Bruce Eric Smith, 62

Bruce Eric Smith, 62, was unexpectedly ushered into the arms of his loving Savior on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

He was born on Dec. 11, 1948, to Bernhardt and Gertrude (nee Palmer) Smith in Houghton, Mich. Bruce graduated Houghton High School and voluntarily joined the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his country proudly for three tours of duty in Vietnam, honorably discharged in 1970.

He married his best friend Neldine Faye (nee Harju) on June 3, 1972 at First Lutheran Church in Dollar Bay, Mich.

Bruce began his career in bakery management and spent the majority of his career in the sales of bakery and food products. He worked for companies including Angeli Foods in Iron River, Mich., Pick ’n Save in West Bend formally known as Prescott's Super Valu, Sysco in Jackson and Venture Marketing in Menomonee Falls, retiring in 2010. Bruce loved his work and mostly enjoyed mentoring and training others young in their careers. He was loved by many for his sense of humor and caring nature.

Bruce is survived by his wife Neldine; children Michael (Theresa) Smith, Michelle (Joel) Kionka and Jamie (Todd) Ceman; his pride and joy were his grandchildren Ella and Melody Smith, Ashlynn and Lucas Kionka, and Kennedy and Zoey Ceman. He is also survived by his sister Trudi (Frank) Newhouse; brothers Ben (Mary) and Robert (Barbara) Smith. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents Bernhard and Gertrude Smith and sister Jackie Kemper.

Funeral services for Bruce will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2011 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 1044 S. Silverbrook Drive, West Bend with Pastor Darin Wiebe officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Thursday, July 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Private interment will be held.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff in the E.R. Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend for their compassionate care.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family, 338-2050,