Let's celebrate his life!
March 18, 2018
Celebrating the life of Bruce Vatthauer!
He's reading ahead of all of us, onto the next chapter already.
So until we are able to catch up, we'll joyfully remember his life so far.
Please join us at his home on Sunday, March 18 at 1:00 pm
2571 Ridgecrest Ave.
Norco, CA 92860
Service will begin at 1:00 pm, followed by food and fellowship.
The service will be outdoors, and the weather is expected to be a bit chilly, so please dress warmly!
Please feel free to bring any pictures to share.
RSVPs are welcome.
Please email or call Doreen at 951-847-1904
Bruce Jeffrey Vatthauer was born September 29, 1952 in Galesburg Illinois to Martin and Ruth Vatthauer. He's the younger brother of Sharon Varner, a most beloved sister. In 1970, he graduated from Knoxville High School, and West Coast University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
He married Helsie Casidsid in Galesburg in 1977 after meeting in the Philippines while he was in the Navy. This gained him Annabella Casidsid (now Stamets) as a new daughter. In 1978, his son Curt was born, followed by his youngest daughter Doreen, in 1980.
Now, he has 4 grandchildren. From oldest to youngest, their names are Kaleb (23), Kelsie (21), Noelani (12) and Chase (5). As well as one great granddaughter, Annabelle (2)... and a great grandson due in May!
For the last several years, he worked as an Applications Engineer at ITT Goulds Pumps in the City of Industry where he spent a LOT of his time. Being very dedicated to quality work, and not wanting to let anybody down, he did his very best to meet deadlines with thoroughly accurate information.
When asked what the best time of his life was, he said, "1989-1990, the first 2 years of being in the business." This was in reference to the Worldwide Dreambuilders of Amway.
If he could go anywhere in the world, he would have gone back to the Philippines "because of so many good memories."
His favorite color is red. Because of the St. Louis Cardinals, of course!
Joining the Navy in 1970something, he served as a member of the crew on board the USS Scamp, a submarine.
History was his favorite subject in school, and museums are an exciting prosepct for him.
Did you know that, back in the day, he earned his pilots license? He flew Cessna airplanes in his younger years.
In high school, he played drums in the marching band.
Every year during Christmas, he enjoyed going to the Mission Inn in Riverside during the Festival of Lights. Traditions, it was one of his things.
He was excited to discover the "Elevator Music" station on Pandora one day. He also enjoyed listening to smooth jazz, Henry Mancini, Yanni, and Mannheim Steamroller during the holidays.
That's just a little bit about him. This wonderful person with a heart of gold.
If you have any stories about him that you would like to share, please send them to so that they can be posted below for his family and friends.
Click on the picture to see full size
David Thompson ~ Childhood Friend
Your father and I grew up and attended school together from K-12. He was one of my closest friends and I was deeply saddened by his passing. He was a wonderful person - with a quiet, kind, caring soul. I spent countless hours at his childhood home. We played baseball in his backyard and basketball in his driveway. We played baseball together from little league through high school. We were in scouts together. We built model cars and airplanes together (this was before internet and video games so we created ways to entertain ourselves). Our mothers were elementary school teachers together. I think I even had an adolescent crush on your aunt Sharon once. Your father was intelligent and though reserved, enjoyed laughing. We camped out together and had an absolutely splendid childhood of which I will always treasure his dear friendship. Once I left for college our reunions were further and farther apart until I lost contact many years ago. I'm sure you feel as though a piece of fabric has been torn from your heart but know his love and legacy lives on in your life and the lives of his loved ones.
Jose Gutierrez ~ Supervisor/Coworker
Bruce is always on our thoughts and we are excited every time we touch on projects that he had worked with the team, like the New product development VICR project (Vertical Industrial Canned Radial). His picture with the team demonstrates his enthusiasm to contribute on the future of ITT with new exciting products for our customers in the global market.
