Bruce Michael Ouellette was born in Gardner, Massachusetts, to Antonio and Josephine Ouellette on July 15, 1948. His childhood years were spent living in Jaffrey, NH, where many of his relatives resided.
While in high school, Bruce worked as a stock clerk at Belletete’s Super Market. At 17-years-old, Bruce joined the US Army on August 16, 1965. He was stationed in Viet Nam; Korea; Germany; Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Hood, Texas; and Leavenworth, Kansas during his service. He was proud to be in the military. Bruce received his honorable discharge on May 17, 1978 (Total service: 12 years, 9 months, 3 days).
After serving in the Army, Bruce worked as a Collator Operator at National Cash Register (NCR) in Peterborough, NH. He then transferred to NCR in Corbin, Kentucky, where he worked as a Material Handler. In 1980, Bruce moved to California and took a maintenance position at Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. While at Addison-Wesley, he earned his Journeyman’s Level Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship for a Maintenance Mechanic from the State of California Department of industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
Over the years, he used his building maintenance skills at various places of employment and also worked as an independent contractor. Bruce had a great love for animals (cats: Bear and Be-Two; dogs: Bandit, Spotty, and Shannon). ln 1989, he enrolled in the Animal Health Technician Program at Foothill College. Having learned these new skills, Bruce volunteered and worked with veterinarians at several animal hospitals and at the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS). It was at PHS that he had his "15 seconds of fame" doing a commercial with one of the adoptable dogs as they promoted a local television channel.
Always looking for new adventures, Bruce traveled the United States in his RV with his dog Bandit. From 1993 to 1994 he was a Campground Host with the Volunteers in Park Program, Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades, Florida. Traveling back to California at the end of 1994, he was a Campground Host at San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, Santa Nella, California, for a few months then went back to Jaffrey, NH, where he purchased his first home. His greatest pride was his ability to purchase homes, fix them up, and then sell them. He did this eight times from 1995 to 2021 when he lived in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Arizona, and California. His last home was in Bakersfield, California.
During Bruce's life, he was married to Kim Nguyen, Wilma Helbert (daughter, Valerie Michelle Reed; son, Lee Michael Ouellette), and Denise Maraschin. He enjoyed playing his guitar, golf, and horseshoes; and taking care of his pets.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Lorraine Slagle, Constance Desmaris (Raymond), Jeannette St. George (Raymond), and Phyllis Gill. He is survived by his sisters Rachel Walsh (David) of Hanson, MA; Doreen Walsh (Hugh) of Placerville, CA; and Celeste Ouellette-Colmer of Winchendon, MA; brother Richard Ouellette (Linda) of Jaffrey, NH; his two children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Bruce's final days were at the Veterans’ Hospital in Los Angeles. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and an inoperable ulcer. He was brave to the very end knowing that his days were limited, and he would no longer be able to enjoy time with family and friends.
A graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Monday, June 27, 2022, at 11:00 AM, in St. Patrick Cemetery on Hillcrest Road in Jaffrey, NH 03452.