Cover photo for Myrna Jean Smith Bruce's Obituary
1947 Myrna 2023

Myrna Jean Smith Bruce

August 7, 1947 — October 26, 2023

Syracuse

 

Myrna Jean Smith Bruce

Myrna Bruce passed away peacefully in her home on Thursday October 26th. She was a loving wife, very supportive mother, lifelong friend, cherished aunt and loving sister. She is survived by her lifelong best friend and husband Rickie Bruce, her kids Bart (Natalie), Terra (David) and Jesse. She was loved and was cherished by her 10 Grandchildren. She was absolutely beautiful inside and out. She always made sure everyone was happy and having fun if you were around her. She was a tutor for many years at Layton Elementary helping all the children read and making lifelong friends. She loved to go to lunch and had at least 3 or 4 standing lunch dates. It might be the lunch bunch ladies from the old neighborhood, tutors, sisters or neighbors. She loved traditions and all her children have a love for family traditions from her. We had a Halloween get together every year and always danced. We always went bowling during the Christmas holidays. Her kids and then her grandkids loved to go to Grandma’s to hunt for Jellybeans. She made every holiday special and loved to put up holiday decorations. She loved to read and made sure that all of her kids always had books to read and loved to read them. She had her own words for things and her kids just went with it and use her same descriptions.

Early Life

She was born on August 7th, 1947 to Joel and Ida Smith. She grew up in Centerville, Utah with her 2 sisters and 2 brothers. She was a cheerleader in Jr High and at Davis High School. She loved to dance and was able to do the best high splits. She was 20 years old when she married the love of her life on August 23rd 1967. It was the best decision she ever made, and they shared a wonderful life together for 56 years.

Family Life

She started her little family in Riverside California when Bart was born at March Air Force Base. Rick and Myrna moved back to Utah and added Terra in Ogden and Jesse in Layton.

She didn’t let anything stand in her way of having a fun time with her husband and kids. Growing up we always had season swim passes to Lagoon. She loved to swim and when we went on vacation we always swam: ocean, river, swimming pool (with ice on it, with frogs in it) it didn’t matter we were swimming. We went camping, motorcycling all over, and we always had a family vacation every year. Her favorite place was the ocean. She loved to be at the beach and dig her toes into the sand. When we went to the beach, we would get there in the morning and we would stay the whole day until the sun set.

She was so tough that she was able to get 3 kids under the age of 12 dressed, in ski boots and onto the ski slopes. She loved to take the kids up to ski with Rick at Powder Mountain. We spent our childhoods swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter. She made sure that we had amazing childhoods.

Myrna loved sports. She loved to watch and play sports. Her favorite sport was baseball and she encouraged and supported her kids to play baseball. Jesse remembers trying to be a pitcher and throwing as hard as he could, and mom was just sitting there being the catcher. When Bart was practicing hitting she was the pitcher and got a golf ball sized lump on her shin when he hit it. She was so supportive of everything her kids were involved with.

She loved to go on car rides to see the leaves in the fall. She loved the colors and loved to see the amazing scenery we were blessed with.

She loved to cook and made the best chocolate chip cookies. Most of her baking included brown sugar as an ingredient.

She loved movies and we always had movie nights at home. She watched her favorite shows over and over. She loved musicals and watched one almost every night.

Sisters and Friends

She loved her sisters Elaine and Irene. They often did things together and were lifelong friends. She loved to go to Lagoon and see all the shows with Elaine and they had season passes to get into Lagoon for years. She would send a nightly text with Irene to recount the things they were grateful for. She had several lifelong friends and would often go and have adventures with Sandy, Becky and Connie.

Health Battles

Myrna fought many different health problems for at least the last 45 years. She never let it stop her. She just kept going. She often got pneumonia, she had lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and shingles. She had to do breathing treatments daily and was on oxygen for the last 18 years. She was so strong and determined she had both her knees replaced at the same time.

