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Bellville Times
Bruce William Meinert passed on to be with his Savior on Aug. 1, 2006 with
his devoted wife, Ellen Wetherington at his side.  He was 57 years old.
Bruce was born in Bellevue, Penn. on Feb. 14, 1949 and grew up in
Birmingham, Mich. He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, where his
parents served as Youth minister and church Librarian. After a diving
accident at the age of 13 left him paralyzed, Brucešs determination and the
support of his loving parents pulled him though a long recovery to become an
example of inner strength to all who met him. Prayers were answered when he
was able to walk again and resume his education.
He graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham then Ferris State
College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying. His
education never ended and he was always exploring new things to learn. After
taking up the hobby of archery as part of his rehabilitation, Bruce became
so proficient at the sport that he worked as the Archery instructor at a
summer camp in Ohio. Other college break jobs included working on survey
boats for NOAA, monitoring water table levels in the Great Lakes.
After graduation, he moved to Houston, working for Stewart Title then Decca
Surveying on offshore survey boats. Always interested in learning new
skills, when he first moved to Houston, Bruce even worked on Saturdays at
Daniel Boone Bicycle Shop so he could learn more about his newest hobby of
cycling. Most suspected he would have worked there for free, just for the
knowledge and new friends he made, but that was the way Bruce approached
every job he ever had
In 1979, he started his career in the Land Department at Shell Exploration
and Production, developing an expert knowledge of lease and contract
computer systems, data retrieval and reporting. He had a unique ability to
bridge the gap between the Land professionals and the computer folks in IT,
the Information Technology department. Bruce was often called upon to create
understandable reports for management out of the dark realms of the computer
database where most of us fear to tread. He was a natural teacher, always
studying to stay one step ahead of his co-workers, so that he would be
available to help them with any new computer dilemma. Bruce ended his career
at Dominion Exploration and Production in Houston, where he had worked for
the past three years. His title was Senior Business Systems Analyst but he
was known as The Guy to call to figure out a new computer application or
explain how to retrieve information for use. He would shrug off most
compliments because he always thought he could have done better for his
friends. And Bruce always referred to his co-workers as his friends. He made
friends easily and made each one of them feel important even though he
tortured unsuspecting people with the worst puns ever. He delighted in
sharing his skills with others. He had the good fortune to find wonderful
companies that recognized his sharp mind and creative talent but most who
knew him well, realized that he always had to have a special project going
and that he approached new challenges with an amazing tenacity to solve a
As much as Bruce enjoyed his work, he also enjoyed a variety of hobbies. He
was a member of the Houston Bicycle Club and the Two Wheel Transit
Authority, managing large events with thousands of riders on the annual
Moonlight Ramble through Houston as well as the Easter Hill Country Tour in
Kerrville.  He first fell in love with Austin County from his bicycle seat
as he rode around our area to design bike rides here.
 He was a Hot Air Balloon pilot of his own balloon named ŗBluebonnet˛,
taking friends and family on free flights, in return for waking them at the
crack of dawn to serve as balloon crew and this is where he met and fell in
love with his future wife Ellen His advice on how to make a good marriage
was to always marry your best friend. Their first date was a driving tour
through Austin County and some of his happiest times were long driving trips
in the country with a Roads of Texas map on his lap, navigating while Ellen
drove. They married on November 19, 1983 and made their first home in
Houston. They moved to Bellville in 2001 into a comfortable country home
designed by Bruce with a big kitchen to welcome friends for casual dinners
and a great porch for sitting and rocking.
 Bruce loved to travel and see new places. He enjoyed trying new cuisines.
Locally, he was a regular visitor and also a member of the Cowboy Club at
Latigo, where he delighted in the fact that he rarely had to read the menu,
because Chef Doug would usually greet him, then inform him what new menu
item Bruce would be eating that evening.  Bruce himself was an accomplished
and creative cook, usually treating his wife by preparing the holiday meals
with the help of his visiting Mom or with his favorite cooking buddy, J.J.
Bruce firmly believed that we are put on this earth to share our blessings
with others. He volunteered for, or rather he endured Ellen signing him up
for, various activities in Bellville and beyond. At some point, Bruce said
he decided it was easy not to ask any details and just wanted to be told
where to be and when. He volunteered with Hearts & Hooves, an organization
training miniature horses to work indoors in hospitals, rehab centers and
nursing homes. He would often be called upon at a public event, if one or
two of the horses got restless, to take them on their leads and race around
the parking lot with the tiny horses racing at full speed. No one could tell
whether he or the horses were enjoying it more. For the last three years, he
and Ellen ran the Christmas Wish Toy Project for the children in Austin
County, hoping to spread Christmas blessings to those whose holiday may not
be as merry as most. Although he used his computer skills to design and
maintain the foundationšs records, Bruce also renewed his bike repair skills
as he assembled innumerable bikes before another volunteer thankfully came
on board. Bruce remained Chief advisor on picking out the perfect Teddy
Bears. A broken leg one year didnšt even keep him from his gift wrapping
Bruce is survived by his loving wife, Ellen Wetherington; parents Bill and
Lois Meinert; aunts and uncles Karen and Wayne Brumm, all of Green Valley,
Ariz.,  Bob and Betty Brumm of Seminole, Fla.; cousins Tom and Jody Meinert
and Flip Brumm of Colorado, Jim and Barb Meinert of Minnesota and Dr. Connie
Brumm and family of Seattle; best buddy, Richard Williams, as well as
innumerable other family and friends.
The service was at St. John Lutheran Church 520 N. Holland Street in
Bellville on Wednesday Aug. 9 at 7 p.m., with Pastor Jennie officiating.
For those who have asked the family for guidance, they are asking in lieu of
flowers, that memorial donations be made to The Christmas Wish Foundation
(c/o First National Bank of Bellville, PO Box 128, Bellville, Texas 77418)
or the charity of your choice.
His large flock of friends, although shocked at his sudden passing, have
been a great comfort to his family. Bruce left us all better for having
known him. His greatest charm was that he didnšt have a clue how special he
was.  He will be greatly missed by all.
Posted by Joy Neely


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