Charles "Chuck" Leo Bruch, age 84, of Lusk entered eternal rest at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center on July 29, 2022, surrounded by family. A funeral will be held Saturday, August 6th, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Lusk with Father Drew Duncan officiating. A rosary service will be held Friday, August 5th, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.
Chuck was born August 19, 1937, in Lusk, Wyoming to Carl and Mary Bruch. He grew up on the family ranch north of Node, with older sister Eileen and younger brothers John and Joe. He attended the Node School through the 10th grade and then attended Niobrara County High School. He was part of the first graduating class in the “new” school in 1955. While growing up, Chuck participated in 4-H, band, choir, and acted in various plays and musicals.
Chuck graduated in 1960 from Nebraska State College in Chadron where he majored in English and Social Studies Education. He also spent several years in the Nebraska and Wyoming National Guard. After graduating, he taught school in Provo, SD, Manville, and Lusk, WY. Chuck then moved to Denver, teaching at the Metropolitan Youth Education Center, a school for high school dropouts, from 1967-1971. During this time he completed a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He also met the love of his life, Karen, while in Denver. He returned to Lusk in 1972 as a guidance counselor at Niobrara County High School. Reflecting on his teaching tenure, he always spoke of his fondness for all his students. He told a story about students placing his car between two trees to tease him. Chuck was involved in a ranching partnership with his brothers from 1960-1992. He and Karen purchased the Best Western Pioneer Motel in 1984 and operated it for twenty years. In 1974, Chuck became employed by the Stockman’s National Bank as an Agricultural Representative. He graduated from the Colorado School of Banking, in Boulder, CO. Over the next several years, the bank had many ownership and name changes, but Chuck remained, advancing to bank president in 1979. He also held the position of Regional Vice President during the First Wyoming Bank years. After 25 years of service, Chuck retired in 1999.
Chuck genuinely loved being a part of the Lusk community. Over the years, he was involved in many activities and boards. He served on the Lusk Town Council, Chamber of Commerce Board, Legend of Rawhide Board, and the Niobrara Health and Life Center Board. He was a trustee of St. Leo’s Catholic Church and a member of the choir.
He married Karen Crumpacker on August 16, 1969. To this union, Anne, David and Kathleen were born. Chuck loved spending time with his friends and family. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and delighted in having them all “at home” in Lusk. Chuck also had a deep love of music, art, and theatre. Music was usually playing in the Bruch home, with Chuck either harmonizing or dancing along.
Chuck loved to travel. As a young man, he had the opportunity to take a one-way trip around the world, traveling for three months. He continued that love of travel with his family, taking them on many adventures. No matter where he traveled, Chuck made friends. He truly lived by the saying, “he never met a stranger”. One example is an encounter on a subway train in Paris. The people on the train were packed in like sardines. Chuck would happily try to start a conversation with every stranger in the car. His comment, “Do you speak English?” French passenger, “No.” Chuck, “Well you won’t know if I’m making fun of you then, will you?” Instantly, everyone on the train DID understand English as the whole car erupted in laughter. After retirement, Chuck and Karen enjoyed traveling to places near and far. They were fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to many countries with their family and friends.
In later years, Chuck developed a passion for playing the card game pitch. He was a regular at the 4 p.m. game. He would be described as a “conservative” player. Those of you who know the Bruchs, conservative is probably the right word. He was not into taking big risks as he did not like the thought of losing money. But Chuck was a good player, quiet and calculating. If he did bid high, you could bet he had the cards to back it up.
A few characteristics that were consistent throughout Chuck’s life were his generosity, willingness to help others, and his ability to make strangers feel welcome. He loved getting to know people from all walks of life and differing backgrounds. He was also known for his sense of humor, loving both good and bad jokes. Chuck loved mischief, pranks, and anything to “get a rise” out of friends and family. You knew he liked you when he kidded you about something with that signature twinkle in his eye. Chuck also loved to read. He spent hours with a book or his ‘Kindle’ reading historical fiction and non-fiction, especially dealing with World War II.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents Carl and Mary Bruch; sister and brother-in-law Eileen & John Young; and brother John Bruch.
He is survived by his wife of almost 53 years, Karen; daughter and son-in-law Anne and Nick Lufkin of Jackson, WY; son and daughter-in-law David and Holly Bruch of Laramie, WY; daughter and son-in-law Kathleen and Dean Jordan of Windsor, CO; sister-in-law Pat Bruch of Lusk; brother and sister-in-law Joe and Sherry Bruch of Cameron, MO; grandchildren, Hannah and Morgan Pfister; Ethan, Savannah and Kai Lufkin; and Miran and Marah Bruch. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and friends whom he loved dearly.
Memorials may be made to St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Niobrara County Library, Niobrara Community Hospital, Lusk Ambulance Service or memorial of your choice.
Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Pier Funeral Home would like to advise you that memorial trees are not planted in our area.