Love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

She absolutely loved the Lord and being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She spent many hours of service in fulfilling her church callings. She loved to get church books to read from her sisters. She made sure to instill in her children her love, belief and faith in our lord Jesus Christ. She loved to go the temple and went with her kids and her grandchildren. She was a devoted follower of Jesus.

Rick’s favorite story and thoughts

Myrna and I had been dating for several months in the fall of 1966. I had joined the Air Force and was scheduled to report to Basic Training at Lackland AF Base in Texas January 6th, 1967. We discussed my leaving as it got closer and she said “You don’t have to be in the Air Force alone” We were engaged! After 6 weeks of Basic Training and 8 months of Flight Line Tech school at Chanute AFB, Illinois, we would be married! The one condition she had was that I would take her to the ocean on our honeymoon. We were married in her mom’s house in Centerville on August 23rd, 1967. We got a map and drew a straight line from Ogden to Redman California, which seemed to be the closest coastal point. We traveled on roads so small they weren’t even on our map but took us west. Top down and shooting at road signs we made our way west, sleeping under the stars, jumping into rivers to swim and float. We made it to the ocean, hidden by fog and only 50 degrees. We ran through the surf until we were so cold, we could barely walk back to the car. I knew then that our entire life would be totally favorite stories. I wasn’t wrong! My life with Myrna has not disappointed. I wouldn’t change anything except her health and extend the time we had to spend together here on earth. I couldn’t have loved her more.

Bart’s favorite story and thoughts:

My favorite story of mom is the time the Porsche 914 caught fire. My mom and I were riding around in another one my dad’s project cars. We always had so many fun, crazy cars at our house. While we were out we started to smell something and saw smoke. We had both seen movies of cars exploding so we parked in a parking lot and ran to a pay phone. We called Rick and he said “it’s ok it does that all the time” We looked at each other like he was crazy, but were like ok. When we got home Rick was chagrined to see that several wires had melted all through the car. He thought we had been talking about a muffler leak that he knew about.

My mom was such a tough woman. She was sick and battling health issues almost my entire life. I learned how to be strong and tough from my mom. We often talked about just because you are sick you don’t not live life. You don’t wait to feel good, as that probably will never happen. You just suck it up and go and do everything that you want to do anyway. We often talked about quality vs quantity. If you are living just to stay alive and you can’t do anything that you want to that isn’t really living. I am so grateful that she was so strong and stayed alive just to be there for her family even though she couldn’t do the things she wanted to. A song that we always enjoyed and was her ringtone on my phone was Live For Today by the Grassroots. These lyrics always make me think of my mom:

We were never meant to worry the way other people do
And I don't need to hurry as long as I'm with you

Terra’s favorite story and comments

She always made everything perfect! She was so smart and loved to argue for the sake of it. She loved all sports especially baseball and football. She spent her life going to all the games to support all of her kids and now her grandkids! She was always on time if not early to all the events, saving seats for those who were not on time.  She spent her life thinking of others and doing things for her family and friends. She was grateful for everything she had and never needed more. A good pop on ice could make her say she was “Happy as a lark”. Even though she felt sick a lot she would always try to find ways to keep going. She loved going to musicals and plays and enjoyed watching them at home. One of her personal favorites was Mamma Mia. She always made sure to record shows she knew her grandkids and kids would love to watch when they came to visit. One of her favorite things to do was to watch movies with her grandkids when they would have sleepovers and Grandma Tuesday. I have always looked up to my mom and really try to be the best person I can because of my mom.

Jesse’s favorite story and comments

Jesse had a fun tradition on taking her for Mother’s Day to Ruths Diner. They loved to spend time alone with each other. She made sure to spend individualized time with all of her kids. As the youngest child he had a lot of time alone with Myrna. He cherished the time he was able to spend alone with her. They loved to watch and discuss baseball together.

 

We will be having a private family gathering instead of a general viewing and funeral. In lieu of flowers please send condolences to Myrna’s husband Rick Bruce. Thank you.

 

Myrna was loved by all, and she will be so missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Myrna Jean Smith Bruce, please visit our flower store.

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