Bruce David Breitenbach, age 81, passed away peacefully on July 29, 2020 in Port Ludlow, Washington. Bruce was born in Fargo, N. Dakota on October 20, 1938 to Helen Eline Simmons and William John Breitenbach. Growing up in Tacoma, WA, Bruce attended Stadium HS and continued his education at Washington State University. In 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Edith Hibben and together he and Dorothy raised three wonderful children. After graduating from WSU with a BA in Business, he and Dorothy lived in Bellingham, WA where Bruce worked as a corporate accountant prior to moving his family to Seattle where he built a successful Certified Public Accounting practice. Bruce devoted himself to his clients for 40 years, specializing in trust and estate planning. His attention to detail and unfailing work ethic earned him the respect of his clients and the community he served.
During the earlier years of his children’s lives, Bruce devoted time to their various activities, often becoming a leader or advocate. Some of these activities included YMCA Indian Guides, Marching/Concert bands, soccer, and Boy Scouts. His family enjoyed camping trips that usually involved the Pacific Northwest mountains and ocean. After his children left home, he and Dorothy enjoyed visits with their children’s families, touring Alaska, picking grapes, and making wine, playing games, and enjoying the numerous activities his eleven grandchildren were involved with.
In 2008, following his retirement, Bruce and Dorothy moved to a home in Port Ludlow, WA. The quiet home overlooking Puget Sound saw many special times spent with new and old friends, family, and neighbors. Bruce served as Treasurer of the Port Ludlow Performing Arts and assisted with event planning at the Port Ludlow Bay Club. He and Dorothy loved to travel in their RV, exploring the western United States but often ending up at the Pacific Ocean, one of their favorites.
During retirement and travel, Bruce’s passion for photography grew and he became involved in Digital Life, a local photography group, eventually becoming the class instructor. His other passion, red wine, grew from his involvement in his son-in-law’s wine grape vineyard and winemaking activities. He loved to “assist” in wine testing at the vineyard and soon joined the local Red Wine Appreciation Group.
Bruce was known to all for his gentle demeanor and kindness. His children and grandchildren would call him for guidance with important matters in their lives. He held a special place for each of them and would set aside whatever he was doing to spend time talking and asking questions to help with their decision making. His wise counsel and life coaching were appreciated by more than just his family, and his clients often became lifelong friends. Those he met socially quickly realized his depth of character and the genuine love Bruce held for all.
Bruce’s memory will be cherished and kept alive by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy; his three children, Catherine Gilliland (Craig), Eagle River, AK, Janet Sample (Jeff), Sunnyside, WA and William J. Breitenbach (Karen), Spokane, WA; eleven grandchildren and one great grandson.
You may contribute to the PLDL Scholarship fund in memory of Bruce by sending a check made out to “”Port Ludlow Digital Life Scholarship Fund”” with a note in the memo field saying “In memory of Bruce Breitenbach” to: Treasurer, Port Ludlow Digital Life, 580 Olympus Blvd, Port Ludlow, WA 98365-9434.
A funeral service will be held Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:30 pm at the New Tacoma Cemetery in University Place, WA. A celebration of life (Open House style) will be held outside at Bruce and Dorothy’s home on Saturday, August 8 from 1 – 4 pm. Please contact the family for directions and consider bringing a chair.