdower entertained me it’s wonderful to see the service and to understand what a wonderful and talented man Bruce Mitchell was. Family and Friends, you have my deepest sympathy.

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  28. Dear Mitchell Family,

    I never knew Bruce personally but his portrayal of the character, Zap Rowsdower for the movie Final Sacrifice gave me a lot of joy. It’s a silly movie and and the MST3k version makes it sillier but his work made it possible for me during hard times in my life to have a laugh and forget my problems for a moment. Thank you!

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  29. Andrew Moriarty :

    As many others have commented recently, I am acquainted with Bruce’s work as the legendary Zap Rowsdower. His vigour and enthusiasm shines through, and I couldn’t possibly count the hours of joy that he has brought me over the years. I send my deepest condolences from the UK to his friends and family. Bruce indeed has many fans all over the world.

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  30. Thank you for sharing him with the world. He will always hold a special place in my heart for the best MST3K episode of all time, The FINAL sacrifice. He was such a good sport about it, and the MSTie community mourns with you. Sending all my love to his family and friends.

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  31. Larry Lee Moniz :

    Bruce was beloved by countless fans (including myself) for his portrayal of Zap Rowsdower in the movie ‘The Final Sacrifice’ as seen on the TV show ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000.’ His performance is legendary. Bruce had quite a following, and so many people are heartbroken to learn of this news. My heart is heavy today. My deepest condolences to the family of Bruce J. Mitchell. His memory will live on forever.
    May He Rest In Peace.

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  32. Rob and Pat Williams :

    Although we only knew Mr. Mitchell from his role as Zap Rowsdower in The Final Sacrifice (from Mystery Science Theater 3000), he brought many smiles to our faces. He played Zap with sincerity and kindness, and that’s how we will remember him. We hope that time and love will ease the pain we know you’re feeling.

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  33. Billy Martin :

    Like a lot of people sending their condolences here my knowledge of Bruce comes from the movie “Final Justice” but he seemed like a lovely and wonderful person outside that. He still helped bring smiles to the faces of lots of people, and we’ll all miss him. It’s heart breaking.

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  34. Lindsey Pojar :

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Bruce. I remember watching an interview with him talking about the Final Sacrifice. He seemed like such a kind, humble person.

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  35. Daniel Knapp :

    I did not know Bruce, however, his performance in The Final Sacrifice, was nothing short of amazing. My biggest regret that I was unable to meet him and thank him for his performance. Please take comfort in the fact that he will never be forgotten and he was always be remembered fondly. My condolences to his family and his friends for which I’m sure he had many.

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  36. Rest in peace Bruce. I cannot tell you how many times you made us laugh and we adored you for it. You will always be our hero.

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  37. My deepest condolences to the family and may Bruce J Mitchell rest in peace.

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  38. On Behalf of mst3k fans... :

    To the Mitchell family: if there is a charity or charities that Bruce would have loved fans contributing to in his name to pay their respects, can you post about it? I’m sure tons of fans would do it.

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  39. Scott Armstrong :

    To those of us that are Mystery Science Theater fans, Bruce is like family. The Final Sacrifice is so popular among us that we even have “Rowsdower!” Bumper stickers. I am truly saddened to hear that he passed. To his family; my sincerest condolences, and just to let you know, Bruce put a smile on many of our faces. He was incredibly loved and adored.

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  40. Scott Armstrong :

    To us Msties he was like family. We adored him so much that we have “Rowsdower!” Bumper stickers. To his family; my sincerest condolences. He will be remembered and missed.

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  41. Erica Irish :

    I never got the chance to meet Bruce, but as a fan of his performance in The Final Sacrifice (à la MST3K), I feel a tremendous loss. For his work as an actor and as an LPN, he will always be my favorite Canadian superhero!

    With love, from America,
    Erica Irish

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  42. Kevin Weller :

    Mr Mitchell’s acting brought a lot of joy to my life. I’m so sorry for your loss, he will be sorely missed.

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  43. Rachael and Don Gardner :

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I did not know Mr. Mitchell personally, but was a fan of his work. I hope there is some small comfort in knowing how much he truly delighted and entertained so many people through his work. He will be remembered by a great many people who genuinely enjoyed his work. God bless you.

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  44. Amanda Fowler :

    Another fan of Mr. Mitchell’s work hailing from the U.S. I was just a little girl when I saw “The Final Sacrifice” and it has stuck with me through all these years. Mr. Mitchell always seemed kind in his interviews, and his performance was marvelous. I know y’all are getting flooded with fans of MST3K, but I hope we can honor his memory together and offer some support in this difficult time. For a little girl in Birmingham, AL, Zap Rowsdower was a hero, and I have taken my pen name as an author from the character. Art can reach across so many boundaries, and I hope we are not an annoyance, but rather a comfort.

