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Roy Walter Bruce

Roy Walter Bruce, 84, passed away peacefully on Feb. 27 of natural causes at PMC Extended Care. 

His funeral will be held March 6 at 2 p.m. at the Conrad Mission Church.  Visitation will be March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. and March 6 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Pondera Funeral Home prior to service.  Pondera Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com .

Roy was born to Carl and Muriel Bruce on April 7, 1929 in White River, S.D. on his father’s birthday.  He joined his sister Helen, and later brothers Don, Harvey, Tom, Dale and Harry joined the family.  The family lived on a farm, and Roy grew up working with horses.  He graduated in 1947 from Todd County High School in Mission, S.D.  After moving to Great Falls in 1950, he found work at International Truck and later as a taxidermist at Great Falls Sporting Goods.  He also worked for a local farmer, Howard Gruel, who became a close friend. 

Roy joined the U.S. Marine Corp where he attended a water purification school after boot camp, followed by a tour of duty in Korea.  After his discharge he married Evelyn Chick in 1954, and they began farming in the Ledger area.  Active in many areas, he attended Barber School in Spokane. That training and certification allowed Roy to barber part-time for many years.  His carpentry and building began early, and it grew steadily over the years as he had designing as well as construction abilities.  He updated the house on the farm, had a crew that erected 70 steel buildings, and completed numerous projects, including a new house for his mother during the 12 winters they spent in Arizona.  His last big project was foreman of the construction of the Conrad Mission Church.  Roy was a life member of the VFW and American Legion, and served as a commander in both organizations.

Roy had a quiet, gentle spirit and cherished his family.  He loved his horses, buying colts and training many teams.  He did many wagon trains with family and friends, and 22 cattle drives with a covered wagon and his team in the Townsend area.  Besides having scores of animals, he enjoyed auctions, the Threshing Bee in Choteau and Cowboy Poetry.  Roy and Evelyn square danced about 35 years, often traveling many miles with friends to special dances.

Roy is survived by his wife Evelyn; sons Gary and John; daughter Susan; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; four brothers; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by both parents, stepfather, sister and a brother.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but he left cherished memories for all who loved him.  We thank all of the kind people at PMC Extended Care for all their kindness and care during his last days with us.

Memorials may be made to the Rescue Mission in Great Falls or to the Conrad Mission Church.