A few words upon the passing of a man who commanded so many. A man who took such joy and pride in guiding his children to his beloved dictionaries and encyclopedias. He taught his children to access the pre-internet search engines long before Silicon Valley invented a less tactile, and less fulfilling, technology. Guiding his pupils to his source documents took some restraint considering what joy he also took in capturing one his children or grandchildren, or anyone else who was around, so he could download a bit of the information he had gathered in his cerebral labyrinth on such a wide array of subjects ranging from the great to the esoteric. He knew something worth knowing upon every historical event one could think of and read encyclopedias cover-to-cover for the fun of it. Bruce was born at his parents’ home in Chicago on February 25, 1932 and passed away on October 7, 2020 in Westfield, Indiana.
Bruce’s empathy was undoubtedly a legacy of growing up with his beloved older sister, Virginia Elvira, who succumbed to her congenital challenges in 1943, during her sixteenth year. In his later years, Bruce often returned with welling eyes to the memory of Virginia at her piano, and their struggles to survive through the Depression on 76th & Stewart on the southside of Chicago.
Bruce and Virginia’s parents were James Bruce Thompson, an orphan from Scotland, and Virginia Mary Foster, a very accomplished Chicago native, and one of the first female election judges in Chicago.
Bruce served his country in the Air Force stateside during the Korean War and graduated from DePaul University. Bruce was a bicycle repairman, a lieutenant on the Chicago Police force, and in his later years a cook with a warm bowl of soup, without a recipe, for any who might stop by. He spent many years as a polygraph examiner in the Chicago crime lab and in his private polygraph practice. Truth and integrity were watchwords for Bruce.
Bruce married Sharon Frances Thompson twice. First on the downlow, and then in the church to appease their families after the die had been cast. They were together in life for fifty-seven years. Sharon and Bruce then created a crush of descendants. They started with their three girls and four boys, Carol (Joseph) Kenney, Bruce, Tom (Elisabeth), Patti (Kenneth) Lipetz, Larry (Natalie), John (Maureen), and Mary (Phil) Murray. Bruce and Sharon raised their children on 99th and Winston, and then on 85th and Kedzie.
Bruce gives a shoutout to the Winston Avenue Club and his many departed friends from the Southside and at Carillon in Plainfield. Bruce and Sharon remain loved by their many nieces and nephews, and, of course, their grandchildren, Kelly Marie (Joseph) Fisher, Joseph Leslie (Mary) Kenney, Luke (Elizabeth) Kenney, the late Sean Joseph Kenney, Colleen Sharon (Ryan) Hutter, Braelyn Thompson, Brett Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Alessandra Thompson, Dylan Thompson, Matthew Thompson, Aubrey (Matthew) Feigelson, Amanda (Steven) Porterfield, Alyssa Lipetz, Abigail (Cole) McCrary, Allison (Luke) Lipetz, Natalie (Taylor) Thompson, Mitchell Thompson, Patrick (Corinne) Thompson, Danielle Murray, Zachary Bandyk, Jacob Bandyk, Eric Fuderer and Steve Fuderer. As if that were not enough love and pride, G-Pa was devoted to, and was loved by, his great-grandchildren, Joseph Charles Fisher, Leo Fisher, Rose Fisher, Finnegan Kenney, Crew Kenney, Ella Kenney, Keira Kenney, Anna Kenney, Sean Daniel Kenney, Kai TakaBayashi, Ava Hutter, Patrick Hutter, Hugh Hutter, and Joseph Sean Hutter, Carter James Smith, Aiden Jay Feigelson, Bennett Feigelson, Taylor Feigelson, Elliot Porterfield, Kori Peters, Madelyn Thompson, and Melanie Thompson.
Interment will be at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. We will celebrate his life with a brunch as soon as the pandemic allows. Please keep in touch with Bruce’s children for the time and location for the Celebration of Bruce’s Life.
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