Bruce Husbands
Bruce Husbands
Bruce Husbands
Bruce Husbands

Obituary of Bruce Bertel Husbands

Bruce Husbands was born on November 29, 1942, to James and Marion Husbands. He was the middle child and lived his entire childhood in South Minneapolis across from Diamond Lake.

As a child he developed an early love of the outdoors, spending hours playing outdoors exploring Minnehaha Creek and riding his bike.

Bruce graduated from Washburn High School in 1960 and joined the Marines as soon as he turned 18. He served from 1960-1964 mostly in Hawaii. It was there on a long, hungry field exercise that he ate a whole fresh pineapple—no, it wasn’t legal. And he paid the price in swollen and blistered lips and a stomach that was equally tormented. For the rest of his life he hated even the smell of pineapple!

He married first in 1964 to Judy and they had two children: Monica and Erik. Sadly, the marriage ended in divorce in 1973. Later, Bruce would obtain custody of the children in 1976.

Bruce married Donna in 1977. She was delighted with the new family and they settled in Buffalo, MN—the proud owners of a very old house that they loved.

Life was good but far from easy for a new family—fearing a repeat of divorce and looking for a firm foundation, the entire family started to go to church and dedicated themselves to following God.

After visiting a training school for missions’ work—the family sold the house, packed a U-Haul and headed to Texas. The organization was Youth With a Mission and the work they did was often for the poor and marginalized people. Bruce served in YWAM from 1980 until 1989. He began with planting gardens in the desert to feed the poor. But soon he was directing the work for a group children’s home in Mexico, Rancho Los Amigos.

The years at Rancho were life changing for Bruce. He worked to learn Spanish. He worked to provide safety and security for the 35-40 children of the home. He worked to fund salaries for the Mexican staff, so crucial to operations. It was the best of times and the worst of times! Bruce had his heart broken and mended many times over—it was challenging work. He never regretted it.

Bruce always believed the greatest gift he received from his time at Rancho was the opportunity to adopt three sisters. We added Lupe, Norma and Marta to the family in 1988. After leaving YWAM, the family settled in the mountains of Southern California.

Bruce, and the entire family, worked at Forest Home Conference Center. Bruce managed the Accommodations Department—that department was truly the servant of all. He worked there until 1996 when the family returned to Minnesota.

Back in Minnesota, living in Brooklyn Center, he had time to spend a few years with his elderly parents. He worked first for Dundee Nursey and then for Goodwill. Bruce was diagnosed with his first cancer, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, in 2003.

He retired reluctantly in 2004. It was a good decision. He was able to spend more time with grandchildren. He picked kids up from school, baby sat in the afternoons and ferried various grands to activities. It was the beginning of a very wonderful period –the CML stayed in remission by the diligent care of his doctor at Park Nicollet.

In 2005, Bruce and Donna moved to Loretto—finding an ideal house for hosting grandchildren. For the next 13 years it was party central for grandchildren. Bruce loved the house and neighborhood. With extra time he was able to make lasting friendships with neighbors and church Bible study groups. He applied his heart to mentoring and encouraging younger men and enjoyed biking with friends. He was never happier.

However, Bruce was convinced that he and Donna needed a smaller house once Donna retired in 2018. Though it pained him to leave Loretto, he found a new home—that was “perfect for Donna” in Otsego.

Within a year of moving to the new home, Bruce was diagnosed with a second cancer. He endured the loss of a kidney and recovered quickly. Soon he was back on his bike and planning new trips. However, within a year the cancer had metastasized and Bruce was fighting for his life.

Fight he did. He and Donna changed their diets, took supplements, exercised in addition to all the conventional treatments. He was able to wrestle 32 more months of life from the cancer. Time he filled with family, friends, God and love. He studied his Bible and found great solace there—sharing with anyone the hope he had for life eternal. He embraced that fully at dawn on February 21. His soul kissed this earth goodbye and entered into the joy of His Lord.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 46 years, Donna and his five children, Monica (Kris) Bjornsatd, Erik Husbands, Lupe (Russ) Hoyt, Norma (Rick) Nistler, and Marta (Justin) Ebel. Grandchildren: Erika (Caleb) Keith, Hannah (Jeremy) Weaver, Marja Bjornstad, Sarah Bjornstad; Erika Husbands; Isabel Hoyt, Maya Hoyt, Sofia Hoyt; Miguel Ebel and Gabriel Ebel. Great grandchildren: Esther, Emerson and Edmund Keith. His sister, Linda Jefress and brothers Bill Husbands and Greg Husbands.

Bruce’s Memorial Service will be March 14, 11:00am (10:00am visitation) at Church of the Open Door, Maple Grove, MN.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Bruce
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Brooklyn Park
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