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Bruce William Whitehill SR

August 24, 1945 ~ March 24, 2017 (age 71)

The Piano Brothers
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Bruce William Whitehill, Sr., of Berlin, CT, died unexpectedly at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, surrounded by family on March 24, 2017. He was 71 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer of 53 years, son:  Bruce of Berlin, CT, daughter:  Marlana Rice and her husband Verlon, of Magnolia, TX, as well as daughter by choice:  Lisa La Pierre (Berzins) and her husband Duane of Plainville, CT, his grandchildren Nicole Whitehill, Samantha Whitehill, Benjamin Whitehill, Chloe Rice, Kirsten Rice, Justin Talbot, and Jeremy Talbot. He is also survived by his sister and mentor Jeanne DiBattisto of Bradford, VT, Nancy Paslaski of Dennis, MA, Jim Whitehill of Columbia MO; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his mother:  Virginia Greene Whitehill and father:  William Whitehill.

Bruce was born on August 25,1945 in Buffalo New York. When he was a child he moved to Manchester CT, where he met his high school sweetheart and wife, Jennifer. Through the years they were known as the couple that loved to dance and were each other’s best friend.

Shortly after moving to Manchester, he met his great buddy, Chuck Barbato. Bruce and Chuck had many great adventures in their youth.

In the early 70's he moved to Berlin where he opened B and B Auto Parts.  Although the store was only open a few years, the existence of the store resulted in the creation of life-long friendships with Bob Riss and Ron Barrett.

The move to Berlin wasn't just a move to a new home, in a new town, but it was the start of another great chapter as Bruce and Jen found their best friends, Joe and Mary Ellen Dutkiewicz who lived up the hill. The two families vacationed together in the early years and Mary and Joe are the confidants and go to friends forever.

One day in the late 1980's early 1990's Bruce received a call from his good buddy Chuck:”Hey Bruce! Wanna build a house?” The building of the house project became more than just a few friends hammering some nails as the project brought Bruce's friend from childhood, Chuck, together with his adult friends, the Dutkiewiczs and created a lot of fond memories.

Taking an interest in construction again created a unique friendship between Bruce and his niece Lori DiBattisto. Bruce shared his knowledge and interest in classic architecture blueprinting methods while Lori shared her knowledge of contemporary computerized architecture methods. There was a reciprocal affection between uncle and niece.

Later in life, he purchased a 57 Chevy which he spent countless hours restoring in his garage. He thoroughly enjoyed the time spent and the detail entailed in restoring his car to pristine condition.

In the early 1990's Bruce and Jen purchased a log cabin home in Vermont which resulted in a new hobby- snowmobiling. Bruce loved his home in Vermont and his time snowmobiling with his friends, Keith and Sal. While most people thought of a year as having 4 seasons, Bruce only knew of 2 seasons-Snowmobile season (there is snow on the ground in Vermont) and woodworking season- (There is no snow in Vermont). Bruce spent many hours making beautiful cabinets and trim pieces, keeping busy until snowmobiling season arrived again. Bruce flocked to Vermont in winter as geese flock to the South.

Bruce had a great sense of humor and was a very kind person.  He was a father- figure and grandfather- figure to many young people who entered his life who either had none or had none close by.

In August, there will be a celebration of life, when all that loved him will be able to come together.

To share memories of Bruce with his family, please visit www.berlinmemorialfuneralhome.com

 


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