ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Bruce Shenk . 

THANK YOU All for attending the January 18th celebration of life party or sending beautiful notes or placing heart felt calls to us about Bruce's party.  The party was a PARTY, just like he would have liked with many, many laughs (some tears) honoring a wonderful person.  He is smiling with Geri in Heaven giving the thumbs up sign.  

Special thanks to Jayson M Laido for putting together the slide show and music for the party!

We would always welcome more stories on his website page.  If you add a 'Story' you can add pictures, whereas a 'Tribute' does not allow for pictures.

Posted by Kyle Shenk on January 20, 2020
Written from an email received from Bruce's dear friend and quarterback while at West Chester University - Jack Harrington - "I Always remember how we would jokingly remind each in our playing days, 'I will meet you at the flag in the end zone'. God Bless Old friend!!!! With love, respect, and admiration... Jack. Janice sends her love and caring also. You are a special friend whom we love. You will be missed!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Posted by LoriAnn Kriz on January 18, 2020
Kyle and Taryn - My memories of your parents are tied so strongly to my childhood.  I am so sorry I could not be at your dad’s memorial tonight, but I am thinking about him and all of you. He truly was a great man and so kind and generous with his life and spirit. He lit up a room when he walked in and was always smiling. He lived life fully and I am sure he and your mom are together now eagerly looking down on the beautiful families you have created. Much love to you all!
Posted by Cristina Buendia on January 13, 2020
Summer 2019, Jersey Shore

Tom and I shot down to Atlantic Highlands to have dinner with Danielle and Kyle. Brucey joined us and as always, he did not disappoint. He showed up with a smile, a devilish glint in his eye and great stories. We laughed hard...so, so hard.

It would be the last time I saw Bruce.

Yes, I'm incredibly sad Bruce no longer walks among us physically but my soul soars knowing that he's with Geri, the love of his life and a force in her own right.

See, that's the thing about Bruce (and Geri), they always - and I mean ALWAYS - showed up for us: members of their immediate and extended families, life-long friends and new ones, former students and esteemed colleagues.

My story is not unlike many of the people who came into contact with them. I was just one of the many lost souls who they took under their collective wing. It was a big, broad wing and they cherished and welcomed the responsibility of mentoring so many of us. They asked us questions (sometimes the ones we prayed they wouldn't ask), they nudged us when we needed a gentle push and they challenged us to be better. But in the end, all they ever wanted was for us to be happy. While I can't say I always understood why they cared so much, I am eternally grateful they did. We are all better human beings for having had Brucey (and Geri) in our lives.

Rest in peace, Brucey. Tell Geri I said hi and take it easy with the Heavenly Pickleball Championships, ok?

Much, much love,
Dini
Posted by Alicia Aninowsky on January 10, 2020
I was always touched by Bruce's connection to his grandchildren. I first met him when my kids went to pre-school with Taryn's, and he was very present in their lives. He would pick them up often, and whenever they'd see his face at the door they'd light up. His family was so lucky to have him for so long, and he'll forever be a role model for joy and love.
Posted by Taryn Lenahan on December 10, 2019
A letter from one of my father’s dear friends ❤️

Classmates--

   At 5 p.m. on Monday evening I called Kyle Shenk again to inquire about Bruce. "His breathing is slowing and he is taking very little nourishment of any kind, Definitely much weaker, " Kyle responded. Then there was a brief pause before Kyle said, "I can't believe it but he just opened eyes! We think he can hear what we say to him, though he cannot respond. Would you like to talk to him.?"  I was a bit surprised by Kyle's invitation but he turned on the speakerphone and said, "Go ahead--I know he will be happy to hear your voice." So I began...gave him my name, expressed my, and all his classmates, concern for him, assured him that he was in our thoughts and prayers. Then, for a moment, I was at a loss for words! (Yes, I know some of you will find that statement beyond belie!) But then suddenly, inexplicably, my mind returned to a muddy, sloppy rainy, chilly Saturday afternoon in November,1957. It was our final game with arch rival Milton Hershey School and the weather was the worst we had experienced that year--just awful. Such weather is a great equalizer in football because skill is essentially neutralized, the ball is wet, getting traction is impossible, every player is weighed down by mud and rain-soaked gear.  Put simply, our unbeaten season was in jeopardy. 
   I recalled that on that day, 62 years ago this month, Ben Klingler managed to throw a beautiful pass to the sprinting Bruce Shenk, who caught the ball in stride and managed to elude a tackler or two on his way to a touchdown. I think it may have been the only touchdown we scored, and though the game ended in a tie, we remained undefeated--because of Bruce's touchdown!
   I described that memory to Bruce and recall ending with the words, "Bruce, you saved our undefeated season. I hope you still have that memory too!
   Kyle came came back on the line at that point, thankfully. And with his voice breaking, he said, "Earl, I wish you could see his face now--he is smiling from ear to ear!  He really is! I'm sure he heard you--and that smile makes me believe he does remember that moment" 
   In the course of my ministry, I've had a few other such 'serendipitous moments' that buttress my faith in God and in human relationships. This is among them. I am so grateful that, in my moment of not knowing what to say, Something or Someone gave me words that became a conversation--some spoken, some said silently that testify eloquently to the sanctity of human relationships and eternal truths!

