2019/08/obit-bruce-young-IMG_9038-189x300.jpgBruce Eugene Young passed away on Aug. 25 in Pagosa Springs, Colo. He was born Sept. 14, 1960, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.
Bruce attended Lutheran High School in Denver and Golden High School. Prior to that, he proudly served as the sixth-grade debate team captain. He grew up enjoying concerts at Red Rocks. Later in life, he became the owner of a backflow company in Pagosa Springs.
In his healthier days, Bruce would spend every other summer backpacking for four to five months at a time. He believed that the best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen and the memories you make along the way. Bruce described himself as a “blessed native” of the state of Colorado and really enjoyed all that the outdoors had to offer. He really learned how to “stop and smell the roses” and found great joy in the little things that really matter in life.
Following a backpacking trip along the Continental Divide Trail in 2001, Bruce stopped to pick up groceries in Pagosa Springs. He loved the town so much that he decided to make it his home. Bruce considered the community of Pagosa Springs to be his family and stated that the Lord’s will brought him here for his journey. He loved to tell people the theme song from “Cheers” is how the people of Pagosa Springs made him feel.
Diagnosed in January 2011 with colon rectal cancer, he was blessed to meet many caring souls along his journey with the disease. Cancer was a blessing for Bruce. The daily inspiration he received from his friends in Pagosa Springs kept him going for years and he in turn became a great inspiration to those who had the pleasure to know him.
Bruce loved the little things in life: a cup of coffee, the colorful flowers in his garden and his long walks around the town, where he brought smiles to many in his neon or tie-dye attire, bright blue eyes, funky sunglasses and a smile. He was definitely a “skip instead of walk” kind of guy, and that’s what made him so special. Despite his challenges, the joy these little things gave Bruce were constant reminders of God’s love for him.
Bruce was especially proud of his model railroad that he created, which won Grand Champion in the Archuleta County Fair. He had a tremendous passion for trains. In the 2017 Fourth of July parade, Bruce pedaled the entire route of the parade on a bicycle that he turned into a train — a float he built by himself. On the engine were the words, “I think I can. I think I can.” Crowds cheered him along the parade route, with many not knowing he was under the care of hospice at the time. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.
Bruce is survived by the community he loved and the community who loved him in return. He is also survived by his faithful service dog, Tellme, and his daughter, Briana Young.
“I’m going to go sliding into the end of my life yelling, ‘Whoopie!’” Bruce said. Coming from a man who rode his mobility scooter in the skate park, did donuts in the parking lot and dressed up in silly costumes for his friends at Pine Ridge to enjoy, it’s safe to say, he did just that.