HOUSTON ’BRUCE’ SPAHR
November 30, 1944 ˜ July 9, 2020
You might call him Mister Congenial. Bruce Spahr, a longtime Vancouver, WA, resident, garnered warm respect from his employers, fellow employees and the public throughout his diverse career. His smile passed away July 9, 2020, after an extended illness. He was 75.
Bruce was born Nov. 30, 1944, in Bristol, TN, a community designated by Congress as the ”birthplace of country music.” His parents were Charles Glenn and Rachael Spahr. The family moved to Minnesota in 1950 and four years later to Winlock, WA. He graduated in 1963 from Winlock High School.
His career began as a fireman at a Weyerhaeuser mill in Longview, WA. During his time with Weyerhaeuser, he met his wife, Yvonne Vorpagel, through a dating service. Yvonne, who had moved to Washington, was a home economics graduate of University of Wisconsin. They were married in 1970 and enjoyed 45 years as a couple. A highlight of their marriage was moving into a brand new home. They enjoyed traveling to the Oregon coast each year. Both were devout Christians. She died November 2015.
Bruce’s career included the Bonneville Power Administration, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Hi-School Pharmacy and Parkrose Hardware at its 164th Ave. location in Vancouver. At OHSU, one of his favorite assignments, was serving as hospital patient greeter.
At Parkrose Hardware, Bruce’s warm greeting demeanor and his practical home improvement skills generated a loyal clientele customer base, especially among seniors. Frequently, they would be waiting for him when he arrived for work. While he oversaw the plumbing department, when needed, he filled in at all other departments. He relished helping and serving customers. Not surprisingly, he often received employee of the month recognition among different employers, an honor he always cherished.
His most fulfilling moments of his retirement was visiting family and friends in Wisconsin. His travel highlights was an Alaskan cruise with niece, Gretchen Harper.
Bruce’s family and friends wish to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation for the loving hospice care Bruce received at Cascade Inn in Vancouver. In addition, the family wants to acknowledge the wonderful support of Pastor Jean DeVoll-Donaldson and the congregation of the Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Vancouver.
He is survived by his brother, Clark Spahr of Winlock and several nieces.
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