Bruce Blixt, 71, passed away Monday evening, October 28, surrounded by his loving family and close friends. Born April 26, 1948, in Chicago, Ill., he was the son of Lawrence and Susan (McEwan) Blixt and a long-time resident of Peterson, Minn.
Bruce graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1966. He went on to attend Winona State University in Winona, Minn., where he received his Masters in Education, served as the notorious President of the Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity and became affectionately known as “Squirrel.” He left everyone that knew him with outlandish and funny stories they’ll share forever.
It was at Winona State that Bruce met Marge Benson, his soulmate, best friend, love of his life and devoted wife of 50 years. Bruce and Marge wed on December 6, 1969, and shared a long and beautiful life together. They raised three beautiful daughters: Greta, Sally and Betsy. Bruce was a loving, attentive and supportive husband and father. His right arm bore a tattooed heart with Marge’s name. They always made each of the girls feel special and loved.
Bruce had a dedicated career as an educator. First teaching, then as principal in both Peterson and Rushford-Peterson Elementary Schools. He retired after 37 years in the field. Over these years he coached basketball, football, track, softball and golf, leaving an unforgettable impact on every student and athlete.
Bruce ALWAYS had fun. Whether jumping on the Harley for a road trip with “the boys” or cutting off the top of the family Cadillac and turning it into a fur-lined pink convertible, he was always up for wild adventures. Bruce was often the host, and always the life of the party.
Bruce wore many hats in his lifetime: mayor, photographer, jolly town Santa, The Great Blixtini… He was a legendary golfer, hitting a hole-in-one FOUR times. Bruce was champion at the Ferndale Golf Club multiple times. Even after retiring for 20 years, he came back to win the championship yet again. “Fairways and Greens…”
Bruce’s friends meant the absolute world to him, and he developed so many beautiful lifelong friendships through the years. There was nothing Bruce wouldn’t do for his friends (except pick up the tab). He will be remembered and loved by so many for his infectious enthusiasm and his kind and gentle spirit.
Over his lifetime Bruce developed a love of travel. He made family vacations a priority and planned several camping trips to the Pacific Northwest, where he and Marge ultimately moved to be close to their grandchildren, Estella and Ingrid. In retirement he and Marge also enjoyed their winters on South Padre Island, Tex., where every hour was happy hour.
In one of his final moments Bruce expressed excitement and curiosity about the adventure that lay ahead. One thing is for certain, wherever he is, he is embracing the journey and bringing light and humor.
Bruce is survived by his loving wife Marge, daughters Greta, Sally and husband Stephen Leach, and Betsy Blixt; grandchildren Estella and Ingrid Monaghan, in-laws Robert Pingul, Barb (Benson) and Bob Holien, Susie (Benson) Norby, Bruce and John Benson; nephews Robbie and Eric Pingul, Mike Eidenschink, Jim and Jeff Holien; nieces Kristi Pingul, Mary (Holien) Miner and Deb (Holien) Brink. He is preceded in death by his parents and younger sister, Janette Pingul.
Memorial services for Bruce will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, November 30, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church,365 Park Street, Peterson, Minn. Celebration of Life party to follow at 4 p.m. at the American Legion in Peterson, 410 Mill Street.