Bruce Chambers peacefully passed away during the early morning hours of July 16 with his daughter, Morgan, at his side.
News of Bruce’s declining health sent a ripple around the world which came back to him in a tsunami of love.
Over his last eight months Bruce was fortunate enough to live his celebration of life.
Friends and family, who he maintained regular contact with for decades, came for one on one visits, and called frequently.
Bruce is survived by his two children Morgan (Paul) and David (Nathalie), his twin brother Derek, and older brother Russell. He is also survived by his former wife, and close friend, Wendy, and grandchildren Philip, Robert, and Lola.
Bruce and Derek were the first babies born in Ladysmith, BC in 1942 to parents Ruth and Lawrence. Several years later the family moved to Victoria and purchased Madrona Farm. The drudgery of farm life, and Ruth's lifelong belief in higher education, prompted university educations and life off Vancouver Island for the boys. As a graduate of the UBC planning department, with Wendy and two young children at his side, Bruce found himself in the Yukon Territory in the late 1970s. His job with the federal government took him all over BC, Yukon, and into the NWT.
Bruce was an adventurous, outdoor spirit as well as a practical joker. His love of exercise and outdoors was surpassed only by his love of a good joke or story and sharing it with others. Throughout Bruce’s life he explored the wonders of the Yukon and shared not only his special places but also his house with anyone who came to enjoy the Yukon. His home became known as the Hillcrest B&B. The B&B followed a business model of feeding and entertaining guests, driving them all over the Yukon, putting them up on open ended stays, often without warning, and all without charge. This service of sharing paid him dividends in love and companionship.
During his retirement Bruce continued to sit on many review boards. Those roles help fund his travels around the globe. He fell deeply in love with Vietnam, visiting 27 times thanks to his dear friend Chi. Bruce’s sharing nature led to organizing multiple cycling trips to Vietnam with dozens of different Yukoners in a myriad of adventures crisscrossing the country. As his end neared, Bruce's family was able to glimpse how many people his outgoing personality and generosity touched across Vietnam. Messages streamed in constantly from well wishers in many villages he frequented.
Bruce’s sharp mind and diligence on a governmental level helped shape better policies. New administrations may alter or reverse policies but what remained unchanging were his open heart, generosity, great laugh, and ability to bring people together.
Through his declining months Bruce's friends and family provided continual support so he could stay in his house until his health necessitated a move to hospice. This outpouring of love allowed Bruce to live the final stage of his life with peace and acceptance. As his body shrank, his smile grew bigger. The greatest gift he gave was that his wonderful smile is the last thing we remember of him.
The family would like to thank the staff at Wind River Hospice for the wonderful care they took of Bruce in the final weeks of his life.
There will be a celebration of Bruce's life in Whitehorse, on August 28 at 5 pm, at Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you do something kind for someone, without expectation of reciprocation or recognition.
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