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It is was profound sadness, grief, and utter shock that we, the Marvin Bruyere family of the Couchiching First Nation, Bear Clan, regrettably and painfully announce the passing into the spirit world of our brother, uncle, “cuz,” nephew, and friend, Colin Ross Bruyere.

“Cokes or Co,” as he was affectionately known, passed to the ancestors around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 watching NASCAR at home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with his devoted wife nearby. He was 49 years old.

Colin, the youngest of five, graced this world with his presence amid the dog days of summer on Aug. 21, 1969 in Fort Frances, Ont. He grew to be a most excellent young man whose love for life, laughter, family, and friends compelled him to leave an everlasting impression on most everyone who has the honour of knowing him.

His formidable size and stature easily was dwarfed by his boisterous laughter and enormous loving heart. All who know him well knew that underneath his rugged warrior-like persona, he was just a big ol' teddy bear waiting for someone to share his love and laughter.

Colin loved many things, first and foremost his soulmate, “Jesse,” and family and friends. He loved laughing and a good joke—even at his own expense.

He was quick to find the humour in all situations. He loved NASCAR, especially the # 3 Earnheart legacy, and was skilled with auto mechanics. Colin loved animals, especially his cat, “Muffin.” He also loved hot, spicy food shared with friends.

He became deeply passionate with his drumming and singing at pow-wows and exploring his indigenous spirituality. He also enjoyed camping and fishing, and especially spending time with his nieces and nephews.

From an early age, Colin loved cars and was naturally adept with tools. His dream was to work on a NASCAR pit crew. His journey started during his high school years, studying automotive and working at MacDonald Motors as a shop assistant. After graduating highs school, Colin moved to Thunder Bay, Ont. to study welding techniques, receiving his certification in two years.

He was well on his path to apprenticeship and NASCAR when he made the ultimate sacrifice. He put his dreams on hold to honourably and generously move home to aid his ailing mother until her passing in 1999.

Colin met his wife, “Jesse” Jade Johnson, and moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They were married on Sept. 2, 2006 and began a life together there. Colin continued his dream by working as an auto mechanic in Cedar Rapids until health issues caused his early retirement.

During his health challenges, his devoted wife, Jesse, and her family diligently were at his side tending to his every need until his final house. Colin will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Colin was predeceased by his parents, Marvin and Catherine Bruyere; younger brother, Andrew; his grandparents; and his beloved cat,"Muffin.

He is survived by his wife, Jade “Jessie” Bruyere and the Richard Johnson family of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sisters, Joanne Bruyere and Lori (Ken) Rousseau; and brothers, Arden (Jodee and Blue) Bruyere and Greg (Connie) Bruyere.

He also is survived by his nieces, Catherine Bruyere-Hands (Trevor Hands), Laura Rose Bruyere, and Justine Hoard; nephews, Dave (Ashley) Rousseau, Robin Simmons, Aaron Meyers, Joseph Bruyere, and Kayden Bruyere; and great-nieces and nephews, Malena Rousseau, Axton Rousseau, Dylan Simmons, Lyric Simmons, and Everleigh Simmons.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, Ont., with Fr. Alan Albao officiating.

If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 730 Syndicate Ave. S., Thunder Bay, Ont., P7E 1E9.

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