James Bruce Donaldson, 93, of Lake Leelanau, died suddenly on Wednesday August 10, 2022 at his home. Bruce was planning to celebrate his 100th birthday and, given his tenacious and determined character, his family and friends expected no less. The sudden loss of a loving husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, colleague and friend is felt by many.
Bruce was born on February 15, 1929 in Washington, DC, the son of James and Kathleen Donaldson. He attended Huron High in Huron, Ohio before receiving a scholarship to Fenn Collage in Cleveland, Ohio, earning a degree in chemical engineering in 1951.
From there he took a job with Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Akron, Ohio and continued with the company until 1975. His work at Goodyear took him to India where he served as Chief Technology Officer and had the honor of working briefly alongside Mother Teresa. It was during this time that her only child Kim was born.
After his tenure at Goodyear, Bruce moved north and purchased the Busy Bee Lumber Yard in Greilickville, Michigan, which he ran until it was sold in 1993. Around this time, he started his advice; JBD Management served as financial advisor and business consultant for Shugart Builders until his retirement in 2007.
On February 14, 2009, he married his longtime partner, Jane (Trezise) Donaldson, in an intimate ceremony at their home.
Those who knew and loved Bruce well knew that there was no place on earth that made him happier and more contented than his house on the hill (except a trip to Grand Cayman from time to time). A voracious reader, he spent many happy days reading quietly and “walking” around the yard to check on the progress of his many trees and plants. It was well known that Bruce was perfectly content with his own and his wife’s company and needed little socializing.
He was constantly and adamant himself, making room in his quiet life for those he loved to share a stiff drink, a cup of strong coffee, or a good round of gin rummy. His keen sense of humor and optimistic nature made him an interesting conversationalist, and his keen business acumen a source of wisdom and advice that will be forever missed.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Jane; his daughter, Kim (Richard) Balke; his stepdaughters, Sarah (Matt) Peschel, Katherine (Julian) Feick; his grandchildren, David Fear, Dana Fear; step-grandchildren, Beau Peschel, Linden Peschel, Evelyn Feick, Edith Feick; his great-grandchildren, Reece Fear, Allison Fear, Cielle Fort, Leland Fort, Vida Fort; niece, Patty Hughes; and his friends, Dennis (Erika)Fergurson and Fred Schlegal.
His parents predeceased him; one brother, James R. Donaldson; special parent, Rex Hughes; and special friend, Steve Galla.
A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at the Donaldsons’ home on September 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Please share your memories and condolences with Bruce’s family at www.martinson.info
Arrangements are with Martinson Funeral Home and Leelanau Cremation Services.
Send flowers: what is the deadline for ordering?
Next day delivery
ANY DAY OF THE WEEK
Order anytime up to the day before
Same day delivery
Order before 2 p.m.
Order before noon
Order before 3:00 p.m.
The day before
Order before Saturday