A Day to Remember for Bruce

If you don’t know Bruce personally, then there’s a good chance you know his work. A leader in water closet engineering, Bruce is responsible for developing the first pressure-assisted water closet flush technology, which is now found in 60% of all homes in the United States.

After a long and successful career, and raising their son Chris with his wife Sue, Bruce moved into Oakmont Rochester Assisted, where he quickly struck up a friendship with Janell, the building’s activity director, and Michele, Oakmont’s Regional Manager. Delighted by Bruce’s friendship and good nature, both Janell and Michele decided they wanted to do something special for him.

Without letting Bruce in on the secret, Janell began to plan a big surprise. She asked him to keep a certain date in June free on his calendar and told him she was going to take him out to lunch. “It all started months ago when Janell told me to reserve a date in June for a trip,” Bruce said. “I was convinced we were going to a hamburger joint.”

Though Janell may have promised a hamburger joint, where she really wanted to take Bruce was much, much better. Her idea was to arrange lunch at his old club, Orchard Lake Country Club, where he had been Golf Chairman, and which he had talked about so fondly in their time together. Janell reached out to OLCC to explain her idea and let them know that she wanted to surprise Bruce with a visit. Once the staff knew who all of the festivities were for, they immediately said yes and the preparation began.

The Big Day Arrives

Bruce, Janell, Michele, and Bill.

When the day of the surprise finally came, Bruce, his friend Bill who also lives at Oakmont Rochester Assisted, Janell, and Michele, all got onto the Oakmont bus and made their way towards their destination. Slowly, as they began to drive by familiar streets, houses, and landmarks, Bruce began to put two-and-two together – quickly realizing they weren’t headed to the hamburger joint he was promised, and but were instead going to his old club.

They pulled into Orchard Lake Country Club, a place where Bruce has been a member for almost 30 years, and it was like nothing had changed. Staff members knew him by name (and member number), and welcomed him back with great delight. Bruce showed his party through the building and to the elevator which leads downstairs to a dining room for lunch. Little did he know there was another surprise waiting inside.

“When we got in the dining room, there were 17 people there – all of whom I’d known for years,” Bruce said. “And I thought, ‘son of a gun.’ Some of these guys I hadn’t talked to in a long time.”

An Incredible and Emotional Luncheon

A collection of longtime friends and club members had all come to surprise Bruce and honor him at the luncheon. A beautiful lunch commenced, with plenty of laughs, memories, and stories being told. Bruce was totally in his element, holding court at the head of the table and sharing warm smiles with old friends.

As the luncheon came to a close, Bruce went around the room and acknowledged every single person who attended by sharing a memory and thanking them for coming. It was an unforgettable moment for all. “I was overwhelmed by it,” Bruce said of the gathering of friends, old and new. “It was just incredible and emotional.”

One more surprise waited in store for Bruce before heading back home: a guided tour of the newly remodeled golf course at OLCC. Contacted by the club’s head golf pro, Bruce got to head out on a golf cart and see the newly redesigned layout first-hand. When asked how it compared to the layout he played and loved for so many years, he said simply, “well, that’s a whole other story.”