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  45. I’m so sorry to hear of this sad news. As a kid, I saw Bruce in the role of Zap Rowsdower while watching MST3K cover The Final Sacrifice. It always made me laugh and he was so entertaining and fun. To this day, he is my favorite character out of any MST3K movie, and I look back on his performance as a fond childhood memory. After reading more about his life story it is amazing to discover what an incredible, well rounded and adventurous guy he was behind the scenes as well. He always seemed like a genuinely good person as well. I’m sure he is greatly loved by all he left behind, and I’m lucky to have discovered him in my life. He will be happily remembered. I hope that peace and healing may come to you in time

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  46. Megan Van Dorn :

    As another MST3K fan from the US, I’d like to offer my condolences to the Mitchell family. The Final Sacrifice is my all-time favorite episode in the series, thanks in no small part to Bruce’s fantastic performance as Zap Rowsdower. May his memory be a blessing.

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  47. Vonda Smith :

    I only knew him as Zap Rowsdower in The Final Sacrifice as with the many other fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but as Zap Rowsdower he brought much joy into my life. He was famous to us. I am glad he had a life full of love and so many other good things and I offer my condolences because although I did not have the pleasure to actually know Bruce, I know how hard it is to lose beloved friends and family. May peace be with you.

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  48. William Smith :

    Although I, like many others, knew him exclusively from Final Sacrifice, it is beautiful to read how his life was off-camera, and to know that he’s touched so many people in a positive way. My deepest condolences to your family at his loss.

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  49. Kathy Evans :

    I am one of the MST3K fans who simply loved his portrayal in “final sacrifice”. The fact that he was a genuinely kind and good man shone through his performance and in interviews. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

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  50. I hope the family knows how much fun and happiness he brought to so many! My sincere condolences to you all. We’ll all miss him.

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  51. Bruce had a following much bigger than what he probably ever realized. Thousands, if not millions, of people around the world knew him from his film work, and he was adored all over the internet. Many sites and forums have been named in his honor. I give my deepest condolences to his family, and I thank Bruce for all of his work.

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  52. Rachel Shultz :

    My family has been enjoying Bruce’s work in Final Sacrifice for a few decades now. What a wonderful person he was, and will be greatly missed. Sending deep condolences to his beloved family, his friends and millions of fans worldwide. The world is not as bright without him.

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  53. Perry Lloyd :

    I only learned yesterday that Zap Rowsdower had passed on, and immediately I found myself tearing up. I’ve watched Bruce’s film The Final Sacrifice nearly a dozen times. I, like thousands of other fans, own a copy of his movie. Bruce is famous as Zap. He is loved and missed. Twitter is exploding with messages of grief over his passing.

    When I watched his interview on my DVD set, his humility and goodness as a human being was clear as day. We need more people in the world like Bruce. He will always be one of my favorite movie heroes.

    Please accept my deepest condolences. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  54. I am deeply saddened to hear of Bruce’s passing. I love his portrayal of Zap Rowsdower from The Final Sacrifice. It’s clear that he put a lot of care and passion into his craft, and I am certain that same warm light shone through to all of his loved ones throughout his life. In a small, silly way, his character kept my friends and laughing together for years and years. MST3K may have transformed his serious performance into a fun, goofy, adventure, but the happiness that he brought to many many people is very real. I’m wishing you the best in this difficult time.

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  55. As a fan of the final sacrifice. I was saddened to hear of Bruce’s death. May he know peace.

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  56. Beverly Westerberg :

    I’m another MST3K fan who know Bruce as Zap Rosdower. I send my condolences to your family. It sounds like he lived an amazing and well lived life. When a movies is featured on MST3K, it becomes part of our lives and our hearts. We watch these movies over and over and grow to love those who took the time and effort create them. Bruce is part of that. He brought so much joy to my life through Final Sacrifice. May he Rest In Peace and May you as his family know how he made the world a better place for a lot of people.

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  57. Another fan of “The Final Sacrifice” here. It’s been my favorite MST3K movie since I was as a kid, in no small part due to Bruce Mitchell’s performance as Zap Rowsdower. I want his family to know that, while a lot of fun was had “roasting” the movie, Bruce was BELOVED. To us fans, he was much more than a punchline. He was endearing, sincere, courageous, and lovable. And in interviews he seemed like a genuine and humble guy who took his “cult following” in stride, like a true class act. While the character he was famous for portraying may have been a loner, it warms my heart to learn that Bruce J. Mitchell was loved by many, including his wife and children. I’d like to imagine that ol’ Zap Rowsdower would have gone onto live a life as full as Mr. Mitchell’s. I love reading these other comments and realizing how many other people Bruce brought genuine joy to. I’m just happy to be able to honor his life, even in this small way. May God be with his loved ones in this time of grieving.

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  58. Final Sacrifice is one of the most enjoyably bad movies of all time and his character, Zap Rowsdower will live on in our hearts forever. Hope his friends and family realize how many people adored him.