   Bruce had many spectacular moments in his athletic career, in both football and track in high school and track. And he was a very special person to all who new him. 

   Farewell, my Trojan brother! Rest in peace.

    Earl
Posted by Sandi Rygiel on December 5, 2019
Bruce Shenk wore many hats...guidance counselor,athlete, antique dealer and prankster. My life was touched by all those. “Counselor Bruce” was one of the first friends I made at James Caldwell H.S. “Athlete Bruce” put me on skis for the first time in 1970. And “Antique Dealer Bruce” (and Geri!) were the source of most of the antique furniture in our home. But it was “Prankster Bruce” that made the lasting impression. Twenty five years ago, Bruce was visiting us in MA. I told him about an acquaintance , who when diagnosed with a terminal illness, invited all her friends to her home so they could identify and label some possession of hers to remember her by...a plate, a picture frame, etc. That story resonated with me because I am connected to all my possessions too. Long after his visit, I went to one of the many pieces of furniture that came from Country Goose Antiques, opened a door only to spy a piece of masking tape with the names “Bruce and Geri” written in black magic marker. Weeks later, I picked up a flow blue plate and spotted the tape with their names scrawled on the back. I am STILL finding those identifiers all these years later on the bottom of carved decoys and on the edges of drawers rarely opened. Over the years, I never removed those labels. Now, they are a bittersweet reminder of a dear friend who will never be forgotten.
Posted by Barb Smith on December 4, 2019
Born in 1964, I cannot remember life without Bruce and Geri. There calmness, smiles and complete kindness were just always there. Whether it was West Caldwell, Martin’s Creek, Princeton, The Shore the location never mattered because the warmth and smiles would always appear. Thank you both for being a part of my childhood. One of my fondest memories of Bruce was when he helped me make a “pro-con” list to help me decide which colleges were best for me. I have used this concept many, many times in my life and last spring shared it with my oldest daughter as she made her college choice. Thanks Bruce! Miss you! ❤️
Posted by Karen Seligman on December 2, 2019
Taryn and I met about five years ago and from the start or our friendship I always looked forward to seeing her dad. Even when things were rough in his own life, as Geri’s illness progressed, Bruce always had a kind word, that smile that made you smile back, a joke or a pat on the arm. He was the grandpa at pick up who knew everyone, the kind of dad we all wish for — patient, interested, a willing giver of advice, but never insistent that you take it, nor did I ever hear an “I told you so”. Bruce had a quality that made you believe he saw the best in you, not naive of your faults, but willing to believe you’d overcome them. He touched the lives of everyone he met, even if just for a moment. I will miss him.
Posted by Brian Moriarty on December 1, 2019
“See You @ The Finish Line”

Bruce came to visit me at the Jersey Shore one beautiful Saturday morning this past June. Our meeting spot was the finish line of a triathlon race. When he learned I was raising some money for Geri he went out of his way to take the trip all the way to the shore just to shake my hand and look me in the eyes and say “Thank You”. 

I only knew Bruce for these very special 12 minutes in my life. We shook hands, had a brief hug, hung by the railing on the boardwalk and chatted for the remaining 12 minutes. I remember he came up holding a bottle of water for me. I invited him to breakfast, but time wasn’t on our side as he so badly wanted to catch one of his grandkids games.

We only had brief interaction that June morning, but I could tell even in that short time, Bruce was a man of character who completely adored his family, and was cut from a cloth not many can claim today. 

This is the Bruce I met, know, and will always remember. Dedicated and Kind. I felt really honored to have him come meet me, if only it was for 12 minutes, they are minutes I will never forget. I still have his voicemails on my phone and will likely keep them for the foreseeable future.