As most of the ITT employees remember that Pump School traditionally has been carried on in October at our City of Industry Plant and near-by Facilities. Last year, Bruce devoted a great deal of his time to prepare and made another successful Pump School where he demonstrated not only his technical knowledge of our products, but his ability to coordinate a large group of people with such an emotional intelligence to drive a great amount of participation within the group. I was personally delighted to see the other side of Bruce while leading the school agenda.
Many good memories while interacting with Bruce. Some of them were easy going thru collaboration and some others were tough because as we grow up, we become either more one sided or more forgiving. I guess we all have a little bit of both. All and all, a good friend is a friend forever and that is what Bruce left at VPO.
Sharon Varner ~ Sister
Bruce was a dare devil, there was not a tree too tall or a swing too high. When we were little we shared a room, he could jump from 1 bed to the other; must have been 100 feet, or so it seemed when you are little . Or he would tie a towel around his neck and Superman would come save me.
Every Sunday night we would talk on the phone for hours. He would always give me good advice and a shoulder to cry on. We were best friends when we were little and then when we were older. But I was a terrible teenager and he was always so sweet. Now I wish I had those years back. We had wonderful parents who raised us in the church, so I know Bruce is at peace and we will be together again. But I sure do miss my Sunday night call from my Superman.
Judy Leong ~ Coworker
I met your dad in 2014 when I started working for ITT as an Applications Engineer. Bruce was a great source of information for getting my feet wet with a new company. We hit it off right away as we found that we knew a lot of people in common from our past jobs in the pump industry. I stayed in Applications for only about a year and a half, and then was moved to another department. However, Bruce and I stayed in touch daily as we were walking partners during a morning break. We would take a 10 min walk each day to go off site and go down the block to where there were horse stables and corrals. During those walks Bruce would share stories of his family and their accomplishments. After you married and moved away, he was especially excited when you would visit and bring Prince, and Benka (RIP) for the weekend. In all the sharing we did, Bruce never had any unkind words to say about anyone. He was truly a kind soul. I miss him very much.
Jesse Cross ~ Son in Law
The first time I heard Bruce, it was a swear word. He didn’t know I was staying in the spare bedroom asleep because he came home so late from work. “Poop”, “Double poop”, or some version of those sentiments came from the living room. I was a little intimidated as I had recently started dating his beautiful daughter Doreen, and I wanted to make a good impression. So I was a little nervous upon our first meeting.
Well, years and many family outings later, I came to realize that Bruce is one of the nicest and most loving men I have ever met. Believe me, being married to his daughter has led me to have a deep appreciation for his patience and demeanor.
I loved to watch ball games with him and listen to his stories. Like flying over the grand Tetons, life on a nuclear sub, and the adventure in Amway.
He would help anyone who needed it at the drop of a hat.
He would lend money never expecting to get it back.
He would file his nails for an hour and a half.
He had the backyard with the nicest Bermuda grass.
When he went, he went fast.
I wish I had listened more.
I love you Bruce.
I’ll see you in heaven for sure.
Carlos Preciado ~ Coworker
He was my mentor and friend. I really miss him. There was a lot of times where it was just me an him in the office late at night. His hard work ethic is something I always admire about him.
Brigitte Lu ~ Coworker
I worked with your dad at ITT. Bruce used to call me Evilena as I would “pick” on him and Michael Carey (close co-worker in same dept.) about certain things. I grew very fond of your dad over the last couple of years, especially last year since his dept. moved closer to my area. He was easy to talk to even when he was busy. One funny thing about him was when he is telling you a funny story, he would end up laughing when the funny part is about to come. He would hit his palm on his chair arm, giggle and then proceed to the punch line.
