Bruce L. Farrell
MARQUETTE, MI – Marquette, MI. Bruce L. Farrell, age 81, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2019, at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living Center with his family by his side.
Bruce was born on October 17, 1937, and raised in Escanaba MI. He was a graduate of Alma College and became a teacher. While starting his teaching career, he also earned a Masters degree in Mathematics. He lived the majority of his life in Marquette teaching math and Spanish. When he first arrived in Marquette, Bruce taught in the math department at NMU and later moved to the Negaunee High School. He was called “Bernardo” by many of his students. In total he taught for over forty years. He also enjoyed playing and watching sports and had a love of coaching his students. He was a tennis coach at the Negaunee High School for 23 years with his friend and colleague, Jack Tripp. After a long day of work, Bruce also enjoyed playing tennis, going to trivia night at JT’s shaft, and spending time with his friends.
While he was not teaching he also was a building contractor who built many homes in the Marquette area as well as a lot of remodeling. He loved having a crew of former students working with him and he took pride in teaching them the ins and outs of building. Several of these young men went on to become successful builders in their own right and nothing could have made him more proud. Bruce was blessed with two daughters but one of these young men, David L’Huillier became like a son to him. They spent many years working together and Bruce was so very proud of David and all of his accomplishments in life. He had so many lessons to teach and so many words of wisdom about life in general. If there were two words to describe Bruce they would be “work ethic”. No one worked harder or longer than he did. It was who he was. This was also a great lesson for the young people around him. He had a fabulous sense of humor and loved to laugh and joke around. He also loved a good practical joke.
It is very fitting that Bruce passed away the day before St. Patrick’s Day. It was his favorite holiday and he celebrated every year…. sometimes maybe a little too much! We know he will be in heaven drinking green beer and celebrating with Ringo and all of his buddies who have been there waiting for him. They will also be watching basketball and cheering for Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
The family would like to thank all of Bruce’s friends that continued to visit him during his years at Brookridge. It was so heartwarming to see how many people truly loved and respected him. The staff was always amazed at how many visitors he had and how many people cared about him. A special thank you to Becky LaValley and Todd Swanson, the med techs that were so kind and compassionate and did everything to make sure he was always as comfortable as possible. Thank you to Alisia Bowman who was Bruce’s favorite caregiver and could always get a smile or a laugh out of him. Sheryl Dodge who always made sure he was dressed and in his chair and treated with as much dignity as possible. Cheryl Fassbender who took care of him during the nighttime and was very attentive to him.
Also a special thanks to Steven Clarke and Collin Banger who are two young men who formerly worked at Brookridge and took care of Bruce. He loved to give them a hard time and they let him have some fun. They took the time out of their busy college schedules to call and visit with Bruce and his family in his last days even though they no longer worked there. They are truly special young men!
He is survived by his wife, Donna Farrell of Marquette; his two daughters, Marybeth (Dave) Vargo, of Lakewood, CO and Jennifer (Robert) Miller of Battle Creek, MI; and four grandsons, Patrick Vargo, Brian Vargo, Owen Miller and Brody Miller.
Friends may call at the Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral & Cremation Services on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Funeral Services will be held in the funeral home at 5:00 pm with Rev. Greg Heikkala officiating. A dinner will follow in the funeral home reception room to celebrate Bruce’s life and share stories.
The Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral & Cremation Services is serving the family where condolences may be left online at www.fassbenderswansonhansen.com