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Bruce Bidwell

Bruce Eliot Bidwell

Wednesday, January 16th, 1929 - Monday, November 9th, 2020
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Obituary

Bruce Eliot Bidwell was born in Hartford CT on January 16, 1929 and died peacefully on November 9, 2020 at the age of 91. He was the son of Eliot Nathaniel Bidwell and Madeline Elizabeth Bostwick who predeceased him as did his younger brother, John Bostwick Bidwell. Bruce lived most of his life in the Hartford area. He graduated from the Loomis School in 1946 and Harvard College in 1950. His class was known as the Great Middle Class as it was the largest class in the school’s history due to the return of many WWII veterans.
Bruce served in the US Navy during the Korean War on the USS Baltimore and was stationed with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. He was a member of the first US Navy OCS class in Newport RI.
In 1954 Bruce joined the Bidwell Hardware Company founded by his grandfather, Frederick Clark Bidwell in 1901 and located on Main Street in Hartford. Bruce succeeded his father as president in 1972. It was a difficult time economically, and the company closed in 1976.
Subsequently Bruce was employed as a representative for the US Chamber of Commerce and a marketing representative for companies developing construction product directories and trade shows. In 1989 he co-founded and was editor of The Connecticut Architect and Specifier until
1991.
Bruce married Jane Noss in 1954 and became the proud father of four children: Christopher, Matthew (Maria), Julie, and Jeremy (Suzanne), nine grandchildren: Coulter (Yesenia), Corrine, Pablo, Gustavo, Alexandra, Michelle, Brian, Nathaniel and Samuel, and a great granddaughter, Kamari,
born in 2020. Bruce and Jane were divorced in 1984.
Bruce is also succeeded by four cousins: Charlotte Bacon, Sally McBride, Jane Thompson and Carol Hopkins and extended family.
In 1991 he married Roberta (Robin) Lockwood Roy, whom he met when he moved to downtown Hartford and joined Center Church. The church became a major focus of their lives. With Bruce’s construction background and interest in historic preservation he served as chairman of the Property Committee for much of the next thirty years. The preservation needs of a two hundred year old building are many. In addition to all that has been accomplished, Bruce also took pride in his connection/relations with the contractors and architects with whom he worked.
Bruce belonged to several organizations reflecting his family background and interest in Hartford area history. He was a descendant of John Biddell(Bidwell), one of the founders of Hartford and was a member of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, the Ancient Burying Ground Association, the Wintonbury Historical Society and the CT Historical Society.
Bruce served as a past president of the Harvard Club of Northern CT, and enjoyed serving for many years on the Schools Committee which interviews prospective students. His only disappointment was when candidates he felt were outstanding were not accepted.
Bruce had a passion for fly fishing that was nourished at an early age by a neighbor. Even when he didn’t catch a fish, he so enjoyed being outdoors on one of CT’s many beautiful streams. This love of the outdoors was absorbed by his children and is expressed in their many year round activities.
Several years ago Bruce’s oldest son encouraged him to write about his life experiences as well as those of family members and prior generations. He published Reflections - A Family Memoir in 2019 when he was 90 years old and enjoyed the entire journey connected to writing a book. He and his family celebrated with a wonderful and joyful dinner party.
Bruce enjoyed good health his entire life until his last few weeks. His family appreciates the wonderful care he received from his doctors and staff at UConn Health, John Dempsey Hospital and Hartford Healthcare at Home’s hospice program.
Because of the pandemic, plans for a memorial service at Center Church cannot be made at this time but will be shared at a later date.
Donations in Bruce’s memory may be made to The 1636 Heritage Partnership Inc., “a non-profit, non-religious 501(c) (3) organization committed to the preservation of Center Church’s 1807 Meeting House and 1909 Church House”. Address: 60 Gold Street Hartford CT 06103 or online at www.1636hp.org
Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home of West Hartford CT assisted the
family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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Service Details

Because of the pandemic, plans for a memorial service at Center Church cannot be made at this time but will be shared at a later date. Donations in Bruce’s memory may be made to The 1636 Heritage Partnership Inc., “a non-profit, non-religious 501(c) (3) organization committed to the preservation of Center Church’s 1807 Meeting House and 1909 Church House”. Address: 60 Gold Street Hartford CT 06103 or online at www.1636hp.org

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JB

Joe Billera

Posted at 08:25pm
Dear Robin and Family......So sorry, for your loss during this difficult time. I will always remember Bruce as a very kind and caring person. I worked for the Bidwell Company from 1970-1976 right up to the final day, as a the purchasing agent to Bruce. I also worked with his father Eliot Bidwell , who was also a wonderful person. These were wonderful years. I knew Christopher Bidwell as a fine young man. Bruce was a special person to me, in many many ways. Would love to meet you and your family, when Bruce's funeral services are finalized. Sending you & your family my deepest sympathy. Joe Billera South Windsor, Ct.
LV

Luciano Valles

Posted at 10:54am
Dear Robin and Family,
Our deepest condolences...
Hugs and Blessings to you during this difficult time. I’ll always remember Bruce as a kind, intelligent, and caring soul. He always went above and beyond regarding the excellent work he did behind the scenes for Center Church....

All our Love,

Luciano Valles, Jr. and Mark Fisher
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