Bruce E. Montross, 67, of Cedar Rapids, passed into eternal peace on April 1, 2017, at UnityPoint Hospice-St. Luke's Hospital after a gallant battle with esophageal cancer. Per his wishes, he was cremated with no traditional visitation or funeral services. The family will honor Bruce with a Celebration of Life and dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Prairie Hill Pavilion in Marion. (Highway 13 and Kacena Avenue, next to Knights of Columbus and up from Culver's restaurant.)
Bruce was born Jan. 31, 1950, in Sigourney, Iowa, the beloved son of Sidney E. and Kathryn Goodman Montross. Bruce graduated from Jefferson Senior High School in 1968 and attended Iowa State University. Bruce married Jan Birky. They later divorced. Sons Matthew and Andrew were born to this union. Bruce was united in marriage to Christine E. Beardsley on June 5, 1982.
Early on he was a Sinclair service station attendant. He spent 25 years as an auto mechanic with Chevrolet dealerships. Bruce was later employed by UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital as a housekeeper and equipment operation in support services and the operating room. He retired in 2014 after 22 years of dedicated service.
Bruce loved going to flea markets and tag sales. He enjoyed woodworking, refinishing antique furniture and a variety of unique projects. Other favorite pastimes also included playing with his "fur balls," the family kitties, Daisy and Dewey, reading the comics, watching TV, spectator sports and cheering for the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. He delighted in the Cubs winning the World Series.
Bruce is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Chris; sons, Matthew and Andrew Montross; two grandchildren; his sister, Mary Cash; special sister-in-law, Patty Seger; brother-in-law Bob (Shelley) Beardsley, aunts, uncle, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins; and his tabbies, Daisy and Dewey. Also surviving Bruce are his UPH-St. Luke's family of support services and operating room co-workers and hospital friends. His antique family of treasure seeking collectors made the search for rare and common finds more exciting. Bruce's "honorary brother" and longtime neighbor, Tom Wardell, shared these adventures for many years.
Bruce was a "jack-of-all-trades" and would do anything for anybody.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Sid and Kathryn Montross; parents-in-law, Robert H. and Patricia Beardsley; grandparents, Earl and Vivian Forney Montross; grandmother, Elsie Beardsley Snyder; aunts, uncles and cousins; and his special pups, Hanna Heidi, Aggie and Gretchen.
Please consider a memorial gift to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Foundation (Witwer Children's Therapy program, 855 A Ave. NE, Suite 105, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.