School 07

Gary D. Bruch

May 8, 1941 ~ August 23, 2021 (age 80)


Gary D. Bruch, 80, passed away on August 23, 2021 at Newman Regional Health. Born on May 8, 1941 to Merle and Marie (Duncan) Bruch, Gary lived on his farm in Strong City with his wife of 43 years, Brenda (Miller) Filinger.

Gary is survived by his children Danny Bruch and wife Kari of Emporia; Wendy Bruch and partner Eddie Williams of Kansas City, MO; Debbie Rogers and husband Derek of Lawrence; Jeff Filinger and wife JoAnn of Cuba, KS; Lisa Eidman and husband Steve of Cottonwood Falls, and Brian Filinger and wife Penny of Emporia. His 11 grandchildren include Darian, Ross, Erin, Claudia, Julia, Lydia, Max, Guy, Jake, Piper, and Andrew and great-granddaughter, Franklynn. Gary also leaves behind a brother, Michael Bruch and wife Ethel of Kingman, and sister, Johneen Koestle and husband Steve of Partridge, plus nieces and nephews, Michelle, Melissa and Derek.

Teacher. Farmer. Rancher. Community servant. Gary enjoyed several careers during his life. Gary thrived at serving as an elementary school teacher for 35 years. He taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades in Cedar Point and Strong City, and remained a loyal Lady Bulldogs basketball and softball fan long after he retired.

As his “second act,” following his service as an educator, Gary embraced his role as a farmer and rancher. He excelled at raising Longhorn cattle, and was deeply involved in the International Texas Longhorn Association for more than 30 years. He served in numerous roles with the association, including as past president and treasurer.

Gary gave generously of his time and talents to support his community. He held the role of Chase County Commissioner for several years. And, he extended his commitment to the community he loved by serving on the Strong City Rodeo Board and the Chase County Fair Board.

Favoring old westerns and 50’s music, Gary was happiest being on his tractor and working his farm. He was dedicated to the land in numerous ways. He created a fish hatchery and, when relaxing, preferred the sport of fishing. His spirited efforts to “catch a big one” led him from deep sea fishing to Central America.

Growing up, Gary lived in Kingman County and graduated from both Arlington High School and Emporia State Teacher’s College.

During recent years Gary and Brenda were active members of Grace Lutheran Church in Strong City, where they enjoyed the companionship of many friends. Reverend Clifford Winter of Grace Lutheran Church will preside at a graveside service for Gary at 10:00am on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at Miller Cemetery, 1909 UP Rd, in Cottonwood Falls. Memorial donations may be made to Chase County Athletics or Chase County 4-H, in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845.

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