“Bruce Edward Marsee of Davisburg, Michigan passed on August 7th, 2020. His was an overwhelming life.” That was the short and concise obituary Bruce always wanted; simple and to the point. His story though, by stark contrast, was much more a palette of colors brought together through lines and shadings. Our story begins on March 8th, 1939 in Evarts, Kentucky. The youngest of the Marsee brood, he was born to James and Rosa Marsee. James was the proverbial jack-of-all-trades; a coal miner, a train conductor, a sewing-machine salesman. Rosa, the committed mother to her children. While both hardened by the times and life in the Appalachians, they always had a soft place in their hearts for all their children; Tom, Virginia, Sadie, Margaret, Madie, Kathleen, James, Frankie, and Bruce. In Bruce’s own words, he was a dirty little barefoot kid running around in the hills of southeastern Kentucky. Later in life, he would reminisce about these simple times in his published work “The Fine Art of Porch Sitting”. Something as blissful as swinging on a porch with a cool drink on a beautiful autumn evening, he would remind us of the sophisticated network of communications that took place. It was on that porch that he learned lessons of politics, finance, community, life and death. As a teenager, he found his passion for performing. He would lead a local big band, crooning the standards of the times. He would also use that strong tenor voice at the local radio station where he would string long rambling soliloquies to introduce the next rockabilly hit. His enjoyment of music would remain with him through the rest of his life. It was in the late 50’s that he would embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Serving as a Private First Class with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, he would see parts of his country and overseas that as that “dirty little barefoot kid” were unimaginable. It would set the tone for his passion of travel and being a student of culture. While in the Corps, his was a peacetime service that he was fiercely proud of, as he loved his country and the fine institution of which he was part. It was in the Marine Corps, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, that he read an article of the first super computers owned by businesses. Specifically, General Motors Pontiac Division in Pontiac, Michigan. Understanding the importance that computers would play in our future, after his tour was complete, he hopped a bus to the Motor City. What he would soon find out, to work with computers, one had to have a college degree. At the time, he barely had a high school education. He found an opportunity at Pontiac Motors, though, installing dashes in those vehicles that Detroit was famous for during the golden era. True to form, he would leverage that opportunity, and after six months worked his way into the data processing center that had just earlier said “no” to him. It was these street smarts that served him well, retiring from both General Motors and Electronic Data Systems after a long, storied career. While immensely proud of his accomplishments in life, none of it was as remotely as important as his relationship with God and meeting his one and only, Sharon Brantley. After his discharge and while visiting Michigan, he attended a service at the local Pontiac Methodist Church in the spring of 1960. His only suit was his Marine Corps uniform. As Sharon would recall, “he was so tall, slim, and handsome in his uniform”. Their eyes locked. That was it. On August 27, 1960, Bruce and Sharon were married. It was truly a love story for the ages. Their love and affection for each other was as strong after nearly 60 years as it was the day they first met. In most cases, the word “love” is used as a descriptor or an action. For those who knew the two and saw them together, “love” was something more tangible, something you could actually see, not just feel. It was out of that love for each other and the Lord that they built their family; Kathy, Kevin, and Kerry. Each child extending that love to their respective spouses; Ricky, Karen, and Robyn. This love would extend even further with their two grandchildren and joys of their lives; Alexandra and Grace. When Bruce Edward Marsee passed on from this life to the next, with his family at his side, he uttered the word “overwhelming”. It was fitting, as when God completes the artwork that is one’s earthly life, it can only be described as “overwhelming”. An outdoor celebration of life will be held on August 29, 2:30pm at 13139 Torrey Rd., Fenton. Friends may visit beginning at 2pm - until the last drop of Bourbon is gone. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
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