Found Eternal Peace and reunited with his beloved wife of 63 years, Doris (Nee Euer), on Friday, April 6, 2018 at the age of 91. He will also be reunited in Heaven with his youngest daughter, Wendy. Preceded in death by his parents Mildred and Walter Bruss, brother Richard Bruss and sister Janice Bruss. Loving father o…read more
Found Eternal Peace and reunited with his beloved wife of 63 years, Doris (Nee Euer), on Friday, April 6, 2018 at the age of 91. He will also be reunited in Heaven with his youngest daughter, Wendy. Preceded in death by his parents Mildred and Walter Bruss, brother Richard Bruss and sister Janice Bruss. Loving father of Susan (John) Petersen, his only son Thomas Bruss, Linda (Mike) Amann, Sandra (Neil Smerlinski) Bruss, Deborah (Tim O’Brien) Bruss and Wendy’s husband Russell Bell. Beloved Grandpa of Carolyn (Doug) Milinovich, Daniele (Thomas) Rasmussen, Theresa (Kory) Wendt, Nicole Bruss, Thomas (Tina) Bruss, Timothy Bruss, Jessica (Jose Ortega) Hegg, Donald (Jenny) Sherrer, Katelyn (Mark Goers) Bruss, Samantha Steed, Amanda Smerlinski, Isabelle Steed and Madeline Smerlinski. Special great grandfather of 17. Cherished brother of Shirley Druly and brother in law of Enid Noldin and Janet Bruss. He loved and will be missed by many special and beloved relatives and friends.
Our dad was a wonderful man who touched many lives. He was passionate and tireless labor leader for the United Auto Workers, was a World War II veteran for the Navy Air Corps and lived his life with intention and purpose.
“Dad, we will miss you, but you will never, ever leave our hearts!”
Visitation at Krause Funeral Home, 12401 West National Avenue, New Berlin, Wisconsin on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM with a Funeral Service at 4:00 PM.
Our beloved Wallace Bruss, a man who we have all come to love and cherish for many years.
It is no question that this faith-filled man has touched all of our lives in one way or another.
These are just a few of the words that came to mind when we were asked to describe our Dad.
To start, our Dad was the man who built the foundation of our wonderful family. Throughout his
life, family and God, always came first. He was born in Milwaukee to Mildred and Walter
Bruss., their first son. He spent summers as a boy on his grandfather’s farm in Miladore, WI.
He attended North Division High School where he met our Mom and they became high school
sweethearts. Dad, a tackle on the football team and Mom, a beauty on the debate team. They
were married for 63 years and our Mom was the absolute love of his life. To Dad, our Mom was
his movie star.
As our Dad would tell the following story… “Doris got on a bus from Milwaukee to visit me in
San Diego where I was stationed during World War II. I was offered a scholarship to San Diego
State to play football. When she stepped off of the bus, she looked just like a movie star with
her Rita Hayworth good looks. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and I quickly
realized that my life was not in San Diego, but rather in Wisconsin where my family was being
built.” They became the perfect union, “Wall and Door” as they referred to themselves with
After that, our family continued to grow throughout the years. Mom and Dad had six children –
Susan, Thomas, Linda, Deborah, Sandra, and Wendy. Every new life that was born into his clan
was a blessing from God and brought him so much joy as he watched them grow and develop.
He marveled at his 6 amazing children, 13 beautiful grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and
1 great-great granddaughter. Dad absolutely LOVED watching his family grow, not only in size,
but also through lifes’ stages.
He knew people. He knew how to soothe any troublesome situation. He gave advice without
judging, telling his loved ones what they needed to hear even if they didn’t want to hear it. He
made our days brighter, and our nights filled with laughter. He was our patriarch, the glue of our
Our Dad would continue to say until the end that the hardest days of his life were losing his
wife, who passed in May of 2008, and his youngest daughter Wendy, who passed in February
of 2011. We know he is with them at this very moment looking down on us, laughing, sharing
stories, drinking a Manhattan, and frustrating Doris to the point where she says, “Wally, I’m
gonna hit ya one.”
One of Dad’s greatest qualities was that he always put others first – he would give the shirt off
his back to a complete stranger. Dad not only dedicated his life to raising his family, but also to
serving our country during World War II. He was an Operations Control Co-Pilot in the 1945
Hell Diver for the US Navy. Dad took immense pride in this part of his life and spent countless
hours telling amazing stories about the time that he spent in the war.
In addition, Dad also demonstrated an endless passion for his career with the UAW. As the
President of the Local 75 UAW, he made a difference by negotiating tirelessly to improve the
lives of others through better wages and benefits. This dedication permeated his labor life,
through his unwavering pursuit of equality and fairness for all. In all aspects of his life he always
put others before himself.
He had a lifelong curiosity and appreciation for all human kind, which lead him to a self-taught
plethora of knowledge which manifested itself in stories, anecdotes and teachings about life,
love and happiness.
After retirement, some of dad’s passions included traveling the world with our Mom, spending
Wisconsin winters in Florida, Friday night fish fry’s and Tuesday Golf and Sheep’s Head with his
Dad loved everything Wisconsin. (His grandchildren will always remember the many escapades
with their Bapa, from Marquette Basketball games to dinners, trips up north and to Florida, as
well as all of the holidays they shared with him. And how could we forget our new favorite
phrase during Packer games created by dad – “Those zebra bastards!” talking about the referees
making poor calls on the field. We are aware that football was one of dad’s greatest passions.
On the day that he passed, he said with a smile, “Adjust my chin strap, I’m going to play
football!” During the last hours of his life, we were blessed with the opportunity to communicate
our feelings and he let us know that he was ready to go.
On his final day, Dad was surrounded by family. We held his hand, exchanged ‘I love you’s,”
shared stories and smiles, and heard him say numerous times how grateful he was for the life
that he lived. For this we are truly blessed and forever grateful. Dad was our go-to, our confident,
our north star, our rock. None of us will be the same without him, and we are who we are
because of him. We are here to carry out his legacy and to practice what he taught us – to love
endlessly, help others, have faith, be grateful, and to forgive.
Dad, Your love, your understanding, your wisdom and your amazing sense of humor will live on
inside us forever. You have given us gifts that are more precious than anything in this world.
Goodbye, Dad. You will always live in our hearts.
Krause Funeral Home New Berlin
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Krause Funeral Home New Berlin
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Time: 4:00 PM
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