Bruce Swinyer obituary (1943 – 2021) – Bakersfield, CA


August 13, 1943 – October 8, 2021

Bruce was born in St. Albans, Vermont to Emory and Avis Swinyer. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family. When Bruce was 8, his family moved to Poultney, Vermont, where his father set up his doctor’s office in their home. Her mother was a registered nurse, who worked in her community and helped out in the home office.

Bruce attended Poultney High School at the University of Vermont and, after his father and older brother, the University of Vermont Medical School, received his MD in 1969. His sister also attended the University of Vermont. ‘University and became a registered nurse.

He then headed west, following the advice of a quote from Horace Greeley, inscribed on a plaque that Bruce passed daily in his small town, Go West young man, go West. Bruce accepted a medical residency in pathology at the Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco. Completing this in 1973, Bruce and his now wife Rosemary, also from Vermont, left for San Diego for Bruce’s required military service at Balboa Naval Hospital until 1975. After leaving this post, Bruce joined a pathology practice in Bakersfield, Calif., working first at Mercy Hospital, then at Memorial Hospital. Bruce served as the laboratory medical director and chair of numerous committees until his retirement in 2014. He was also the laboratory medical director and a member of the board of directors of KVHD in Lake Isabella.

Bruce loved his career and those he worked with, but was excited to retire so that he could devote more time to his true passion, large format black and white photography. Ansel Adams was his muse. Bruce was lucky to have met him several times. Bruce studied, adopted, and used many of Ansel’s techniques in his own darkroom. Bruce could spend hours talking about photography, as many friends can verify.

He had a wonderfully bold personality with many interests and high moral standards. The trips, both inside and outside the United States, were both invigorating and educational, with Bruce documenting all of his and Rosemary’s travels with as many photos as possible.

The greatest joy in Bruce’s life was his wife Rosemay and their three children. Home was his comfort and security. He was loving, gentle, funny, sensitive, empathetic, sincere, kind and caring towards his friends and others. He enjoyed engaging in conversations with almost anyone he met.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 49 years, Rosemary, son Jeffrey (Stephanie), son Justin, daughter Krista Thompson (Aaron), three grandchildren Madeline Swinyer, Parker Swinyer and Ivy Thompson. He is also survived by his brother Leonard (Thalia) and their children Laura Riley (Billy) and their children Casey and Christian, Michael (Lisa) and their children Thalia and Vincent, and his sister Elaine Swinyer.

The family thanks those who offered their condolences, help and support during this very sad and difficult time. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, November 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Gardens at Monji, 9401 Shellabarger Road, Bakersfield, CA. 93312.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Association at or to the local chapter would be appreciated.

Posted by Bakersfield Californian on Oct 31, 2021.

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