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Bruce William Harris, of Rochester, passed away peacefully at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, surrounded by family.

Bruce was born October 24, 1929, and grew up in Waukesha, WI. He was the son of Mabel (Kilpatrick) and George Blain Harris. Bruce was the sixth out of nine children. After attending Barstow School from first through sixth grade, Bruce attended the Edison building until graduation in 1948.

Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy (Machinist Mate – Engineering). He served on the U.S.S. Wisconsin Battleship #64 from 1950-1954 during the Korean War. After returning home he attended college and worked multiple jobs until he married, Lois Josephine Schwartz, on August 4, 1956. They were married at St. John’s Catholic Church in Waukesha and enjoyed a 34 year journey together.

They bought a farm outside of Glenwood City, WI in 1960 after accepting a teaching position for the School District of Glenwood City, teaching Science and Math. Bruce always kept his classes engaged and on their toes.

Bruce enjoyed gardening, bird watching, playing dominos, and cards. He loved to drive tractors and work in his gardens. He also enjoyed and adored time spent with his family, 4 brothers and 5 sisters, 5 sons and 2 daughters, 17 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He always had a story to tell, a tea party to attend and something in the garden to see and taste.

Bruce is survived by wife, Dianne and her two sons; his sisters, Virginia Harris, JoAnn Harris, Nan Harris, and brother Richard (Dick) Harris; daughters Tanya (Jerry) Vankirk of Madison WI, Patricia (John) Bronk of Rochester MN, sons Scott (Pamela) Harris of Chippewa Falls, WI, Jeffery Harris significant other Bette Jarvis Spring Brook WI, Victor (Sheri) Harris Downing WI, John (Ann) Harris of Lombard, IL, Lief (Kris) Harris Cary, NC; grandchildren, Ellie, Jennifer, Heather, Ben, Diane, Steve, Taylor, Sydney, Jacob, Lucas, Kaitlin, Sarah, Alyssa, Hannah, Josephine, Joshua, and Logan. He was also blessed with nine great – grandchildren.

Bruce is preceded in death by his wife, Lois; brothers, George and Jim; sisters Jean and Edith.

Memorials can be made to a Bruce Harris scholarship fund for future graduates who are pursuing a career in the teaching profession with an emphasis in biology, chemistry, or math. Please send checks to the School District of Glenwood City, 850 Maple Street, Glenwood City, WI 54013.


  1. Diane Brockley-Drinkman on June 4, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Mr. Harris piqued our interest in math and science- and this pointed me in the direction of a 3+ decade career. My deepest sympathies to Dianne, family, and loved ones.

  2. Ila Gillis on June 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    A colleague remembered as well as your children. May you all be blessed with the happy memories

    • Family on June 12, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Bruce enjoyed being apart of such a great staff for so many years. We are truly blessed with such a supportive community.

  3. LuAnn (Jeske) Scharmer on June 5, 2019 at 7:47 am

    You have my deepest sympathy. Mr. Harris was a great teacher! Thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  4. Eileen Eggen on June 5, 2019 at 8:01 am

    The best teacher I ever had. Such a wonderful man. He made learning fun.

  5. Nancy (Limberg) Kohlhepp on June 5, 2019 at 10:53 am

    What a wonderful man and teacher!!! Think of all the kids he was such a wonderful role model over all the years! Thank you to him and his family for his countless hours of impact upon the Glenwood City community.

  6. Harold Aebly USAF MSGT RET. on June 5, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Deepest sympathy to his wife and family I always remember him when I pass his farm he was a great teacher and the reason I enjoyed math so much which opened the door to a career as an engineering tech for the Air Force, Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

  7. Allen and Paulette Klatt on June 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Both of our daughters enjoyed having this great man as a teacher.

  8. Mary (Dettmann) Dahl on June 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Mr. Harris made math so easy and if you didn’t understand it one way, he would show another until you did understand. I will always be grateful that I had him for a math teacher.

  9. Kevin Garey on June 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    I was privileged to have him as a teacher and was always inspired by his sense of humor. Just when you thought things were never going to improve.. he was there to cheer you up and keep you going.

  10. Debra Larrabee on June 6, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Mr Harris has left so many people better for knowing him. His big voice commanded attention but the kindness in his eyes and smile will always be what I remember most. My thoughts and prayers go out to Pat, Leaf and all the people in his life who love him.

  11. Donna Sylte on June 12, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Bruce was a great mentor and friend for over 30 plus years. He always cheered people up if they were having a bad day. My sympathy goes to the whole family. He will be missed.

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