Remembering Robert Bruce Douglas 'Bruce'

Bruce passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 3, 2024 at Mariposa House Hospice in Orillia surrounded by his loving family. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer and his children Pamela (Jordan) and Patrick (Shawna), grandson Lincoln and beloved standard poodle, Jigs.

Bruce Douglas lived large. Born in London, Ontario on November 6, 1954, he grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, the oldest of 4 children born to Bob and Fran Douglas. It was at St. Jerome’s High School where he first excelled in sports, and his passion for music and performance was born. He joined the orchestra under the direction of Mike Bergauer. He played his first ‘gig’ in a cover band at age 14, where he and friend Charlie Bell made sure to polish off all the unfinished drinks in the bar after closing. He spent many years performing with Opus and Opus II, popular bands led by Mike Bergauer in Southwestern Ontario.

Bruce was an accomplished trombone and trumpet player and was the lead singer in his own band, Traditions, with which he toured for several years. Following life on the road as a full-time musician, he moved to Newmarket and had a successful career selling postage meters, eventually retiring as President of Friden Neopost Canada in 1998. While working full-time and raising a family, Bruce earned an undergrad business degree at WLU and an Executive MBA at University of Toronto. Post-retirement, Bruce started a dealership for the company, serving a large area spanning from Richmond Hill to Huntsville.

Bruce loved boating. It was on his boat that he met the young woman who later became his wife of 42 years. Jennifer (aka Jeff, aka Ralph) was working a summer job for the phone company and was his telephone operator when he made a radio call from his boat one evening. A true salesman, he offered to pick her up from the office after her shift in his black Lincoln Continental, and the rest is history!

Together the family went on many skiing and tropical adventures, which created cherished family memories. They shared the love of boating, especially in the Bad River area. Fishing was another great love of Bruce’s, and he did many fishing trips to the west coast and in Mexico. Fishing in Cabo, where they had a second home for many years, was his ‘happy place’. Bruce was accomplished in the martial arts, and earned his 4th degree black belt in karate. Jennifer, Pamela and Patrick followed in his footsteps and have their black belts as well. Golf was another passion, which Bruce shared with the love of his life, Jennifer.

Bruce had battled cancer in several forms for almost 25 years, and he was taken from his family and friends too early. But he left this world with his bucket list all completed. And although he is leaving a huge hole in the lives of his family and friends, they can be comforted knowing that Bruce lived large, loved them deeply and has gone to the great fishing hole in the sky.

A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held in September 2024 (when boating season is over) in Coldwater, Ontario. In lieu of flowers, donations to Mariposa House Hospice in Orillia are welcome and will be received by Carson Funeral Homes – L.Doolittle Chapel  54 Coldwater St. E Orillia (705)326-3595

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  1. Douglas Reid

    I met Bruce at the University of Toronto in 1991 and am glad to have had him as a friend for so long. He was indeed larger than life. But he also had a very good mind, and was pragmatic in how he tackled business problems. Bruce was a well-regarded member of our class (EMBA 9T3) and I know that he will be missed by his classmates. I will always remember his laughter, smile, and infectious energy. I'm glad he lived so well for so long.

  2. Kim Harper Daynes

    Jennifer, Pam and Patrick, We are so sorry to hear of Bruce’s passing. He was an important mentor to Joseph when he younger Bruce had a significant positive impact on his life. We all have wonderful memories of our time with him. Our most sincere condolences, Kim, Joseph and Ben.

  3. Veva

    Jen! I’m so sorry for this huge lost for all of us! Bruce will always be remembered as the great person and talented man he was! He’ll live forever in my memories! I’m so glad I had the privilege to meet him and share the music with him, always funny and kind! 🤍

  4. Vlad Sipercos, Comrade

    Jennifer, Pamela and Patrick, our heart felt condolences, I met Bruce, aka Bruce-ki, while studying for EMBA. One of the best friends I had. Drank beer duh! together, talked about people, business, his boats, our kids. Exceptionally charming, able to talk to people at all levels in society, always smiling. Respected by well known and full of themselves University Professors and servers in restaurants and bars. With clear views about almost everything. He made me sing 'Revolution' in a karaoke bar downtown Toronto, the only time I ever sang karaoke in public. Extremely smart, common sense smart. I remember the daughter of our Dean applied to join a school my son already joined. I was ready to talk with him about the school, when Bruce told me to wait until the acceptance results were published, to avoid embarrassing him if she was not accepted. And lo and behold, she was not accepted. Bruce was the only friend I went to bars to drink, eat finger food and talk... One hour, sometimes more, in the middle of the day. I will miss him so much!! I have no friends like him. Bruce, Rest In Peace, we will miss you Eva and Vlad

