Bruce Gelotte Obituary, Death – On May 15, 2022, Bruce Gelotte, 71, of Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ entered into eternal life. Bruce was born in Englewood, NJ on May 10, 1951, to Hank and Burnece Gelotte. He grew up in Saddle Brook and, after graduating from high school, he worked his way through William Paterson University to become a respiratory therapist. Later, he earned his Master’s degree from Ottawa University, which allowed him to grow in his successful 34-year career as the Director of Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonology at Hackensack University Medical Center.
After a brief stint at retirement from 2014-15, Bruce returned to work as the Director of Respiratory Therapy at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic.
Bruce met his beloved wife Betsy (Elizabeth) while working together at Mountainside Hospital, and they married in 1982. They went on to have two daughters, Keri, and Sarah, to whom he was dearly devoted. From sewing Halloween costumes to chaperoning field trips to chauffeuring carloads of kids around, Bruce found such joy in being there for all of the big and little moments in his family’s life. This same love extended to his grandchildren who adored him beyond measure.
He could often be found creating complex structures out of blocks, playing hide-and-seek or soccer in the backyard, and snuggling with his little stinkerdoodles, Andrew Bruce, Charles William, and Audrey Elizabeth.
Bruce also loved being outdoors–even if he was just mowing the lawn. But his most precious adventures in nature are those he shared with Betsy.
They loved hiking and bird watching and porch sitting. Their ultimate outdoorsy adventure, visiting The Grand Canyon in 2020, fulfilled one of their lifelong dreams.
Bruce’s zest for life was admired by so many. He loved to learn new things and had so many hobbies–all of which he studied with such care and deliberateness. He practiced watercolor painting at the kitchen table and then joined his friends as Bruce-y Babe on their motorcycle rides. He was a black belt in karate, then later studied Qi Gong to keep him balanced as he fought and conquered CLL, a rare type of leukemia. He loved to help others, volunteer his time for charitable organizations, and he was Mr. Fix-it for more of us than we probably will ever know.
In recent years, Bruce found such joy in rehabbing a sports car and taking flying lessons–his childhood dream–in order to obtain his pilot’s license. It was here, soaring in the sky, that God chose to call Bruce home. This only seems fitting. After all, he was truly an angel on earth all this time.
Bruce will be sorely missed and forever loved by his dear wife, Betsy; his daughters and sons-in-law, Keri & Matt Myones and Sarah & Brendan Sterbinsky; his grandchildren, Andrew & Charlie Myones and Audrey Sterbinsky; his sisters, Laura Connolly and Pamela Stanziola & her partner, Frank Grady; and his in-laws, Tom, and Jan Sullivan; along with countless other family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. And, of course, his sweet puppy, Sage.
Bruce, you’ve earned these wings. The family will receive family and friends on Thursday, May 19, 2022, from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:30am – 10:30am at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481. The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday 11:00am at St. Luke’s Church, 340 Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ. Cremation will be private.