Bruce died peacefully at home on October 1, 2016 surrounded by his family.
Bruce, son of Thomas and Lulu Watson was born in Shoal Lake, Manitoba, the youngest of three sons. He is survived by Shirley, wife of 64 years, daughters Sheila Garrison (John), and Norma Kirkham (David). Grandchildren, Laura Purdon (Steve and great grandchildren Caden and Jaron), Stuart White (fiancée Dena McDonald), Stephen Kirkham, and Philip Kirkham (Kayla and another great grandchild expected in December). He is also survived by his eldest brother Wendell (Elizabeth) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Trevor and sister-in-law Babs.
Bruce spent his early years in Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) and Winnipeg. He moved to Vancouver where he completed a BA at UBC under the auspices of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. In 1951, Bruce was commissioned as a Pilot Officer with the RCAF. This took Bruce and Shirley to Ottawa, where Sheila was born, Baden-Baden, Germany, where Norma was born, Metz, France, and back to Ottawa. Bruce left the RCAF as a Flt. Lieutenant after 12 years of service.
The family settled in Burnaby in 1961 and Bruce returned to UBC where he earned his Master of Education in education finance. While teaching in Burnaby, he became involved in salary negotiations, which led to a long and fulfilling career with the BCTF. During his 23 years with the BCTF, Bruce worked diligently to improve teachers’ pensions, salaries, and benefits.
After retirement, Bruce was active with the retired teachers’ associations provincially and nationally. He did contract work with the BC Superannuation Commission and the BCTF.
Bruce was especially proud of being part of the team, which brought about and implemented the Joint Trust Agreement governing the Teacher Pension Plan. He served as a Director on the management board of the Pension Corporation for three years and then fully retired.
While living in Burnaby, Bruce was very involved in the South Burnaby United Church serving as treasurer and chairman of the board.
Bruce and Shirley moved to Duncan in 2007 to be closer to their daughters. Bruce became active with the Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club, Probus Club of Cowichan Valley, and Duncan United Church.
Bruce and Shirley enjoyed travelling the world with family and friends. He was an avid reader, grew great roses and raspberries, kept on top of the moles in the lawn, and was proud of his weed free yard. Bruce was pleased to have been part of the gifting of the Forslund-Watson Nature Reserve in Langley.
Family was very important to Bruce and he especially enjoyed spending time and playing with his grandchildren. He made each grandchild feel special. He was very proud of his family and their accomplishments. The family has lived by Bruce’s words of “Decide what you are best capable of doing, and do it well.”
Bruce lived a good life and was well respected by all who knew him. Goodbye Bruce, Dad, Poppa, and Great Poppa. We will miss your wonderful smile and sense of humour. Our love and memories of you will be with us forever.
Bruce requested there be no service. In memory of Bruce, you may wish to consider a donation to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation or charity of your choice.