Richard Bruhns Obituary (1940 – 2023) – Napa, CA
Richard M. Bruhns
April 5, 1940 – March 9, 2023
In Napa, CA, a 5th generation San Franciscan, our dear Rich lost his brave 18 month battle with esophageal cancer after surviving two previous bouts of cancer. Rich had a zest for life that infected everyone who knew him. Humor and fun were things he sought in everything he did. As a talented autodidact on the ukulele, guitar, banjo and dulcimer, he was always looking for the latest challenge. Black and white photography, woodworking, Hawaiian feather art, poetry, scuba diving, skiing, duck hunting, and swing dancing were among the many things he loved. An All-City swimmer in high school, he was a member of the Dolphin Club and swam the Golden Gate several times. Besides everything he loved in his life, he loved his family more than anything. He was so proud of her that he boasted about it to anyone who would listen.
Predeceased of his adored son, Gary Bruhns, and loving parents, Helen and Henry Bruhns, Rich is survived by his esteemed wife, Sally, who is 61 years old; his beloved daughter Renee and Rich Duran; dear son of Greg and Mo Bruhns; dear grandchildren Ellie and Amy Bruhns; and Spencer, Cooper and Calvin Bruhns. Also dear friends Roger, Kareen, Mel, Colin, Harriet, Louie and many other friends and family members.
Rich attended West Portal, Aptos, Lincoln HS and City College in SF before moving to Cal in Berkeley where he met and married Sally, the love of his life, while they were students at Cal. He’s been a loyal Old Blue his whole life – GO BEARS! After graduating with a BA in geography, he was a member of the UA Local 38 Plumbers Union; had a teaching diploma and taught at the apprentice school; worked as a plumber; as a wholesale supplier to his father at Bruhns Sanitary Supply; and graduated as a buyer from AR&B Mechanical Contractors.
After retiring and moving to Napa, Rich became a master gardener in Napa County, where he made many good friends and learned how to grow the most delicious heirloom tomatoes.
Aside from being with family and friends, his favorite thing to do is sip a mai tai at the bar in Kimo’s on Maui while watching the sun go down.
Rich had a warm heart and beautiful soul and will be greatly missed by those who knew him. We shall not see his like again.
Special thanks to Dr. Ari and the staff at the St. Helena Cancer Center and the many doctors who have cared for him over the years. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your preferred charity.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle on March 17, 2023.
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