  5. Ronda Kemp

    Dear Jennifer and family, I'm very sorry to hear of Bruce's long battle and recent passing. Jessica, Johnathon and Esther share their condolences to you and your family. Jessica was very moved to have met you both while in Mexico. Very Sincerely, In my thoughts and prayers Ronda

  6. Marianne ( Bell) Fitzgerald

    I first met Bruce during the St. Jerome’s high school musical production of Sound of Music. I was Charlie Bell’s “kid” sister and Bruce took me under his wing as a young trombonist. I was in awe of his “ larger than life ” personality and incredible musicianship. He was always so kind to me. He was always available and a true friend to his “brothers” in the band. He remained a dear friend to Charlie and I will cherish the memory of his twinkling eyes and mischievous grin. My condolences to his beloved family. May you rest in peace dear Bruce🌸

  7. Debbie Keshen

    Jennifer, Pamela and Patrick, I am sorry for your loss, Bruce was too young and just ready to enter his retirement years. R. Bruce Douglas, we worked together for many years. I have so many memories. Bruce as Santa at the kids Christmas Party. Then he did it again at the company Christmas party, I still picture Christine Wong with "Santa". We did a number of trips to our company head office in California, we always fit in a game of golf, back in the day when Bruce first started to golf. There was such a kind side to Bruce that he didn't always show everyone, I saw it when he supported people who worked for him, but never told anyone. It was the people who he helped that shared with me. Although we didn't stay in touch regularly it was this past May I last heard from Bruce. I was shocked to hear of his passing, he was so upbeat and making plans for the future. I will rock my Arctic Blond, just like Bruce.....Debra-Sue

  8. Robert Chan

    My deepest condolences on your loss. I will always remember Bruce fondly. We worked together many years and those memories will be cherished. He lived a full life but gone too early. 🙏🙏🙏

  9. Chris & Carol Murphy

    We are so sorry to hear that Bruce has passed away. Our sincere condolences to Jennifer and family. Bruce was a great guy. It was always fun to be around Bruce. Chris has many good memories playing music with Bruce.

  10. Ana Jimenez

    We are deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved husband, Bruce. We know that his passing leaves a significant void in your heart and in our cherished Quivira community. Together, you and Bruce were a couple who radiated and transmitted love, communication, and trust. Your bond was truly inspiring and will be remembered by all of us. We are here for you during this difficult time and send you all our love and support. With all our love and affection, Quivira Proshop

  11. Steve & Shari Pietz

    Our hearts and sentiments go out to Jennifer as well as his and her families. Bruce and Jennifer’s love and dedication to each other was one my wife and admired for years. I was also fortunate to work with Bruce and was always impressed by his business skills and the manner in which he treated his colleagues. Those qualities were model for others to emulate in their day to day lives. He will be missed. May he rest in peace knowing our lives are better for having known him.

  12. Azita

    Dear Jennifer and Douglas Family, I am very saddened to hear about beloved Bruce's untimely passing. I had the fortune of knowing both Bruce and Jennifer in Cabo. His love for life was so contagious. May he rest in peace. Thinking of Douglas Family in these difficult times. Azita

  13. James and Faye Morrison

    Faye and I are so sorry to hear the news about Bruce. I will miss joking with him and Jennifer to “Pick Up Their Pace” at Quivira. We ended up becoming great friends in Cabo and had some wonderful times both on and off the golf course. Our love always to Jennifer and Family.

  14. Rodger Wheaton

    RIP Bruce. He lived life to the fullest and as a great storyteller shared with us. He can show St Peter some fishing tips and in particular how to keep the Pacifico cold. Well done, my friend. I miss you.

  15. Jan ,Chris, Allan and Candice Perkins

    We are so sorry to hear this. Bruce was certainly bigger than life and had a heart of gold. Our families were a daily part of each other 's lives while the kids were growing. We were blessed by this interaction. As my daughter Candice said, " Don't mind his growling, he does that all the time." All our love to the Douglas family.

  16. Kim Jagos

    Jennifer and family, no words can express the deep sorrow you feel at the loss of Bruce. Know we are thinking of you and praying for your own healing as you move forward at this difficult time.

  17. Nicky & Rachel

    Bruce, affectionately known to us as "Brucey", strong, smart, and so much fun. Once in a while he would pop out a real zinger of a one-liner that had us in tears. Often he would look over his iPad out on the porch to see us struggling with something. He always came right over and while grinning said "Whatcha doing? Let me do it!" He saved us many times! Brucey will be missed so much. Our love and condolences to Jennifer, Pamela, Patrick, Jordon, Shawna and Lincoln.

  18. Chas Ronzio

    Definitely a life well-lived! I have wonderful memories of our many adventures together and with the band. I’ll miss you my friend, until we meet again. Rest in peace. Chas

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