July 9, 1961 - September 11, 2020
Bruce (B) made his last sarcastic eye roll with a peace sign on September 11, 2020, when the hospice nurse asked him, "How are you doing?" B transitioned after a short battle with a nefarious villain named Cancer, who has plagued our world for far too long. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tells us that there ";is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." Hmmm, 2020? His spirit was released and he is now exploring the universe. He was born on July 9, 1961, and grew up in Wichita, KS. He never watched the Wizard of Oz, hating the fact that Kansas was portrayed in black and white. B was all about color. He loved theater and the entertaining arts from the age of 6 when he memorized both the songs and choreography from a play his sister performed in high school. He graduated from Wichita State University with a BA in Theatre, and attended the Masters Program in Lighting Design at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a Master Electrician and considered a passionate teacher and inspired visionary amongst his many students and peers over the years. And, he was known as a Master Joker - never meeting a pun he didn't like. On 9/11/2001 he was in London working on the Royal Opera House when the world first crashed in around him. It struck us that he chose 9/11/2020 to leave our world. Pretty sure there's a message to be had - will find out when we meet again. In 2014, he "re-fired" and opened his own voice-over company, That Deep Voice. He then began to deepen his learning around leadership and influence. He became an Executive Director with the International Maxwell Team to be mentored by John C. Maxwell and his faculty. He was also Technical Production Manager for Possible Conversations, bringing his passion, humor, creativity and inspiration to our leadership development business. B was known for his long, entertaining stories, which he loved to repeat often. This is the final chapter, as he would have told it himself. ______________________________________________________________________________ So I was born and I blinked, and it was over. No buildings named after me, no statues of bronze in touristy places. No famous album cover. No Emmy. No regrets. Never have regrets. I had the pleasure of singing and dancing through the years, from being a singing waiter in New York City to joining and singing with the Jacksonville Men's Chorus (love you guys!) As I read the Facebook memories you've all posted, over my wife's shoulder and through her tears, I am forever humbled and joyful that I had the chance to know, share a laugh, and help so many people I call family and friends over my years on this earth. And every time I was down, you guys always came around and helped me stand back up (after-all, I had a lousy gyroscope). Thank you for that... If you want to, I'm pretty sure you can look for me in all the familiar places, or as Anita would say, creating light perfection and being another Deep Voice in the sky. I hope that will comfort you, although I'm wise enough to know it'll antagonize others - you know me, that's what I do. You know I'm out there somewhere, somewhere you can hear my voice. One of my favorite songs of late from the Alan Parsons Project captures it well - "This is the sound of energy, traveling through the galaxy into eternity, a one-note symphony...we are one world, one love, one frequency, one heart...." And of course, the ultimate answer to life the universe, and everything is... 42. I'll tell you more about that when you see me again one day - I'll have all the details, and will tell you the story over and over again. You know I will. And you know you were a friend of mine. So, don"t panic. So in the end, I'm here to tell you to find joy in every moment, follow your heart, and make amazing things happen in your life. And never stop smiling, laughing or loving. I'll leave you with one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes, "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." Or let's say, you might want to cry a bit, after all, I have passed away. As my curtain falls, I am happy and dancing on the infinite stage. ____________________________________________________________________________ _________ It's hard to turn the page when we know he won't be physically present in the next chapter, but the story must go on. Bruce will be terribly missed and is survived by his wife and soulmate Anita Dahlstrom and her son Jason Gutel, his sisters Pam Allred and Donna Jensen and their families, his sister-in-laws Laurie Dahlstrom (Phil Green) and Renee Dahlstrom, his God-daughter Shauna Kitching, his four dogs L.C., d.o.g., Jax and Rivvy and all who had the pleasure of listening to his stories, his beautiful deep voice, and who loved him. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Betty Lehnus. Well-wishers are encouraged to write a note of farewell on a bottle of Shiner Bock beer and drink it in his honor (send Anita a photo to be forever treasured). And if you wait to see him in Heaven, he'll gladly allow you to buy him another. Although he lived a less than average life span, B led a more than average life. He traveled where he wanted to, laughed at every chance, brought humor and intellect to every conversation, learned what he wanted to learn with a second career in leadership development with The John Maxwell Team, and loved life madly. Following his adamant wishes, there won't be a service. Cremation will take place and his ashes are being scattered. We hope you'll join us for his Second Line jazz celebration being held during Mardi Gras week in 2021 (given 2020 ever ends.) So let's end this chapter with a send off in the same way he lived life - large, on the edge, and to the fullest! Laissez le bon temps rouler!!
Bruce (B) made his last sarcastic eye roll with a peace sign on September 11, 2020, when the hospice nurse asked him, "How are you doing?" B transitioned after a short battle with a nefarious villain named Cancer, who has plagued our world... View Obituary & Service Information
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