Deceased April 14, 2016

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In Memory

With great sadness we learned Bruce had passed away on April 14. With even greater sadness we recognize that we had lost him many years before. The last time I had contact with him was in 1966 when he visited me in Wellesley to become godfather to my daughter. After that, he apparently had no communication with the College or classmates, despite numerous attempts to reach out to him.

Bruce graduated from East Hartford High. An extraordinarily gifted athlete, he made the Connecticut All-State football roster and was, as his coach attested, “the best quarterback who ever played here.” Bruce never mentioned that, but he would later demonstrate his prowess as running back at Amherst. Otherwise, he maintained a quiet presence. I can still see him studying in his freshman room, in green eyeshade, puffing on his pipe or sucking on a lemon! I loved talking with him about anything, from Montaigne to the Boston Patriots. The warmth of his smile made anyone feel comfortable in his presence; sadly, I suspect he never comprehended how fond we were of him.

One memory of his whimsy and remarkable coordination stands out. We were headed from North Hall to Valentine, slipping and sliding after an ice storm; Bruce suddenly took a few running steps and began a long slide down the ice-coated macadam walk. Approaching the eight stone steps by Morrow, without slowing, he executed a half-turn, bent over with arms outstretched before him for balance, and swept swiftly down the steps backward, sticking an upright landing at the bottom! I’ll never see the like of it again.

Bruce taught English in East Hartford for more than 30 years, reportedly enjoying carpentry, fishing, tennis and coaching Little League. He leaves two sons, Geoffrey and Brian, and his classmates who share their loss.                    

Jens “Nick” Touborg ’61

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