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Bruce Chambers

January 3, 1942 ~ July 16, 2023

Bruce Chambers

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 the 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 helped 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 Dun Cultural Centre. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do something kind for someone, without expectation of reciprocation or recognition.

Comments (6)
  • 4 August 2023
    Bree Pepper

    What a beautiful tribute. What a man. What a family. What legacy. I am so honored to have known Bruce and will only smile and laugh with every thought of him. Sincere condolences to everyone who were lucky enough to know him especially his amazing family.

  • 5 August 2023
    Bryan Lymburner

    Bruce was a generous friend to anyone who came his way. During my days in Whitehorse I recall his friendship and home made beer which he offered without hesitation. The world needs more people with the joie de vivre and generosity that Bruce so willingly demonstrated.

  • 5 August 2023
    Linda Glass

    Love, care, and strength to Bruce’s family and world of friends. Thank you, Bruce, for your generosity, your laughter, your hospitality, and your friendship. Travel well, my friend.

  • 7 August 2023

    Bruce was a professional land use planning colleague here in Yukon who I have known for over 40 years. His smile always had a twinkle in his eye. Quiet and considerate, in his planning work, he was rarely ruffled and kept plugging away in the best interests of all Yukoners. He will be missed by many. Rest in peace my friend.

  • 7 August 2023

    We miss you Bruce. Our neighborhood will never be the same but your spirit is still with us and ripening with the raspberries. A huge hug to Morgan, David, Wendy and all the amazing friends and family we’ve met through Bruce. He taught us many things, especially how to love one another.

  • 15 August 2023
    Neela Falconer

    What a beautiful man and a life lived fully. I got to housesit for Bruce and visit over the years. He always held such a big space and I remember his love of oranges and how he was always making something more fun.
    An honour and joy to have touched his life. Love and peace. Neela

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