Bruce Warren Coulson, friend and father, passed away on January 23, 2020 at his home in Corvallis, Oregon. He was 71 years old.
Bruce was born in Hays, Kansas on February 4, 1948, the second son of M.F. and Cora (Stuckey) Coulson. Like his brother Jim, he attended Washington Grade School and joined scouting, becoming an active participant in the Boy Scouts of America and for several years attended the national jamboree at Philmont Scout Ranch. A1966 graduate of Hays High School, Bruce showed an early affinity for writing, contributing to the student newspaper and Indian Call, Hays High’s yearbook. That interest continued into his college years. He graduated with a BA in English from Fort Hays State University in 1971. While there Bruce was in the first pledge class to become members of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
After graduating, Bruce began a lifelong career in education. He taught in Gallop, New Mexico and Hutchinson High School before returning to Fort Hays to earn a master’s degree in educational counseling in 1981. For the next 32 years he was a middle school and high school counselor, first in central and western Kansas, then in Colorado and New Mexico. His attraction to New Mexico began with summer vacations as a young boy at the family’s cabin on Taos Creek, then a pristine landscape he loved almost as much as western Kansas.
Bruce married Kingman, Kansas native Linda Ewy in 1996, and their son, Aidan James, was born the following year. Upon Bruce’s retirement in 2013, the family moved from Grants, New Mexico to Corvallis, Oregon where Aidan finished high school. Bruce and Linda divorced in 2014. During his years in Corvallis, Bruce attended the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He no longer hunted pheasants but often shot skeet, and he enjoyed spending time in his local community garden.
Bruce Coulson is remembered as a loyal friend who maintained many of the attachments formed early in his life, both to the people and to the land where he grew up. He was an active reader throughout his life, and his thoughts and observations live on in the margins of the many books he left behind. Well-versed in contemporary literature and politics, he never lost his wry sense of humor, viewing the travails of the world more often as comedy than as missteps and lost opportunities.
Bruce is survived by his son Aidan, now a senior at Portland State University. A memorial service in Kansas is pending.