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(March 24, 1940 - November 17, 2008)
William Bruce MacNeil, 68 passed away at his home on November 17, 2008 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born March 24th 1940 in Marquette, Michigan to the late William T. and Margaret (Chapman) MacNeil.
Bruce lived in Chatham, Michigan as a young child, and then moved to Onaway, Michigan until he was a sixth grader, at which time the MacNeil family moved to Munising, Michigan. He graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1958. Bruce attended Michigan Tech his freshman year and then transferred to Northern Michigan University. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1962 after majoring in mathematics with minors in physics and chemistry. Bruce returned to Northern after graduating to begin his Master’s program. While advancing his studies, he worked for the university and area schools in the western part of the Upper Peninsula on enrollment projections for consolidating small community schools. On August 17, 1963, he married Mary Alice “Beezie” Bowerman also from Munising.
Bruce taught at Washington High School in Two Rivers, Wisconsin from 1963-1966 and was the assistant wrestling coach. In the summer of 1966, he left teaching to be an Assistant Director of Housing at Northern Michigan University. He completed his Masters program in 1967. In the fall of 1967, Bruce returned to teaching and taught mathematics at Green Bay East High School until his retirement in June of 1998. He was the wrestling coach at Green Bay East from 1967-1975. Bruce coached the competitive math teams for many years and also worked many cross-country and track meets up until his illness.
He had a passion for the sport of running and was an icon in the running community. He mapped many courses in the area and volunteered at numerous area races. Bruce crossed the finish line for the Bellin Run every year since the race started in 1977 until 2007. He was honored as one of the Bellin Legends. He completed 4 marathons and had logged enough miles to run/walk around the world at least twice. Bruce established the Ashwaubenon’s Park and Recreation Department’s Wednesday night Fun Runs and coordinated them for over 30 years. He was a key member in a circle of friends unofficially known as the “running group.” Bruce was an excellent swimmer and especially loved to swim along the shoreline of Lake Superior where he grew up. He was a talented woodworker. He was also a die-hard Wisconsin Badger, Green Bay Packer, East Red Devils and collegiate football and basketball fan. Bruce was an avid reader and tackled crossword puzzles daily. He loved his music, and attended numerous concerts, along with many Broadway shows and musicals. Bruce loved his wife, his children and their families. He cherished every moment with his grandchildren. He and Beezie loved to travel and visited the entire continental US and many foreign countries. Bruce and Beezie lived in Ashwaubenon for thirty-four years and raised their children there before moving to Howard six years ago.
Bruce is survived by his wife Beezie, and lifetime friend of 45 years. His daughter and son-in-law – Gwendolyn Gayle “Wendy” and Thad Radzanowski of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; sons and daughters-in-law, Robert Bruce and Kara (LaForest) MacNeil of Green Bay, and James Bartlett and Stacey (Justa) MacNeil of Asheville, NC; also daughter-in-law – Terrie (Schultz) MacNeil of Green Bay; Bruce’s grandchildren who were his pride and joy - Katherine Gayle “Katie” and Michael Joseph Radzanowski and Lauren Kathleen and William Mason “Mason” MacNeil; his sister Marcia Gayle Prato, her husband John, and their children Bill Prato and Sarah (Prato) Warch; brothers and sisters-in-law - Barb Bowerman, Patty Ann (Bill) Nash, Richard (Mary) Bowerman, Katy (Lenny) Zelazoski , Lynne Bowerman, Tom (Kelley Kurk) Bowerman, David Bowerman, Ken (Barbie) Bowerman, Jeff (Patty Jo) Bowerman, and Kim (Mike) Harris; and numerous other nieces and nephews. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws William “Bill” Wesley Bowerman II and Glenna Elizabeth (Depew) Bowerman, and brothers-in-law William “Butch” and Robert “Bob” Bowerman.
Visitation at MALCORE (WEST) Funeral Home, 1530 West Mason Street, Thursday from 4 -9 PM. Wake service 7 PM Thursday at the funeral home. Visitation to continue Friday morning at Nativity of our Lord Church, corner of Oneida Street and Cormier Street, from 10 AM until the time of the funeral at 11 AM Friday at the church with Rev. John H. Van Deuren officiating.
Bruce’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Prevea, Gastroenterology’s Dr. Peter Dzwonkowski, Mary Deuster, RN, St. Vincent Hospital Oncologist Dr. Anthony J. Jaslowski, Ruth Bloesl, FNP-C and all 3rd floor oncology staff at St. Mary’s Hospital and Unity Hospice’s Pam Rojas and staff.
In lieu of flowers, a Math scholarship will be established in Bruce’s name at Green Bay East High School.
Submitted by Char Livermore