F. Bruce Waechter passed away peacefully on December 15 at Spring House Estates, Lower Gwynedd.
Bruce was a devoted and loving husband and father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was an active member of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church for over 60 years and cherished the many friendships he made through his life all the way from his high school years to his years at Spring House Estates.
Bruce was born in Germantown, PA, on April 26, 1935, to Emma and Walter Waechter. He attended Grammar School at West Oak Lane, before beginning his studies at William Penn Charter School in 7th grade, where he participated in many sports and activities. Bruce continued to be an involved and committed student at Lehigh, where he was President of Student Government and his fraternity, Sigma Chi, in addition to becoming editor of the college yearbook.
As yearbook editor, Bruce attended the Collegiate Press Conference in October 1954 in Washington, DC. In true fairy tale fashion, he met the love of his life, Janet Aiman, from Drexel University. They married on June 30th, 1956.
Bruce and Janet began their married life in Schenectady, NY, where Bruce was working for General Electric in a management training program and where son Rick was born. After short stints in Paterson, NJ and Lynn, MA, Bruce and Janet settled in Upper Dublin, with daughters Susan and Jill born in the next few years. Bruce and Janet remained in Upper Dublin for 55 years, before moving to Spring House Estates in 2014, where they enjoyed making many new friends and taking part in dinners and many wonderful activities.
Bruce spent 35 of his 39 working years with General Electric, mostly in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, in their Aerospace Division. He held various managerial positions for projects involving early satellite surveillance and reentry vehicle missile programs. His work career at GE culminated as the project manager for the development and installation of a satellite communications ground station in New Mexico.
Bruce was never one to let the grass grow under his feet – he was an active volunteer throughout his adult life. He began his volunteering with Jaycees, his children’s sports and scouting activities, before becoming a particularly committed and greatly valued volunteer at UDLC. Bruce was the church Finance Chair for over 30 years, but also found time to serve as the Sunday School Superintendent in the 1970’s and as property chair of the Rose Hill Cemetery for over 15 years. Bruce also supported his wife Janet in her many volunteer activities at Artman Lutheran Home and Fox Chase Cancer Center, as well as Janet’s work helping to fund a Lutheran college in Tanzania.
Bruce and Janet especially enjoyed time with their children and extended family, making regular trips to visit children and grandchildren in Minneapolis and Denver. Bruce greatly enjoyed skiing - ski trips became an annual way to get the far-flung family together. Bruce visited over 40 different ski areas, including many Colorado slopes, Jackson Hole, WY, Whistler, BC, and even a trip to the Matterhorn area in Switzerland. Bruce and Janet also enjoyed travelling with friends and family to over 30 countries, including most of Europe, China, Egypt, Peru, and Tanzania.
Bruce’s devotion to his family was especially evident in his role as the unofficial family photographer. He loved to take videos and pictures of family times together and then preserve those moments for all of us. Bruce has created and shared family photo calendars, which we all treasure, for over 20 years.
Bruce and Janet were together for 65 wonderful years. Janet died in 2021 and he has missed her every day since then.
Bruce left a legacy of great love and devotion to all of his extended family. Bruce was preceded in death by his wife Janet in July 2021, as well as his brother Walter and sister-in-law (Lorraine), sister-in-law Ellen (Aiman), and brother-in-law Doug Clarke. He is survived by a sister-in-law, Patricia Aiman, children Rick (Lauren) of Weston, MA, Sue (Kevin) Janke of Noblesville, IN, and Jill (Jim) Cornell of Long Lake, MN; grandchildren Caitlyn (Tim) Morgan, Daniel (Heather) Janke, Tim (Jill) Janke, Erik Waechter, Megan Janke, Sarah Cornell, Luke Waechter, Andy Cornell, and Hunter Waechter; great-grandchildren, Kayla and Tyler Morgan, Caden, Emma, Mayela and Samuel Bruce Janke, and his niece and nephews and their families.
Visitation will be on Saturday, January 6, 2024, beginning at 10 am, followed by a service at 11 am at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, 411 Susquehanna Rd, Ambler, PA, 19002, with Pastor Keith Anderson officiating. Burial will be private at Rose Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Upper Dublin Lutheran Church.
Arrangements are made by Shaeff-Myers funeral home in Ambler.