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  59. Michael Suggs :

    Our movie group rallied around you again yesterday evening, Bruce, in honor of your passing. You are so definitely missed, and your work so very much celebrated.

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  60. Mr Mitchell was an icon of Canadian cinema he will be greatly missed

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  61. Jeremy M. Miller, Esq. :

    I am very sorry and equally saddened to hear of the loss of Mr. Mitchell. My sympathies for his family and friends. Many thanks for the memories, good sir and I wish I could have met you.

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  62. Another fan of his through MST3K. I have watched his performance as Zap countless times. It has a way of putting a smile on your face. I watched his interview and he just seemed like a great guy with a good sense of humor. I hope his friends and family know he may be gone but will never be forgotten. Mr. Mitchell thank you for all you have done and rest in peace.

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  63. Dave Knight :

    My deepest condolences to the Mitchell family in this difficult time. Mr Mitchell certainly meant a lot to his fans and he will be remembered.

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  64. It’s hard to express just how much his performance of Zap Rowsdower actually meant to me. His character became a legend in many ways to me, as odd as that might sound.

    I’m glad Bruce was so loved and had a good life. May he rest in peace knowing he brought so much joy to so many of his fans.

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  65. Mike Monsalve :

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Bruce’s passing. As like most of the people, I am a huge fan of “The Final Sacrifice” (thanks to MST3K) and loved Bruce’s role as Zap Rowsdower. Outside the movie, it sounds like Bruce was one awesome dude and I hope that he was able to live his life to the fullest! R.I.P Bruce!!!! <3

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  66. Troy McGreggor :

    RRRRRRRROWSDOWER

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  67. RIP, Mr. Mitchell. You will be lovingly remembered forever by thousands of MSTies throughout the world.

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  68. Jesse Houston :

    Peace be with you and your family, Bruce. You will be sorely missed.

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  69. To Bruce’s friends, family, and all the fans of The Final Sacrifice,

    As a speaker at the funeral and a family friend of Bruce’s, I sit here with his wife reading all the condolences that the people have left. Angela and I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for all your kind and heartfelt words.

    Like many of the fans said, I’m not sure if Bruce ever truly knew how many of you he had touched, but it warms our hearts to see how many of you felt as though you knew him through his character Zap.

    Bruce was truly a loving, caring, and wonderful man who lived a very full and loved life with his wife, children, and many friends. His love for the theater can be seen through his sincere performance in such a “cheesy” movie. However, that being said his passion in life was always in the arts, and we only wish you all could have met the amazing man that Bruce was and witnessed his incredible talents.

    One fan requested that a charity be named for fans to leave a donation in Bruce’s name. Bruce had a strong love for animals, and often made donations to the Calgary Humane Society. If you are unable to donate to that specific charity, Bruce would have loved for you to volunteer your time or money to any charity that deals directly with saving and caring for animals.

    Thank you for your continued support,
    Angela & Amy

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  70. As a fan of MST3K, I knew Bruce Mitchell from the film, The Final Sacrifice. No matter how many times his character’s name is joked about, he was the highlight of the film. His performance was brilliant and powerful, and with the interview on one of the box sets, he was very humble and enjoyed how he made new fans of his work. It’s sad to see a wonderful man go this soon, it would of been wonderful to see him perform for one last time.

    Thank you for the laughs and the smiles, Mr Mitchell

    Thank you.

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  71. James Wiske :

    As you can see, Bruce touched a lot of us in the MST3K community and has reached a kind of immortality that few of us will be able to claim when we pass. I know there was a lot more to Bruce than that role (I read a few interviews that delved into his other work, and he mentioned he enjoyed the ribbing of his character). I’m sure I speak for most of the community in saying that we all would have loved the opportunity to meet him to share with him the joy he gave us from that role. My most heartfelt condolences.

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  72. So sorry to hear about your loss. Nothing I can say will ease the sadness, but I hope there is comfort for you in the memories. What a life to have shared for 30 years!

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  73. I only know Bruce through MST3K, but like so many others have said, I have enjoyed his passion and enthusiasm. Our world is a darker place because of this loss.

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  74. So long to the man who brought one of my favorite characters, Zap Rowsdower to life. You will be missed sir!

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  75. Today I looked up The Final Sacrifice randomly on Wikipedia and found this page. I’m very sorry to hear about his passing. I can watch his performance again and again. I’m glad to see that he led a great and happy life with people that loved him. I may be quoting that movie, both lines from the MST3K characters as well as the actual actors for the rest of my life. Someday I plan on introducing it to my wife and baby daughter. I’m not sure if they will love it as much as I do but it is worth a shot. During my college years my friends and I would return from the bars and watch the movie over and over again. I am truly appreciative of the work that Bruce into the movie. It has provided me with countless hours of joy. I wish I could thank him personally. His character was a hero and from what I’ve read he was one in real life as well.

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