MENDOTA - Bruce Alan Smith, 75, died Oct. 25, 2020.
The son of Margaret Huss Smith and J. Marvin Smith, he graduated from Mendota Township High School in 1962. He then attended Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa where he played basketball for four years, received a B.A. in education, and earned the nickname “Boris” for his love of Boris Karloff movies.
After graduation, Bruce returned to Mendota and taught in the Maytown and Amboy school districts. He shared his deep love of history with his students, who were primarily in junior high. Despite the popular opinion on 12- to 14-year-olds, Bruce thought children this age were interesting and worthwhile human beings in their own right. He never tired of trying to develop lesson plans and teaching methods that would best reach all of his students. Throughout the 70s and 80s, he spent his summers fishing in Saskatchewan. After leaving teaching, he was able to devote most of his time to hunting, fishing and regaling friends with stories of his outdoor adventures. “Star Wars” came onto the scene and “Boris” became “Darth” and he started a life-long hobby of finding T-shirts that were designed to provoke a reaction. He was active with the Mendota Community Theater. He was especially proud of his work on “The Diary of Anne Frank” and treasured the time he spent with his fellow MCT members.
Bruce particularly enjoyed hunting with black powder rifles, and he shared his expertise by writing for various black powder and hunting magazines. He had been looking forward to the end of COVID restrictions so he could return to fishing in Canada. He is sorely missed by friends and family.
Memorials can be directed to Colonial Williamsburg, colonialwilliamsburg.org or the Second Amendment Foundation, saf.org.