Bruce James Denis Colegrave

October 15, 1943 – June 4, 2018
It is with much sadness, I announce the sudden passing of my husband and partner, Bruce Colegrave. What a roller coaster ride we have had these past 26 years. So many adventures and so much traveling. We really took a chunk out of our ‘Bucket List’. The highlight for us was Machu Picchu and then, just 3 months ago we transited the Panama Canal. All of these wonderful memories with a man who truly broke the mold. Bruce was the smartest man I’ve known. He was a self made man, even though coming from a very limited education he could build and make anything. He loved a challenge. If he was told it couldn’t be done, Bruce would think about it, then prove them wrong. Bruce has left a huge hole in all our hearts.

Bruce was born in Digby, Nova Scotia. His father, a navel officer, was continually being posted to different cities across Canada. The family even lived in England for 2 years. Bruce learned at a very early age to defend himself as he was always the ‘new kid in town’.

When he was old enough he enlisted in the Canadian Army, only because his father was a navy man. He trained in the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps (REME) and served with them until an explosion sent him to the hospital burn unit. He was in the hospital recuperating for nearly a year when at his release he was told he could request a transfer to a division of his choice. Bruce wanted to be a military policeman. Even though he was too short, his commanding office relented saying “Colegrave, it takes one to catch one”. After his training in the Provost Corps, he was stationed in Cyprus as a UN Peacekeeper.

When he returned to Canada Bruce began a career as a journeyman carpenter in Alberta and B.C. He developed a specialty in concrete and marine construction, building hatcheries, marinas, float homes and floating structures all up the B.C. coast. In 1992 he met Nancy on one of those float homes in Tofino after a hurricane ripped the roof off where she was working. 2 years later they married. He loved the Ocean and all the experiences it brought. Bruce did retire, for all of 2 weeks, when he was given an opportunity from his best friend Richard to go off to China to build land based fish farms. This was an experience of a lifetime for both him and Nancy. Bruce built one of the very first land based systems in China. He absolutely loved what he was doing and at 72 admitted to Nancy that he probably would never retire but he did promise her they would spend most of their winters in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Bruce was happiest there making so many friends who all became family to him.

Bruce leaves behind Nancy, his wife of 24 years, his stepsons Jonathan (Laveena) and Robert (Kristi) and all the grandsons Cody, Devan, Owen, Fraser and Tanner who he absolutely adored. He also leaves his brothers Raymond (Kathy) and Tom (Sheryl). We are all so grateful for all the love and support from all of our amazing friends.

At Bruce’s request he did not want a service but wished to be cremated and his ashes spread in the ocean in Puerto Morelos. When the weather is sunny and warm, we will have a gathering for all our family and friends to celebrate Bruce’s life. Please, if you so choose, in lieu of flowers, make a donation to a charity of your choice. 

Nancy, along with her family, invite you to celebrate Bruce’s life on Aug 29 between 1:00 – 4:00pm at 3995 York Rd, Campbell River (6.2km down York Rd). Please join us to share stories and remember a life lived to the fullest.

If possible, please RSVP to Nancy at allpen@telus.net or 250-830-7400.


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