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Bethlehem Bible College
614-C South Bus. IH-35
Braunfels, TX 78130
USA Address for mailing within the U.S.
- Bethlehem Bible College is located in Jerusalem, Israel.
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Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater man than one who lives by his faith and for his family, and Bruce Arntz was just such a man. Loyal and trustworthy, Bruce was a man of integrity who could always be counted on with a helping hand, a word of encouragement, and a shoulder to lean on. Through his fine example, he leaves a loving legacy to be fondly remembered by all who came to know and love him.
Bruce’s story began at a time when the nation continued to struggle through the lasting effects of the Great Depression as Americans forged on with lasting hope. While Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire danced their way into the hearts of many, readers everywhere were fascinated with the newly published novel, Gone with the Wind. Yet in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the birth of Bruce Richard Arntz on January 19, 1936 was a most welcome way to begin the New Year in the lives of his parents, Leland and Bertha (Scott) Arntz.
A bustling household, Bruce was one of seven children, joining his older siblings, Leland, Ruth, and Keith, and later welcoming younger siblings, Glenn, Paul, and Dan. A close knit family, Bruce was raised on their family farm in the then rural community of Hudsonville. To support their large family, Bruce’s father worked as a pressman for the newspaper while his mother tended to their family as a busy homemaker. Bruce held fond memories of enjoyable times during the summers at their family cottage at Pine Island as well as numerous, treasured holidays together. He hunted often with his father and siblings, and they especially liked target shooting. On one occasion, Bruce suggested to his father that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to lean the targets against the brand new sawhorses he had just built. His father disagreed, and proceeded to shoot the legs right off of them!
Bruce attended Hudsonville Public Schools and enjoyed experiences during his youth typical of his generation. He continued his love for hunting, particularly for deer, rabbits, squirrel and pheasants. And once he had car keys in hand, he was known to drag race up and down the country roads near their farm. Bruce later went on to attend Advanced Technical Trade School where he became certified in electrical and appliance repair. A mechanical genius, he was very meticulous and talented in this regard. In time, Bruce joined the Michigan National Guard and was stationed at Camp Grayling. When word came that the military was going to send either the Michigan National Guard or the Wisconsin National Guard to Korea, there was certainly cause for concern. Wisconsin was chosen, and Bruce always believed it was a good thing because he felt the Michigan guard was ill prepared for such a task.
Bruce came to know true love in the heart of Shirley Hoogerhyde. She worked as a bookkeeper with Bruce’s sister-in-law, Arleen, and his sister, Ruth. They set the two up on a blind date, and on July 21, 1961 they shared vows of marriage at Trinity Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. After a memorable honeymoon at Niagara Falls, they moved into a home on Gratiot Street NW in Grand Rapids where Shirley took on Bruce's two children, Patti born in 1956 and Brian born in 1958, as her own.
Like his father before him, Bruce worked as a pressman for the Grand Rapids Press and later the Muskegon Chronicle newspapers. Shirley continued working as a bookkeeper and looked after their home. Bruce provided well for the family entrusted to his care. As a father he was ever loving, protective, and a strict parent, yet he was always there for his wife and children. Family vacations included trips to Florida and Mackinaw Island where great times were enjoyed. Part of Bruce’s family also included his most cherished possessions, his dogs. Never far from his side, through the years Ginger, Marie, Dixie, and Dipstick held a special place in Bruce’s heart.
Quick to share a smile, Bruce possessed a very funny sense of humor and he loved bringing smiles to the days of others. When it came to music, he liked country and western genres, especially Marty Robbins. As an avid reader, Bruce read many novels by authors, Louis Lamore and Clive Cussler. Bruce was never one to belong to groups with the exception of the NRA. He left the cooking to Shirley where as Bruce was the master at grilling delicious steaks on the grill.
Faith remained a vital part of Bruce’s life. He and Shirley attended Remembrance Reformed Church for a number of years, and after retiring, they shared great times traveling. Some of their destinations included Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, and places in Europe. They also liked camping at Cranhill Ranch and at Sand Lake. They were snowbirds, traveling to Florida for many years to their second home in West Palm Beach. When Bruce’s beloved Shirley passed away in 2009, he was never quite the same. He missed her terribly, but through the love and support of family and friends he was able to carry on. He was a regular at two of his favorite restaurants, Russ’ and Bob Evans where he enjoyed everything on their menus. In fact, the staff at Russ’ became like a second family to Bruce.
Bruce Arntz lived by faith with those he loved by his side. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and was as devoted as they come. He lived and loved to be needed, and as a loving example, he served his family well. Although he will be dearly missed, Bruce’s son shared the sentiment, “My dad was the most giving, tender-hearted person I have ever known and I am looking forward to seeing him again in Heaven. We will have a lot to talk about.”
Mr. Bruce Arntz, aged 80, of Grand Rapids, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, December 17, 2016. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley. Bruce is survived by his children, Patti Arntz and Brian (Marilee) Arntz; grandchildren, Aaron (Julie) Arntz, Jason (Jen) Arntz, Joel (Jana) Arntz, Ryan Trudgen, and Tamara Tuniseen; six great-grandchildren; brothers, Dan, Paul, Glenn, and Lee; many nieces and nephews; and his faithful dog companion, Dipstick. The Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Friends may visit with his family from 1:00 PM until the time of the service. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Contributions in his memory may be made to Bethlehem Bible College. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Bruce and to sign his online guest book.