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Bruce LaPierre slipped peacefully into his savior's arms on October 27, 2023, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau, after a courageously fought battle with dementia. Bruce was a selfless man who loved his family, art, the St. Louis Cardinals, and a good country or Celtic song. He consistently modeled a good, Christian attitude and accountability to all those blessed to know him.
Bruce was born on July 14, 1949, the third child of Charles and Barbara Unger LaPierre of Jackson. He and the former Susan McDowell, his high-school sweetheart, were united in marriage in 1970. Their 52-year marriage was blessed with two adored children, Benjamin “Ben” and Leigha. A better husband and father never existed. None of them were ever without his support and loving care. They deeply mourn his loss and will cling to all their precious memories to sustain them. The biggest earthly bonus Bruce received were his four precious grandchildren, Cali and Olivia, and Griffin and Wyatt. Poppa was their "go-to guy”. If it had been the moon they wanted, he would have willingly worked his fingers to the bone to try to get it for them. Their mutual love and adoration were a beautiful and delightful sight to behold.
After graduating from SEMO University with a degree in art and psychology, Bruce was blessed with the opportunity to teach junior high art for 25 years. This proved a perfect fit for a man who had the patience, talent, and ability to inspire and encourage many students who had never considered that they possessed any artistic talent. He loved and was loved by his students and the incredibly close-knit faculty of Central Junior High School in Cape Girardeau. These lifelong friendships remained and were cherished by Bruce until the day he died.
After retiring from teaching, he was rewarded with two jobs: Kasten Masonry in Jackson and Semo Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI) in Cape Girardeau. Again, these jobs were a perfect fit for a man who longed and strived to be useful and serve others. Volunteering at the Jackson Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry brought him pleasure and fulfillment after his second retirement.
Loving survivors include his wife, Susan LaPierre of Jackson; two children, Benjamin (Sarah) LaPierre and children Olivia and Wyatt of St. Louis and Leigha LaPierre-Kopf and her children Cali Kopf and Griffin Davis of Jackson; a brother Darryl (Judy) LaPierre and son Travis of St. Mary's, Kansas; brother-in-law, Gary (late Sandy) Whitledge and children Amy Gammon and family of Jackson and Dr. Joshua (Allison) Whitledge and family of Martin, Tennessee; Susan’s siblings and their families.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Sandy Whitledge; and Susan's parents, Harry and June McDowell.
A memorial celebration will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, November 2, 2023, at New McKendree United Methodist Church South Campus, 1770 S. Hope Street in Jackson. All visitation will be held after the service.
Following the service, a celebration reception will be held at the church, concluding at 5:30 p.m.
Per Bruce's lifelong request, his cremains will later be scattered in the ocean by the family. (SURPRISE, HONEY!!)
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Jackson Ministerial Alliance or St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the tribute wall tab above this article.
Arrangements by McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
Jackson Ministerial Alliance
225 S. Hope Street, Jackson MO 63755
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105