Bruce G. ChamberlinJuly 31, 1927 ~ December 25, 2017 (age 90)
Bruce G. Chamberlin received his greatest Christmas gift this year, when he was reunited with his Lord early Christmas morning, after taking full advantage of the gift of Life he was given over 90 years ago.
Bruce, along with his nine brother and sisters, was raised on Wenger Avenue in Mishawaka, just a few blocks from Mishawaka High School, where he graduated in 1945, and then dedicated 33 years teaching over 10,000 students, from 1954 until he retired in 1987. Besides teaching English and Speech, he also began a T.V. Production class, creating the first studio in a third floor attic of the high school. Bruce had gained experience in this field when he was an announcer at WHOT, WSBT and WJVA radio and television stations before he became a teacher.
After high school, Bruce served in the U.S. Navy in Japan at the end of WWII, and soon after being married, was recalled for two more years of service as a public information journalist for the Naval Amphibious Force in Virginia during the Korean conflict. In between his two military terms, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University in Bloomington (being inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society), and later completed a Master’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame.
At M.H.S., Mr. Chamberlin coached the Speech and Debate teams for many years, in addition to motivating and entertaining students as emcee of the M.H.S. pep sessions for 25 years. Bruce taught Public Speaking classes at I.U.S.B. for twenty years, and was a member of the National Education Association and the St. Joseph County Retired Teachers Association.
As great an educator as Mr. Chamberlin was, he was an even better husband and father. Bruce married his beautiful bride, Carol Vanderbosch, in 1951, at St. Monica Church in Mishawaka, where he was a member the rest of his life, volunteering his time and talents as a co-coordinator and teacher in the religious education department, and drawing on his speaking talents to share the Scriptures with such gentle passion in his decades as a lector. Bruce was also very proud of the folk mass his children started in the 1970’s, giving dozens of young parishioners an opportunity to help lead the congregation in meaningful worship through their music.
Bruce and Carol raised their six children with sincere love and dedication. He took an extremely active role in his family’s life in many ways, with one of the most memorable being the annual three-week camping trips he and Carol arranged every summer, packing the entire family into the station wagon and driving them through 46 of the 50 states, without ever giving in to his threat of “turning around and going back home” if they didn’t behave! During the rest of the year, he was continually looking for a wide variety of home projects to work on, ranging from a complete renovation of a bathroom to the construction of a canoe.
Bruce also used his talents as a public speaker to raise thousands of dollars for Hospice of St. Joseph County (Center for Hospice Care) - often accompanied by his partner in ventriloquism, Alexander T. Redwood. In the last few months of his life, he was honored to be treated with the generous in-home care of that same organization.
On Christmas morning, Bruce was reunited with the following family members who preceded him to Heaven. Parents: George L. and Bernice (Edgar) Chamberlin; brothers: Edgar, Donald, Ray; sisters: Alice, Sally, Frances; infant daughter, Kathleen Ann.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Carol, as well as six children: Janice Chamberlin, Laura (Cary) Kuminecz, Sallie (Kirk) Janowiak, Edward (Kim) Chamberlin, Steve (Jill) Chamberlin, and Maria (Paul) Kil, as well as his grandchildren: Kate (Kevin) Hanson, Chris (Kim) Delinski, Sam and Tim Kumincez, Angela (Tony) McCrorey, Jesse (Bonnie) Janowiak, Emily (Jeff) Litsey, Kyle (Katie) Chamberlin, Kaleb Chamberlin, Ellen (Oliver) Matheson, Gwenn and Steve A. Chamberlin, Abraham, Susanna, Angie and Natalie Kil; step grandchildren: Ryan (Natalie) Stewart, Andrew and Meg Stewart; great grandchildren: Audrey, Claire, Chase, Elena, Evan, Demetri, and Leo; brothers: Tom (Gerry) Chamberlin and Warren Chamberlin; and a sister, Ruthie Hinton.
Mass of Christian Burial is Friday at 10:30 am in St. Monica Catholic Church, 222 W. Mishawaka Ave., Mishawaka, with Rev. Jacob Meyer as celebrant. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
Visitation is Thursday from 3 – 7 pm in Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, 503 W. 3rd Street, Mishawaka, where a prayer service will follow the visitation at 7 pm. Visitation is also Friday from 9:30 – 10:30 am in church.
Memorials are suggested to Center for Hospice Care.
An online guest book is available at www.goethalswells.com.
Center for Hospice Care (Hospice Foundation)
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545