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Bruce Chambers

October 15, 1946 - March 25, 2020

Visitation - Monday

March 30, 2020
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home

A private service will be held

Arrangements

Boulger Funeral Home

Bruce Chambers

October 15, 1946 - March 25, 2020

Obituary

Bruce passed away on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at Sanford Hospice House, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 73.

Bruce Andrew Chambers was born on October 15, 1946, to William and Evelyne (Sime) Chambers in Fort William, Ontario (now known as Thunder Bay). He was the third of three children, including brother Bill and sister Brenda. Bruce attended Isabella Grade School and Fort William Collegiate Institute, graduating in 1967. He was an athlete who excelled in basketball, football, and track & field. Bruce also enjoyed skiing, for which Thunder Bay is well known.

Growing up, Bruce worked in several jobs, including as a counselor at a local YMCA summer camp and in the paper mill industry.

After high school, Bruce enrolled at Moorhead State College in Minnesota, earning an education degree in 1971. He stayed on at MSC (now MSUM), where he worked in the Comstock Memorial Union as part of the Student Development Department staff. He held a variety of roles, but most of all, he was a mentor to student leaders. For the rest of his life, Bruce held a passion for mentoring and coaching others. He was well-known for providing unconditional support that would help launch many endeavors – including the Fargo-based biotechnology company Aldevron.

In 1971 he married Lori Johnson, and together they had two sons, Michael and Matthew. Bruce and Lori later divorced but remained friends. In 1979, Bruce and his young family moved to Carrington, North Dakota, to join Robson Honey Company, owned by his father-in-law Dewey. His favorite activity in this role was visiting farmers and exploring new territory for bee yards.

In 2005, Bruce launched “Have Bees, Will Travel,” a company focused on providing pollination and other honeybee-related services. His business focused on delivering essential bees to the California almond growers. Bruce was skilled at networking and logistics. He coordinated the distribution of thousands of hives from all over the country to growers in California.

Bruce also taught his granddaughters how to raise bees. He built them a small apiary, complete with bees, hives, and honey extracting equipment. Bruce shot many amateur beekeeping instructional videos in hopes of passing on his knowledge.

Five years ago, Bruce began to turn over his business to a young couple from Glyndon, Minnesota, Jared and Ashley Knapper, and he became the adopted grandpa to their three kids. Bruce was always excited to share his unique beekeeping skills with the Knappers.

In recent years Bruce dedicated time to encouraging hobbyist beekeepers and to promoting issues supporting the health of bees, in particular the issue of colony collapse disorder. He was a member and speaker at the Red River Beekeeper Association, a hobby club.

Bruce was an avid golfer, even in late 2019 when he was able to golf in the Phoenix area until his health declined. He has attended the US Open, Ryder Cup and the Masters. He was a member of the Red River Valley Senior Men’s Golf Tour, and enjoyed traveling to various courses in the area and northwestern Minnesota.

Bruce loved the title “Grandpa Bruce” and enjoyed spending time with his five beloved granddaughters. He loved family gatherings and accompanying the family on many cruises. His favorite thing in the world was when friends and family got together.

A few years ago, Bruce was introduced to the local Randy’s Restaurant and ate at least one meal a day there. In light of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, the family has encouraged donations to Randy’s to provide meals to seniors, many of whom also made Randy’s their source of home-cooked meals.

Bruce was recently reacquainted with the Christian faith of his youth. Five years ago, he began attending Community Baptist Church in Fargo with son Michael and his family. He openly professed his trust in the Lord and talked of reuniting with his parents. One of his favorite scripture readings is Psalm 91.

Bruce passed into eternity on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, with his sons holding his hands. He fought a years-long battle with multiple myeloma (cancer) and COPD, complicated by a more recent attack of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) for which he was treated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. For the past week he was at the Sanford Hospice House in Fargo. The family wishes to thank the many caregivers and doctors at Mayo Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital, as well as those at Sanford Health in Fargo.

In addition to many other friends and relatives, Bruce is survived by his sons Mike (Victoria) and Matt, former wife and friend Lori, his five beloved granddaughters Isabelle, Reagan, Evelyn, Lydia, and Beatrix, niece Susan (Dan) Sorenson, nephew Scott Chambers, sister-in-law Jackie (Bob) Nickason, brother-in-law Ron (Dawn) Robson, and sister-in-law Sharon Johnson.

Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brother and sister.

Guestbook

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17 responses to “Bruce Chambers”

  1. Annie Larsen says:

    I’ll miss you so much, thanks for all the love.

  2. Lisa Schwinden says:

    I am so heartbroken to hear of Bruce’s passing.
    Bruce was my ‘bee guy’ and the person who inspired and helped me to become a bee ‘landlord’.
    We also shared a great love of golf and Bruce was a very good player. I very much enjoyed the lesson we had together a few years ago which was the start of our friendship.
    I will think fondly and often of Bruce- every time I visit the bees in my yard or enjoy the honey they made.
    Rest easy dear friend. You will be missed.