Thanks Bruce, I loved our time together. See you at the Finish Line. 
Posted by Kristi Nocera Harris on November 30, 2019
Bruce’s smile and cheers of encouragement for our boys on the lacrosse field always brightened my days! And his smile was contagious! It was always so refreshing to have a chat with him at games. I always walked away feeling lighter and happier from our interactions. He was such a sweet, kind and genuine man. Just knowing him made you want to be a better person. I am going to miss him terribly!
Posted by Renee Bryden on November 29, 2019
Blessed to have been one of Taryn’s college roommates...So many great memories of Bruce (and Geri) over these years....but one of my favorites...a parent’s weekend...walking from the parking lot to our dorm...he was leading the way for a large group of us...a few yards ahead he passed through a brick archway and then kind of ducked behind it...then popped back out and called to me very excited “come see...there’s a a little dog hiding over here!” Of course I ran over as quickly as I could....

When I got to the corner he was just about doubled over in fits of laughter....and I was just confused....there was a lonely beer can in the corner not a dog...and after he’d just about reached the point of tears he finally let me in on the joke...It was a can of Red Dog Beer...such a great ”Dad Joke”, before it was even a thing...such a great Dad...

He was always present...he never missed a trick, he never passed up the chance to make you laugh and he definitely never missed the opportunity to make you feel special, included and loved.

Thank you Bruce.
Posted by Tara Barnett on November 29, 2019
My friendship with Taryn developed in the later years of High School. I was frequently invited to her beach house in Normandy. When I say frequently - I mean just about every weekend. AND - yes I showed up every time! Mr. Shenk welcomed me in like I was family forever. I can remember him making us cheesy eggs while telling us jokes. His jokes were one of a kind! He would always make me laugh - Silly comments about chickens and egg yolks (the immediate family will know what I talking about)! I will forever hold onto all the moments where we shared laughter, smiles and love. ❤️
Posted by Jonathan Rose on November 28, 2019
Mr. Shenk was my guidance counselor at James Caldwell High School (class of 1979). His wisdom, insight and understanding helped my pick the right college for me which launched my successful career. Thanks, Mr Shenk. Rest In Peace.
Posted by Robert Asplund on November 27, 2019
I haven't connected w/ one of my fave teachers for, I guess, 48 years or so, I pray he had a good life and I'll never forget some of the kind words he wrote for my college recommendations.

Godspeed, my friend and teacher.
Posted by Theresa Telle Telle on November 27, 2019
I met Bruce in grievance group at Stephy's Place this past June. He was such a warm and caring person inside and out. He would speak of his late wife with such passion and sadness. You can tell immediately the love he held for her and his family. We all shared our stories and comfort one another through such a difficult time. I am so heartbroken that he left us so soon but I do know that he is with his true love that he missed so terribly. He will be so missed!!! My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Terry Telle

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Kyle Shenk on January 20, 2020
Written from an email received from Bruce's dear friend and quarterback while at West Chester University - Jack Harrington - "I Always remember how we would jokingly remind each in our playing days, 'I will meet you at the flag in the end zone'. God Bless Old friend!!!! With love, respect, and admiration... Jack. Janice sends her love and caring also. You are a special friend whom we love. You will be missed!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Posted by LoriAnn Kriz on January 18, 2020
Kyle and Taryn - My memories of your parents are tied so strongly to my childhood.  I am so sorry I could not be at your dad’s memorial tonight, but I am thinking about him and all of you. He truly was a great man and so kind and generous with his life and spirit. He lit up a room when he walked in and was always smiling. He lived life fully and I am sure he and your mom are together now eagerly looking down on the beautiful families you have created. Much love to you all!
Posted by Cristina Buendia on January 13, 2020
Summer 2019, Jersey Shore

Tom and I shot down to Atlantic Highlands to have dinner with Danielle and Kyle. Brucey joined us and as always, he did not disappoint. He showed up with a smile, a devilish glint in his eye and great stories. We laughed hard...so, so hard.

It would be the last time I saw Bruce.

Yes, I'm incredibly sad Bruce no longer walks among us physically but my soul soars knowing that he's with Geri, the love of his life and a force in her own right.

See, that's the thing about Bruce (and Geri), they always - and I mean ALWAYS - showed up for us: members of their immediate and extended families, life-long friends and new ones, former students and esteemed colleagues.

