Life Story / Obituary
Bruce David Biddinger, 67 of Traverse City passed away on October 30th, 2021, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The night before his passing, Bruce was surrounded by his wife, and 2 sons showering him with love and comfort.
Bruce was born in Ithaca, Michigan to Iola Marie and Richard (Stub) Biddinger on May 9th, 1954. He grew up on the family farm and worked very hard as farmers do.
Bruce attended Ithaca High School, where he enjoyed playing sports, especially wrestling. Bruce always had a passion for the rodeo life. He spent his younger years very active in this sport, having ridden bucking horses, roping cattle, and competing in many other rodeo events. He took great pride and had fond memories of this time in his life and loved telling stories about it.
In the early 80’s Bruce started a career in Seismic work. This job took Bruce all over the United States. He started as a laborer, and eventually worked his way up to a crew supervisor, where he managed several aspects of the business. Bruce would tell you that during this time, he had some of the wildest times of his life! He made many friends and earned the respect of many more.
Bruce met Victoria (Vicki) Attwood in 1976 and they were married shortly thereafter on June 28, 1977. It wasn’t long after, their first son Corey was born and seven years later, their second son Nik was born. It was around that time that Bruce became tired of traveling; so, he took a chance and bought Great Lakes Striping and Sealing (GLSS) in August of 1989. He started this business with a couple of guys, a truck, and a trailer. He treated GLSS like he treated all parts of his life; work hard and do whatever it takes. This paid off, as Bruce grew GLSS into a very successful asphalt maintenance business. In fact, it was one of the largest of its kind in Northern Michigan. He took great pride in GLSS, he loved all of his employees and took great care of them. He also loved that his sons would have a large part in the family business, as he always took much pride in having his sons around him.
Bruce was a family man through and through. He enjoyed going on family vacations and having family gatherings. He would never miss school or sporting events that his sons, and later his grandchildren, were a part of. You would always know Bruce was there because he was either yelling, filming, clapping (loudest clapper in the room), or all the above! He never could be still :-). Bruce spent a lot of his years in, and around the ice rinks in Traverse City, MI. Whether he was volunteering for the Red Wings training camp, forming tournament teams, or just enjoying the local games, everyone around the rink called him “Mr. B”. That name stuck with him for many years.
Bruce adored his wife, Vicki; they shared many happy times together. Going out to eat or spending time at the Tiki Bar at Apache Trout Grill was some of their favorite things to do. Mostly you would find them somewhere with music, where they would enjoy dominating the dance floor. Bruce was known for his leg kick in the air, which he would demonstrate even later in his illness. He truly brought the energy, anywhere he went.
Bruce is survived by his wife Vicki, sons, Corey (Martina) Biddinger and Nik (Katie Albrecht) Biddinger, grandchildren, Cameron, Madisyn, Conner and Lumen (All of his grandchildren gave him such joy!), Brother Brian (Terie) Biddinger, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Vern and Bev Attwood and His sister and brother-in-law, Brenda and Roger Miller.
Throughout his life, Bruce loved meeting new people and making friends. His family always said that he could walk into a room full of strangers, and walk out with a room full of friends. Bruce was a hard worker, and a fighter. His 14-year struggle with Parkinson’s disease showed this in full force. He was determined not to let the disease take over his life. He would try whatever it took to keep his life as normal as possible, and through fighting, stubbornness, a joke, and a smile, he did this very well.
Bruce loved music, and it was a big part of his life. Many songs had great meaning to Bruce, and he would incorporate them into his life, by living out the lyrics. There were many bands and lyrics, but the most profound was his favorite band of all time, Journey. His love of this band would eventually form his mantra in life, which you will find on the last line of this obituary. It was Journey's biggest hit that carried Bruce through his toughest of times. He saw them live more times than we can count. He even managed to make friends with the lead singer’s personal assistant, Yul Session by dancing and high kicking in the isle at a concert just after his knee replacement (he was still on crutches). Forming this strong bond with the band inspired him to sponsor their movie “Don’t Stop Believin’ Every Mans Journey” for the Traverse City Film Festival. This was one of Bruce’s proudest moments in his adult life. For the premier of the movie, he was of course, surrounded by all his family and friends.
There will be a memorial at Life Story Funeral Home on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with a “Bruce style” celebration at Corey and Martina’s following (1601 Cedar Hill Drive, Traverse City).
And always remember, Don’t Stop Believin’!
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