  3. Jonathan Garaas says:

    Bruce Chambers was an inspiration to many beekeepers! The world, and the world of bees, is better because of his efforts, and passion. While I have only met his granddaughter once, it is clear his zeal and intelligence was passed down.

  4. Lisa Burns says:

    Bruce was such an inspiration to the members of our beekeeping group. Always willing to share his knowledge with us. Such a very generous man. He will be missed.

  5. Jonathan Garaas says:

    I posted notice of Bruce Chamber’s death on the Facebook page of the Red River Valley Beekeepers, a hobbyist group inspired by his effort. One of the members reminded everyone of an old beekeeper’s tradition – Telling the Bees, by John Greenleaf Whittier:

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45491/telling-the-bees

  6. Joshua Farsdale says:

    I only knew Bruce a short time. Wishing I could have spent more time with him. It was a joy to listen to his bee storys. He will be missed.

  7. Ed Eisenbeisz says:

    My heart goes out to the Chambers family. I only knew Bruce for a short time as a new part time neighbor. I’ll never forget his first introduction to me while I was out working in my yard. Bruce pulled up in our driveway and introduced himself, and very generously offered me a jar of honey and his “Have Bees Will Travel” business card, I still have it on my bulletin board. The honey was delicious and didn’t last very long.

    Rest in Peace Bruce, you made this world a better place and left your mark for the bee industry.

  8. Amanda Bernard says:

    Bruce sounds like a wonderful man, and we are certainly blessed by his legacy of his children and grandchildren. Our condolences to the Chambers family.
    Mandy and Bob Bernard

  9. Chris Hawley says:

    I am very sorry to hear of the Chamber’s loss and wish the best for the family as they celebrate the life of someone so dear to them. In our hearts, The Hawley Family (Chris, Sarah, Amelia and Ruby)

  10. Susanna Carpenter says:

    Bruce was such a happy and smiling man. I can’t remember a day I would see him that he was not positive and wanting to teach the girls golf. My heart goes out to you all during this time. It was a privilege knowing him.

  11. Diane Holth says:

    I never got The privilege of meeting Bruce personally but communicated with him by text or phone. I knew just by that that he was a very nice caring gentleman. So sorry for your loss.

  12. Ryly Barnes-Lang says:

    A long time neighbour has left us. My mother (Helen Barnes) and I used to babysit baby Bruce and push him in that Pram in the very first photo. I grew up with the three Chambers next door on McGregor Avenue and remember them all fondly. Brenda taught me chopsticks on the piano in their music room, Bill was the girls heart-throb at F.W.C.I. and Bruce was the prankster. We did love his gifts on Honey on this visits home. I watched him perfect his golf swing in his backyard and we have many adventures in that apple tree. We had many great Friday night skate nights on my backyard with the neighbourhood gang. You will be sadly missed Bruce rest in peace. A childhood friend and next-door neighbour in Canada – Ryly Barnes-Lang

  13. Ron & Jan Forsyth (Edmonton, AB) says:

    We are saddened by the passing of dear friend Bruce. Bruce and I had many wonderful days during our high school days at FWCI, shooting snooker at Chris’s pool hall, many competitive rounds of golf at the FWCC, and of course socializing at his home on McGregor Ave. with Bruce/Lori and his Mother. We always looked forward to Bruce’s visits to Thunder Bay and his generous supply of honey and catch up on our families. We also were extremely well received by Bruce and family on our visits to Moorhead and Carrington. Memories are lasting!

  14. Richard Glynn says:

    A very remarkable man and what a beautiful video chronicling his life! It is obvious that he was surrounded by his loving family and I am sure that gave him great comfort and joy.

  15. John Ringerud says:

    We are saddened to hear of Bruce’s passing. Olaf and I have fond memories of Bruce on the golf course in Carrington, ND. We extend our sympathies to all of Bruce’s family.
    The Ringeruds,
    Olaf and Muriel
    John

  16. Tom & Brenda Foti says:

    Hi Michael, Matt, and Family,

    I didn’t want to sign the guest book until I could sit down and reflect on my different encounters with your Dad and watch the entire video. I watched it today and what a nice family keepsake and tribute to your Dad.

    Your Dad was always so easy to talk to and I remember a few times that we were able to connect. Golfing in Florida back in 2011 with Matt, we stayed at the Hotel across the street. We had a great time!. That year, we went to the first Best Practices in Outsourcing Conference and you brought him along. I remember talking to him at the Breakthrough Symposium in 2018, he was so proud of Aldevron!

    I’m glad you took all those pictures through the years so you could make the video!

    I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose a Dad, but you guys should feel relieved that he is in a better place with the Aldevron angels in heaven.

    Love and Prayers,

    Brenda, Tom, Samantha, Brianna, Ella

  17. Tom Krabbenhoft says:

    My friend Scott and I spent the winter with Dewey and Bruce in Woodville TX caring for bees. Scott was pursuing a biology degree, he later went to Perdue and received a doctorate. That was one of the best winters of my full life. Bruce was very amused at how hard we worked and chased hijinks daily. Had I known he was in the FM area I would’ve contacted him, the reminiscing we would have done. RIP to a very good man.

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