Salt Lake Retired Firefighters Association


In Memory . . .

Bruce Edward McGowan
7/10/1965 ~ 9/11/2010

Bruce Edward McGowan, 45, died in an automobile accident on Saturday, September 11, 2010. He left his wife, Heidi, and two daughters, aged 5 and 3. Bruce is also survived by 12 brothers and sisters: Joan, Blair, Mark, Jim, Mike, Maryjo, Emma, John, Peter, Margaret, Paul, and Jean, their spouses and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Blair and Jean McGowan. Bruce grew up in Jackson, Michigan, attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Madrid, Spain, and later earned a law degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has lived in Park City and Midway for the last 20 years. In second grade, Bruce got into a playground fight with Matt Olding. While the winner-loser of that fight has been much debated over the years, the important result was that Bruce formed a close friendship with Matt that persists to this day. Even more significant was the fact that this friendship led Bruce, in later years, to become reacquainted with Matt's sister, Heidi -- who was just in diapers during the initial fight. At the time when they reacquainted, 20 years later, Matt told Bruce, "Keep your hands off my sister." This was one of many occasions when Bruce's selective hearing loss kicked in. Heidi and Bruce have now been married for eight years, have traveled extensively, and are totally devoted to their little girls. Bruce's fortune was further improved as he became part of Heidi's large and loving family, which includes her father, Bob Olding and mother Judy Caldwell, Judy's husband David, and Heidi's siblings, Robert, Liz, Matt, Mike, and Steff. Bruce worked interesting and varied jobs during his life. He commercially fished in Alaska for many years. He fished for brine shrimp on the Great Salt Lake. He worked in restaurants in Park City to support his skiing habit. He hiked and climbed the mountains of this region, as well as traveling the world, including a notable visit to Venezuela, during which a revolution broke out -- a development for which he denied all responsibility, although he was deported at gun point by the army. He and Heidi also trekked in Nepal and visited other Central American countries -- none of which coincided with any coups or revolutions. For the last six years, Bruce has been a firefighter/paramedic with the Unified Fire Authority. He was inspired to pursue this career by his friend, Steve Briley, a West Valley City firefighter and close friend. But this wasn't just a job; it was one more family. Bruce's paramedic partner, Jeremy Robertson, became like another brother to Bruce. He and many other coworkers looked forward to their shifts with Bruce -- his humor, willingness to help without being asked to do so, and culinary expertise made the work day a joy. At the same time, Bruce was deadly serious about his role as a paramedic, and he found great satisfaction in helping with the sick and injured. Bruce's infectious joy and energy filled any room he entered. That infection will not end with his passing. His hand gestures, his wordplays, his are-you-seriously-getting-upset-about-that facial expressions have become part of the vocabulary of his family and friends. Bruce's passing will leave a huge hole in the lives of one and all. A fund has been established for Bruce's girls. In lieu of flowers the family has requested contributions be made to the "The Bruce McGowan Memorial Trust" for the support of his wife and two daughters. This can be done at any branch of Chase Bank. More information on this can be found at the Bruce McGowan link on the Unified Fire Authority website: A gathering to celebrate Bruce's life will be held at Wasatch State Park in Midway, Utah on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. All participants should park at 800 N River Road in Midway. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Wasatch Lawn Mortuary.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from September 16 to September 17, 2010



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