Cover photo for Bruce Gerald Whitmarsh's Obituary
Bruce Gerald Whitmarsh Profile Photo
1932 Bruce 2016

Bruce Gerald Whitmarsh

July 30, 1932 — June 23, 2016

Miles City, MT / Chatham

Bruce Gerald Whitmarsh, age 83, of Miles City, Montana and formerly of Chatham, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at the VA Community Living Center in Miles City.  Bruce was born in Alston, Michigan on July 30, 1932 to Esther (Eklund) and Wilbert Heikkila. After graduating from Traunik High School, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the Harry S. Bauer. In 1957, Bruce married Ruth Elinore Ylitalo and graduated from Michigan Tech in forestry. The couple moved to Lakeview, Oregon where Bruce began his career as a forester for the Bureau of Land Management. They later moved, living in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota until returning to Oregon in 1963. The family then moved to Montrose, Colorado and in 1976 transferred to Miles City, Montana where Bruce has lived since.

After retirement, Bruce and Ruth shared their faith by volunteering on 17 building projects throughout the United States with “Laborers for Christ”, a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod mission organization. Bruce enjoyed gardening, playing cribbage and hunting the wiley antelope. He will be remembered for his care and concern for our natural resources, his delicious Lohta casserole, his well worn Bible, and his dedication to the land of Israel.

Bruce is survived by his daughter Liisa Eyerly (John) of Westfield, WI; two sons: Gerald Whitmarsh (Patti) of Seattle, WA and Bill Whitmarsh of Miles City, MT; his grandchildren: Matthew, Kathryn and Kristyn; three sisters: Harriett Bartlett of NC; Kathy Sommo of Los Angeles, CA; Rita Young of WA; four brothers: John Whitmarsh (Mary Jane), Roger Whitmarsh (Janet); Mark Whitmarsh (Jackie) all of Chatham, MI; and Frank Mattson (Patti) of WA; and a brother-in-law Carl Nystrom of Marquette, MI. He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years Ruth; his mother Esther, father Wilbert, step-father Harry Whitmarsh, and a sister Joan Nystrom.

A memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Paul Kelto on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham.  Visiting time with family and friends will be held at the church from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery where the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military honors.

Memorials may be made to a charity of one's choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bruce Gerald Whitmarsh, please visit our flower store.

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