Bruce Eugene Scribner, 77, departed this earthly life on February 12, 2023, at the Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, California, following complications of a stroke. He was also battling MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a type of bone marrow disease). He was surrounded by his beloved wife of over 40 years and two of their nieces, who were like surrogate daughters.
A funeral mass will be held in Bruce’s memory on March 13, 2023 at 10:30am at Our Lady of the Valley Church, followed by a burial service, with Navy Honors, at the Riverside National Cemetery in California at 2pm. A second burial service will be held at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Saturday, April 29, at 10:30 am. Memorials to Bruce may be directed to the University of South Dakota Foundation; ATTN: Scribner Scholarship Endowment; 1110 North Dakota Street; Vermillion, SD 57069.
Bruce was born on May 13, 1945, in Wichita, Kansas, to George E. (“Casey”) Scribner and Sylvia L. Whitaker Scribner. The family moved in 1947 to Sioux Falls, Sylvia’s hometown, where the couple had met and were married. There they established Joyland Park, a children’s amusement park and Casey would go on to serve 6 terms in South Dakota’s House of Representatives. Bruce and his older brother, Kent, enjoyed being part of the business, each operating one of the rides as soon as they were old enough and until they graduated from high school and left Sioux Falls for new adventures. After graduating from Sioux Falls’ Washington High School in 1963, Bruce joined the U.S. Navy for a two-year commitment. This Navy experience took him first to the Eastern Seaboard and later aboard the U.S.S. Observation Island through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific to Southeast Asia. After completing his military agreement, Bruce returned to South Dakota enrolled in the University of South Dakota and received his bachelor’s degree in 1970.
Bruce remained active in the military service through the Navy Reserves. One of his stints took him to Long Beach, California, back in the early 1970s for additional training. During that time, he visited an aunt in Palm Springs and decided to find a job in “the desert.” Soon he was employed by the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) office in Palm Springs, which became his life-long career until he retired in the early 2000’s. His country patriotism and love of service kept Bruce active in the Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 for 50 years, where he held the role of the Post Commander in 1995. During a dance at this Post back in 1979, where he could usually be found enjoying the occasional beer, Bruce met Maria Antonietta Auz Mazzini and they were married in Palm Springs in 1980 after a short long-distance courtship. They would live in Palm Springs until 2018, when they moved to Hemet, California, where they could count on slightly cooler summer weather.
Bruce loved to travel and spend time outdoors enjoying the sunshine and views of the ocean. He also enjoyed a good political debate and discussion on the current political climate. Bruce was an avid hiker, swimmer, and connoisseur of the outdoors, learning new trails and/or the local culture. He traveled extensively before and during his marriage, including trips to places he had never been in the U.S. and visits to family members in South Dakota and Iowa (when possible, hiking in the Black Hills), as well as visits to Connecticut and Ecuador to visit Maria’s family. Bruce loved spending weekends in the San Jacinto Mountains nearby, walking the many trails and also volunteering to lead hikers in the state park. In the early 2000’s he and Maria purchased a house in San Felipe, Mexico, replacing their annual time share visits to Mazatlán, Mexico. In San Felipe Bruce would enjoy the view of the ocean from their terrace and walk to the local eateries to enjoy seafood and a Margarita or two.
Bruce’s love of travel and especially cruise trips took him and Maria all over the world through their 40+ year marriage. He would chronicle these trips throughout Europe, South America, Eastern Asia and Australia in their annual Christmas Letters where he would add just enough detail to make you wish you had been with them. Bruce shared his love of politics, the outdoors and more importantly, travel, with his nieces, two of whom would spend many entire summers with them in Palm Springs, often traveling up the west coast and the neighboring states. However, the most cherished childhood memories of those summers would be the many, many, many weekends camping in the Idlewild mountains and campgrounds, where they would spend hours hiking, playing Rummy-Tile and a mean game of Touring.
Bruce was a devoted husband, a loving brother, and a very caring uncle to his three nieces, all of whom he was incredibly proud of. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents and cherished aunts and uncles on both sides. He is survived by his wife, Maria; brother, A. Kent Scribner, Denver, CO; three important cousins; sister-in-law, Blanca A. Auz, Stamford, CT; nieces, Jennifer S. Farrow, Olympia, WA; Ivette S. Flandreau (James), Byron Center, MI; Angela “Cristina” Auz DeLelle (John), Stamford, CT, and their two children, Kristina DeLelle (17) and Johnny DeLelle (9), who lovingly remember their “Grandpa Bruce”. He will be remembered as a gentle, generous and caring man who enjoyed the simple things in life. Most importantly, he loved and served the Lord and Blessed Mary wholeheartedly.