Cover photo for Bruce Robert Dewey's Obituary
Bruce Robert Dewey Profile Photo
1937 Bruce 2024

Bruce Robert Dewey

August 8, 1937 — March 20, 2024

Bruce Robert Dewey was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1937 to Harlow and Elizabeth Dewey, who instilled in him the value of education and hard work rooted in their Danish & German heritage. He and his younger brother, Bill, along with their father, spent vacations hunting and fishing with Bruce’s mind instead often wandering to literature and music.
Bruce was a well-performing student and lifetime learner. He excelled early and often in his studies, beginning his education in the Des Moines Public School system, graduating in 1955 from Roosevelt High School. He continued his education at Iowa State University where he was a very active member of his fraternity, Sigma Chi, and was involved in the ROTC. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, followed by a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. During this time, he found his passion as a teacher, beginning in his role as a graduate student. He would continue his studies at the University of Illinois where he earned his Doctorate of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.
Soon after graduating with his PhD, Bruce began his career as a part of the faculty for the University of Tennessee’s Engineering Science Department. He was an integral part of developing the new department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Alongside his teaching, he loved his role as a researcher in his field at Oakridge National Laboratory. He and his family would move to Laramie, Wyoming in 1982 where he would continue as a professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Wyoming College of Engineering. Dr. Dewey was renowned on campus for his bright red Klein bicycle. He retired and moved to California in 2002 after a 20-year career with the Cowboys. As a proven life-long learner, Bruce returned to school shortly thereafter to obtain a certification in financial planning from UC Davis.
Bruce met the love of his life, Marilyn, in 1959 while applying for a job at NCR in Ohio, where Marilyn was working as a secretary. Marilyn caught his attention early, calling her “his sweetheart” and presenting her with one white rose during Sigma Chi courting. Excited to start their new lives, the two were married June 9th, 1962 in Phillipsburg, Ohio.
Bruce & Marilyn grew their family first in 1968, bringing home their first child, Sue Ann Dewey, followed by Steph Dewey in 1973. Bruce found meaning in spending time with his family outdoors and teaching his children about the natural world. He loved to challenge them in their education and life pursuits. Raising their children in the Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee was very important to Bruce and Marilyn and they were grateful to have been a part of the church community as young parents.
Bruce lived a life filled with a variety of pastimes and found extensive joy through his faith, his music, and his bicycle. He and Marilyn were long time members of Davis Community Church. Bruce served his church through various projects and initiatives, and cherished the friendships and fellowship within the church family. He particularly loved the sound of the organ echoing throughout a sanctuary, playing his favorite hymns.
His love of music was present throughout his life, within his local community and across the globe. It was a central part of his travels and free time. Throughout his life he played accordion, trombone and piano and passed this love of music to his family. He loved to attend concerts of many varieties with his wife, family, and friends.
Bruce lived an extraordinarily active and healthy life. Some of his favorite activities were hiking, skiing, and most importantly bicycling. He and Marilyn included bicycling as a part of their daily lives and were known to friends and family for their many bicycling trips throughout the world. They found a home with Davis Bike Club years before choosing Davis as their retirement community. Bruce and Marilyn were presented with the Davis Bike Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for their time and dedication to the Davis cycling community. Bruce was most known to the DBC for his contribution as Tour Director, where he planned and led over 25 tours throughout the US and Western Europe. Bruce was truly invigorated by taking on planning, not only for his trips and hobbies, but for all projects around the house.
Though he loved music, traveling the world, and cycling, one of Bruce’s favorite roles would become that of a grandparent. Marilyn and Bruce, or as their grandchildren named them, Moppy and Poppy, treasured their time together with their grandchildren, and most recently, their great-grandchildren. Bruce was an advocate for their education and supported them as they built their lives. Bruce also had a soft spot for a little dachshund-terrier named Charlie and the two were often found taking comfy couch naps together.
Bruce will always be remembered for his pursuit of precision and his palpable and infectious energy for life. We’ll hold forever in our minds his well-timed expressions. We couldn’t have asked for a better husband, father, and grandfather, and will miss our Bruce, Dad, and Poppy every day. His incredible memory and legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who loved him.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Harlow and Elizabeth Dewey and many aunts and uncles, and is survived by his wife, Marilyn Dewey, brother William (Dianne) Dewey, sister-in-law, Doris Bowling,  children Sue Ann (Charles) Detrie, Steph Dewey, grandchildren Chelsea (Ian) Anderberg, Christopher (Heather) Wise, Jordan (AJ) Jones, Sean Detrie and great-grandchildren Lanie, Kayson, Logan, Beau and Kodi.
A private family visitation will occur on Monday, March 25th at Smith Funeral Home in Davis, CA. The Celebration of Life will occur on Tuesday, March 26th at 10:30 am at the Davis Community Church, followed by a small luncheon. The burial service will occur on Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm at Davis Cemetery.
If you feel inclined, in lieu of flowers please send donations in Bruce’s honor to the Davis Bike Club, Iowa State University’s Sigma Chi Fraternity or to Davis Community Church, 3 organizations close to Bruce’s heart.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Davis Community Church

412 C St, Davis, CA 95616

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