Marilyn M. Bruce, 75: Fan of history, New England sports

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WEST BATH — Marilyn Marie “Guppy” Macklin Bruce died Jan. 13.

She was born Sept. 15, 1940, and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, the daughter of Earl and Marie (Wendt) Macklin. She attended Community Baptist Church, and began her career as a registered nurse by volunteering as a candy striper at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

After graduating from Medford High School in 1958, she trained at Widden Memorial Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. Over her long nursing career, Bruce worked primarily in obstetrics and helped bring hundreds of babies into the world.

In 1962 she married Donald A. Bruce Jr. Along with raising her children she worked at Cable Memorial Hospital. Bruce was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, where she would play the autoharp and teach Sunday School.

The family moved to West Bath in 1976. When she was younger, Bruce was a member of First Baptist Church of Bath and worked at Bath Memorial Hospital. She later worked at Parkview Hospital until she retired.

Bruce loved the outdoors. She enjoyed hiking, camping and walks on the beach. She especially loved boat rides and mackerel fishing from the Bruce family camp in Brighams Cove.

During retirement Bruce enjoyed the company of her cat, Papi, working in her yard and garden, watching her beloved Red Sox and Patriots and listening to Jimmy Buffet. She loved history, particularly anything to do with the Civil War and Joshua Chamberlain. Her house, built in 1760, was an ongoing restoration project that she took pride in. Bruce also helped save the one-room Littlefield School House in West Bath.

In recent years she was her granddaughter’s biggest supporter in her goal to become Miss Maine USA.

She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Elwell, of Port Orange, Florida, and Bethany McCabe, of West Bath; two sons, Donald Bruce III, of Brunswick, and Peter Bruce, of Framingham, Massachusetts; two granddaughters, Heather Elwell, of Los Angeles, California, Sarah Elwell, of Port Orange, Florida; a grandson, Timothy McCabe Jr., of West Bath; her former husband and friend Donald Bruce Jr., of Redlands, California; and a brother, Robert Macklin, of Stoneham.

The family would like to thank Dr. Rick Marden, Midcoast Hospital, Bath EMTs and the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31,  at First Baptist Church, 851 Washington St., Bath. In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to perform a random act of kindness.