Bruce Richard Grossmann went to be with The Lord this September 12, after 68 years of service to God, his country, and his fellow man.
Bruce was born in Washington, D.C., September 9, 1952. The son of Lt. Col. Gordon E. Grossmann and Sgt. Marjorie Margaret Lillian (Whitmore) Grossmann, he was raised in a military family and frequently recounted wonderful childhood memories between his family farm in Wisconsin with his grandparents, Earl and Alice, and tours of duty as a military dependent throughout the U.S. and Japan.
He attended high school at Radford High School, in Hawaii; and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1970. He continued his journey in service to God at Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo. He received a degree in Biblical Studies in 1975.
Upon graduation, Bruce joined the US Army, following in the footsteps of many generations of his family. Shortly thereafter, he married his college sweetheart, Dawn Elise Warren and had the first two of four children, Benjamin Tyndale, and Sarah Brooke. He served as a medic (91C) for four years before being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps at Fort Gordon, Ga.
In 1981, Bruce and his family drove the Alaska Highway to the state he’d call home for the rest of his life. He was stationed first at Fort Wainwright, then Fort Greely until 1988. They took in everything the great state had to offer, and during this time Bruce became passionate about the history of Alaska, its people, geology, and wildlife. He never wasted an opportunity to take his family to explore every mountain range and river, and to meet the other great people who also called this land home.
In 1988, service to his country transferred him back to Fort Gordon, Ga., where his son Elias Franklin was born, and then Fort Monmouth, N.J., where his daughter Annalise May joined the family.
Homesick for Alaska and his service completed, Bruce left the Army in July of 1990. The family packed up their belongings and drove across North America yet again to settle in Delta Junction, where they homeschooled their children and became a part of the community.
During the next 30 years, Bruce served the people of Alaska as a licensed deacon and minister to many communities along the Alaska Highway for The Alaska Mission for Christ of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Healy Lake Village, Tetlin, Northway, Dot Lake, and especially Tanacross were dear to his heart. Ben, Sarah, Eli and Annie grew up playing in the homes of their Tanacross friends and consider them all beloved family. The Grossmann home often played host to passing travelers and people in need.
Bruce served on the Delta Junction City Council from 1994 to 1997 and ran for State House in 1996. He was active in the Delta Chamber of Commerce, Delta Historical Society, Fairbanks Coin Club, American Legion Post #22, Delta Junction Seniors, and Pioneers of Alaska Igloo #35. A life member of the NRA, he also served many years as secretary of the District 9 Republican Caucus. Bruce and Dawn also ran Denali Lutheran Preschool in Delta Junction, where Bruce was director for 17 years. He worked for the University of Alaska for more than a decade, where he continued his education and received a Master of Public Administration degree in 1998.
In recent years, Bruce became a consummate host at the Sullivan Road House in Delta Junction; as an oral historian, Bruce gave one of the most extensive and informative tours of the roadhouse and its role in the development of Alaska, calling on his vast knowledge of the area’s history. He staked and worked a gold claim on Tenderfoot Creek and could often be found there in a swarm of mosquitoes, shovel in hand, dredging up some “color” with tourists who’d been passing through town.
Bruce’s passion for the Lord’s work has been the driving force in his life, and his family is comforted knowing that he now sits at the banquet table with his Lord, having brought light to countless lives and created a legacy of selfless service.
Bruce leaves behind his father Gordon Grossmann, his brothers Bud Grossmann (Carol Twilt), Larry Grossmann (Alla Zoueva), sister Sharon Werts and her companion Pat Bahr. His children; Benjamin (Ariane Rosier), Sarah Brooke, Staff Sgt. Elias Grossmann US Army (Dakota Conley), Annalise and her companion Josh Moore. His grandchildren; Airman Rafe Grossmann USAF, Scarlet Rosier, and Dax Grossmann. Bruce leaves behind his fiancée, Flower Cole as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family.
A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, September 19, with a viewing at 2 p.m. followed by a service at 3 p.m., outside of the Sullivan Roadhouse in beautiful downtown Delta Junction. Burial will be at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Portage, Wisconsin, with military honors. Family and friends are invited to attend.
Bruce would have felt strongly about the safety of his guests due to Covid-19. We have two vulnerable attendees for whom we know Covid 19 would be fatal so we will observe social distancing and wearing of masks. We ask your help in ensuring their protection.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a university scholarship in Bruce’s name for the community he believed in so strongly. We ask that donations be sent to the University of Alaska Foundation - Bruce Grossmann Scholarship. Please write in the Comments this gift is “In memory Of Bruce Grossmann” so that your kind donation goes to the scholarship fund and can be given to people in need seeking a higher education.
You can make a contribution online here: https://engage.alaska.edu
Or contribute by check or wire on this page: https://www.alaska.edu/foundation/for-donors/ways_to_give/index.xml.