OBITUARIES: Bruce Hart, Ella Grace, Thomas Dore

Bruce Wayne Hart

Feb. 2, 1950 - June 25, 2013
Bruce Wayne “Bud” Hart,  a dynamic, generous, and inspirational teacher and community leader, passed away on June 25, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Bruce was born in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. When he was two, his family moved to Sacramento. It was here in California that Bruce fell in love with the life of the outdoorsman. He became an Eagle Scout and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, swimming, and cross country running.

He became a lifeguard, swimming instructor, and pool manager during his high school years. He was also the Student Body President of James Marshall High School. He then attended Sacramento City College and received his BA and teaching credential at Humboldt State University.

Bruce taught 7th and 8th grade at Fieldbrook School for 35 years. He was a passionate teacher who was known for his nurturing and guiding nature. His hugs and caring smiles encouraged generations of students and he was always looking for new experiences to inspire his teaching. Bruce was also generous with his time and took his students on trips to his cabin, Sacramento, Catalina Island, Washington D.C., and many other places.

He was a basketball coach and a scout leader. He created a Fieldbrook School scholarship in memory of his parents Bruce & Patricia Hart. His hard work, enthusiastic teaching style, and dedication to education were acknowledged by his being named the Humboldt County Teacher of the Year 1986-87 and was 1 of 4 finalists for California Teacher of the Year. He also received the Humboldt County Excellence in Teaching award. This recognition inspired Bruce, along with his wife, to embark on a Search for Teaching Excellence National Tour 1993-94 to interview other award-winning teachers in all 50 states. He created a presentation and guest lectured around the country on Excellence in Teaching.

Bruce spent countless hours in the mountains near his cabin on Mt. Etna as well as on a fishing boat in Alaska. He traveled to Africa with his aunt, worked as a seasonal Forest Service employee on Wheeler Peak in Nevada.

He was a member of the Fieldbrook Volunteer Fire Dept. for 30 years and was a Master Mason of the Six Rivers lodge in Arcata. Bruce was an ultra marathon runner and enjoyed ride and ties.

Bruce is perhaps most famous in our community for the wonderful dance classes that he taught with his wife Carey, the love of his life. He estimated at one point that he had taught over 7,000 people how to dance. Amazingly, Bruce stopped aging once he turned 50 years old and had an annual 50th birthday party for the next 13 years. Bruce continued to enjoy working on his cabin, chopping wood, cooking for large crowds, diving for abalone, hunting, fishing, rescuing animals, and giving to others wherever he could. He also enjoyed giving out warm fuzzies to students and reading the diary of Opal.

Bruce is preceded in death by his parents Bruce Hart and Patricia Hart and his brother-in-law Chris DeMars. He is survived by his wife Carey; three sisters: Sherry Hart of Boulder Colorado, Deborah DeMars of Point Arena, Julie Hart Brown of Somerset; and his brother-in-law Russell Brown of Somerset. He is also survived by his nieces: Tiffany Martin, of West Sacramento and Laura Schnyder of Fort Jones; and his nephews: Christopher DeMars of Sonora and Merle Egeland of Santa Cruz. And he is survived by his seven cats and three dogs. Donations may be made to the Bruce Hart Gym fund at Fieldbrook School. Checks should be made to: Fieldbrook Educational Foundation (Gym Fund) and mailed to PO Box 2291 McKinleyville, CA 95519.

A Celebration of Life event is scheduled for July 20 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center.


Ella Yeske Grace

Ella Nora Yeske Grace, age 95, passed away peacefully at her home in McKinleyville, California on June 19, 2013 surrounded by her loving family.

She was born and raised by her parents, Otto and Anna Yeske, on a homestead in a German community near Columbia, South Dakota, along with 10 siblings.

After graduating from Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, South Dakota and teaching in a one room school, she married Merle in 1939.

By 1952, they left the farm and moved with 7 children to the West Coast. Ella will be remembered as the loving wife of 63 years of Merle Grace, who passed away in 2002, and with whom she shared eight children, 21 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. She loved children so much that she had expressed the hope that she might have a great-great-grandchild...

She is survived by her children: Valda (Dave), Muriel (Steve), Ellene, Cheryl (Jack), Ron (Alyce), Don, Susan, Joel (Thuy); her grandchildren: Craig, Kelly, Grant, Lisa, Lance, Marc, Shari, Larry, Celeste, Michele, Santo, Phillip, Michelle, Rob, Megann, Chad, Cambria, Tiffany, Holly, Jonathan, ElleAnna and 36 great-grandchildren.

She has lived in McKinleyville for the past 60 years. Ella loved the ocean, the redwoods, and the climate, calling this area "God's Country". She was a woman of great faith and a member of Grace Good Shepherd Church in McKinleyville. Ella's youngest daughter, Susan Hayes, has been her companion and caregiver since 2005. Ella touched many lives. She will be remembered by many as their first or second grade teacher, having taught in McKinleyville schools from 1954 to 1989. Ella was an avid collector of all things vintage. She and her husband Merle sold antiques and collectibles at many shows in Northern California throughout the years. Her garden and flowers brought her great joy: she could be found working in her yard up until very recently.

Ella loved to travel. She fulfilled a life long dream she had since the age of 10 to see the pyramids of Egypt, which she did at the age of 91, from atop a camel. Sanibel Island, Florida was a favorite destination where she loved to collect sea shells for pleasure and crafting. Her kindness, her wisdom, her strength of character and her great love of family was always there for all to see and experience and her example will continue to be an inspiration. She was happiest surrounded by family. She will be in our hearts forever.

A Memorial Service celebrating Ella's life was held on June 27 at the Grace Good Shepherd Church in McKinleyville, with Pastor Javan Reid officiating.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: Grace Good Shepherd Church, Hospice of Humboldt or to Food For People.

Thomas Ray Dore

Thomas Ray “TD” Dore passed away in Medford, Oregon on June 26, 2013. He was born in Arcata on October 25, 1950 and was raised in Orick.

TD, a U.S. Army veteran, served his country while stationed in Germany. He had earned his Associates Degree and was employed by the Redwood National Parks as a heavy equipment operator. TD loved to fish, deer hunt, enjoyed his exercise group from the pool and time spent with his chocolate lab Sadie. He loved living on the North Coast and loved to eat at the Chart Room, where he was known as a regular.

TD was lovingly known as Uncle Boogie. He is survived by his parents Janice and Jack Dore; his constant companion Sadie his lab; sisters Kathie (Dave) Bugbee and Teresa (Rick) Lewis; brothers Frank (Pam) Dore and David Dorsey; as well as beloved nieces and nephews Jackie, Monica, Marci, Lindsey, Katie, Jessica and Frank Jr.

A Celebration of Life service will be announced at a later date. The family requests contributions be made in TD ‘s memory to the American Diabetes Association , PO Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 or you may call toll free 800-342-2383.