He also had shared with me the outing he had with all of you and Sharon at the pancake house and the movies. We discussed how hip they try to make Aunt May to be. We talked about many things and he was very open with his illness to me and Michael. Of course, he was so proud and happy with his family. He even shared pictures of you guys with me – last year’s father’s day, bday airplane ride, etc. Oh, there are so many great memories to be shared with you. One last one – 2 years ago, your mom helped make lumpias for our company potluck. Later that day, I suggested Bruce to take his ex-wife to dinner to show his gratitude. I was trying to bring them back together. Bruce kept saying, oh I did tell her thank you. I said, that’s not enough, you really need to take her out to dinner, ok. He giggled lightly and said, “hmmm…I don’t know how to tell you. Oh what the heck…my ex-wife and her husband are staying with me…” you could imagine my surprise, and I told him, wow…that’s very good of you. He said, well she is the mother of my children. That says it all about Bruce – a truly good man! Oh, I miss him so much at work (teary-eyed).
Jim Johnson ~ Childhood Friend
Bruce and I first met in 7th grade and continued in school together through high school and two years at Carl Sandburg College. We have been friends our whole lives and always made a point of getting together when possible although it was tough to do with me being in Illinois and he in California.
He was such a good guy, usually quiet, always kind, but had a distinctive laugh and a bit of a wild side he kept pretty well hidden.
My favorite memories of Bruce; I remember when he got his pilot's license and a few weeks later he showed up at Janice and my apartment on a Saturday morning (had to be early 1973) and wanted me to fly with him just around Galesburg. I was a little apprehensive as I knew he hadn't been flying long, but it worked out great. It was my first time flying, but was a fun day.
I flew with him another time from Galesburg to the Moline airport and back as he wanted to practice takeoffs and landings. That was a good day also.
Labor day weekend of 1971 Bruce, R.J. White and I decided to go to the Lake of the Ozarks and camp out. I had never been there before, but I think Bruce had been there. Anyway, I still remember driving all day Friday in the rain (its about 5 hours away), and we set up the tent in the dark that night. The best part of the trip was the next day when we rented a boat (not easy as no one was 21 yet), and went out on the lake. Bruce wanted to water ski as he had done it before. It was my first time driving a boat and pulling a skier so some funny moments occurred since neither R.J. or I knew exactly how it was supposed to work. I would take off pretty fast and get Bruce up, but maybe not quite fast enough and Bruce would wave his arm, I guess wanting to go faster. However, R.J. said I think he wants you to slow down so I did and Bruce would sink again. It was pretty funny watching him try to ski with the water up to his knees. I had an 8 mm movie camera at the time and R.J. caught the whole thing on tape. i wish I still had that tape. We'd convert it and i'd give you a copy. We headed back Sunday and stopped at Six Flags at St Louis. Got home Monday. Great Weekend.
Anyway, over the years we tried to keep in contact and get together when we could. We met Bruce for dinner one night in July 2012 in Anaheim, but got together quite a few times when he was back in Knoxville. The last time was last summer when he was back and came out to the farm for a cookout. Jeff Brock was here also and along with Janice we had a great evening and did a lot of catching up.
Lorrie Jagiello ~ Niece
My Uncle Bruce was someone I looked up to both literally and figuratively. I have many memories from over the years even though we lived so far apart. I was the flower girl in his wedding but forgot to throw the petals until after the ceremony! When my grandparents retired, they took my brother Tim and I to California (by car!) to visit Uncle Bruce and his family. We went swimming in the ocean near San Diego, visited Coronado Island, Disneyland and Universal Studios. For a ten year old- it was a trip of a life time. But life moves on and years fly by. I am forever grateful he was able to travel to Knoxville and drive my grandparents to my wedding in Des Moines. Aunt Lois and Aunt Margaret shared the car ride.
A few years later when grandma past away, I was pregnant with Sarah and Rachael was just turning two years old. Uncle Bruce and Rachael played with the Tupperware shape sorter for hours! Several years later I was in Burbank for a conference and Uncle Bruce met me for dinner at the hotel. He told me stories about my mom when she was a teenager. It was very kind of him to drive to meet me after a long day at work.
I will always remember him as the kind, witty, smart man who my mom was lucky enough to have as a brother.