Houston “Bruce” Spahr
You might call him Mister Congeniality. Bruce Spahr, a longtime Vancouver resident, garnered warm respect from his employers, fellow employees and the public throughout his diverse career. His smile passed away on July 9thafter an extended illness. He was 75.
He was born November 30, 1944 in Bristol, TN, a community designated by Congress as the “birthplace of country music.” His parents were Charles Glenn and Rachael Spahr. The family moved to Minnesota in 1950 and four years later to Winlock, WA. He graduated in 1963 from Winlock High School.
His career began as a fireman at a Weyerhaeuser mill in Longview, WA. During his time with Weyerhaeuser he met his wife Yvonne Vorpagel through a dating service. Yvonne, who had moved to Washington, was a home economics graduate of University of Wisconsin. They were married in 1970 and enjoyed 30 years as couple. A highlight of their marriage was moving into a brand new home. They enjoyed traveling to the Oregon coast each year. Both were devout Christians. She died in March 2015.
Bruce’s career includes the Bonneville Power Administration, Oregon Health & Science University, Hi School Pharmacy, and Parkrose Hardware at its 164th Avenue location in Vancouver. At OHSU he served as a hospital patient greeter and in shipping and receiving.
At Parkrose Hardware, Bruce’s warm greeting demeanor and his practical home improvement skills generated a loyal cliental customer base, especially among seniors. While he oversaw the plumbing department, when needed he filled in at all other departments. He enjoyed helping and serving customers. Not surprised, he often received employee of the month recognition among different employers.
His most fulfilling moments of his retirement was visiting family and friends in Wisconsin, the highlight of his travels was an Alaska cruise with his niece.
Bruce’s family and friends wish to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation for their loving hospice care. And also, to Pastor Jean and the congregation of the Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church for their warmest support for Bruce.
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