Bruce Payton Tainsh
February 12, 1926 – January 28, 2008
His loving family is saddened by the sudden passing of Bruce from complications of ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease). Bruce was predeceased by his beloved wife Leona in 2003. He will be missed by all who knew him, especially his family. His children, Julie Spooner of Comox, Jill (Harold) Schroeder of Surrey, Greg Barnes of Victoria, Maureen (Rick) Draffin of Ottawa and his grandchildren, Angela (Sebastien), Tricia, Mark (Dawn) and Jeff (Bettina) will treasure many fond memories of their father and grandfather. In addition, he was “Canadian Grandpa” to Tim Brostrum. Bruce loved young people in his life and was proud to be “Big Grandpa” to both his great grandchildren Delwyn, Taite, and Reese and his “adopted” great grandchildren, Covey, Kenna and Hailey.
Bruce will be remembered with affection by his extended families the Harris’, Sorensons, Whittakers, Brostrums, Mike Spooner, and Pete Taylor. Bruce’s family and friends will relive, over the years, Bruce’s wonderful sense of humour and joy of life.
Bruce grew up in Vancouver. At the young age of 15, Bruce joined the Royal Canadian Volunteer Naval Reserves and served in the Pacific campaign in WWII. Upon demobilization in 1945, Bruce started on a path that led him to a successful career in the pharmaceutical business. In 1952, he was transferred to Victoria with his first wife, Esther and two young daughters. Largely self taught, Bruce developed a Vancouver Island wholesale pharmacy territory where he enjoyed the company of many of the early businessmen up and down the Island.
From an early age, Bruce was interested in many sports but golf became his passion. He was known as “Boomer” to his Victoria golfing buddies at Cedar Hill Golf Club. Bruce and Leona moved to Campbell River in 1969 and he became very active in the Campbell River golf community. When he and Leona moved to Courtenay in 1997 to be closer to family, Bruce continued to enjoy his golf games and to volunteer as a Course Marshall as long as he was able. Bruce was a strong supporter of the Royal Canadian Legion. He served on the executive in Campbell River for some years. When Bruce transferred to the Courtenay Branch, he continued with the local Poppy Drive until the effects of ALS progressed. Bruce was also one of the first CVAC airport greeters and loved sharing his stories of the valley with visitors. When Bruce committed himself to volunteer organizations, it was always with the belief that he would make a difference, and he did.
Bruce was diagnosed with ALS in November 2002. This largely unknown disease motivated Bruce to make the biggest difference of all. A chance discussion at a local golf course with the then pro, Scott Fraser, led to the first ALS golf-a-thon in June of 2005, supported by the local Rotary Club. This local initiative for awareness and fund raising now involves over40 golf courses in BC. Bruce’s vision was for the ALS/BCPGA Golf-a-thon to grow nation wide and his dream is now a real possibility through the leadership of ALS BC and the British Columbia Professional Golfers Association.
The family extends their thanks to the Community Health team that supported him so compassionately while he remained at home. With the progression of the disease, Bruce was unable to live independently and in November 2006 moved to Glacier View Lodge where he was surrounded by “angels”. Wherever Bruce lived, he brought the people around him together as a family, and Glacier View was no exception. There are no words to express the family’s gratitude for the care and love the staff extended to him, making his last year one of his happiest.
A gathering of family and friends will take place at a later date. Donations in Bruce’s name may be made online to www.alsbc.ca, or ALS Society of BC, 208- 1600 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6J 1R3