My story is not unlike many of the people who came into contact with them. I was just one of the many lost souls who they took under their collective wing. It was a big, broad wing and they cherished and welcomed the responsibility of mentoring so many of us. They asked us questions (sometimes the ones we prayed they wouldn't ask), they nudged us when we needed a gentle push and they challenged us to be better. But in the end, all they ever wanted was for us to be happy. While I can't say I always understood why they cared so much, I am eternally grateful they did. We are all better human beings for having had Brucey (and Geri) in our lives.

Rest in peace, Brucey. Tell Geri I said hi and take it easy with the Heavenly Pickleball Championships, ok?

Much, much love,
Dini
his Life

Albert “Bruce” Shenk Obituary

Albert “Bruce” Shenk, 83, passed away at his home in Little Silver on November 20th, 2019  surrounded by his loving family. Bruce was born and raised in Hershey, PA to the late Ira and Mary (Parmer) Shenk (1984/2005). He lived in Montclair and West Caldwell (1964-2004) and later moved to Normandy Beach, NJ (1984) with his wife, Geraldine, in 2004. Bruce and Geri moved to Little Silver in 2012. 

Bruce graduated from Hershey High School in 1954 and earned his B.S. Degree at West Chester University, PA (1959). A two-time All-American football player who was inducted into the West Chester Hall of Fame for Football and Nationally accomplished track athlete. Bruce went on to build an impressive and lifelong career in education.  While working as a math teacher, head football coach, and track coach at Phoenixville High School, Bruce earned his Masters Degree in Guidance and Personnel at Villanova University.  Bruce served as the Assistant Dean of Men at Bucknell University and then took on a guidance counselor position and Director of Guidance at James Caldwell High School for almost three decades (1965 – 1993). During this time, Bruce and Geri also started an antique business, focused on early American works that they ran successfully for almost 30 years. Bruce and Geri's passion for travel found them globetrotting the world over.

Bruce was a man full of energy and greeted everyone with a smile.  He made friends wherever he went.  Pop Pop (as Bruce was known to his grandchildren), took a very active role in his grandkids’ lives. Pop Pop rarely missed a game, a wrestling match, a race, a school play or music recital.  

Bruce was an ever-present and loving parent who loved cooking big holiday dinners for family and friends as much as he enjoyed sharing a cup of coffee first thing every morning.  Regardless of the occasion, Bruce had a natural gift of lighting up the room with his smile and his love of life. An amazing story teller and incorrigible practical joker, Bruce also had a passion for the outdoors. He loved nature, and like his Mother, was an avid gardener who loved tending to beautiful flowers and growing every kind of vegetable imaginable.  Bruce stayed extremely active to the very end. 

He is predeceased by his parents and his beloved wife whom he married in 1964 in Hershey, PA; his children and their spouses Kyle and Danielle Shenk of Atlantic Highlands, NJ and Taryn and Michael Lenahan of Little Silver, NJ; his sister Gladys Drobeck of Fredericksburg, TX and four grandchildren: Tori and Mason Shenk, and Aidan and Aubrey Lenahan. 

Bruce is now united with the love of his life Geri, and we are confident they are dancing in Heaven, smiling down upon us all.  

Bruce’s wishes are for the family to host a Celebration of Life Gathering.Details will be posted on his memorial website: bruce-shenk.forevermissed.com. On this site, friends and family are encouraged to share stories, upload and view pictures to pay tribute and preserve his memory for the countless numbers of people he touched including former students, athletes, his children and grandchildren.  The site will also be updated to announce the date and venue for the Celebration of Life Gathering sometime in December or January.
In lieu of flowers, Bruce also requested to consider donating to Stephy’s Place. Stephy’s Place provides free support groups to those who have lost a loved one. “After the death of our mom, our dad found great comfort at Stephy’s Place, in the presence of others who had also lost their spouses.” Your donations, in memory of Bruce, will aid in their mission of helping the bereaved in his name as Bruce found great friendship and comfort at Stephy’s Place after his beloved Geri passed away in April 2019. To make a donation click here: www.stephysplace.org - see the ‘Bruce Shenk Donation’ button at the top right of the page.
Recent stories

Places Bruce & Geri Adventures

Shared by Kyle Shenk on January 20, 2020
Their Adventures:
All 50 States
    
France - Paris, 
5x Italy (Rome, Florence, 
Sweden
Germany - Munich, 
Denmark - Copenhagen
Monaco
Luxembourg
UK - England, Scotland, 
Prague, Czech
Belgium - Brussels
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Canada - Nova Scotia, Quebec, Vancouver, 

Mexico
    4x Cabo San Lucas
    Play del Carmen
    Cozumel
    Puerto Vallarta
    Cancun

Caribbean
    Bermuda
    St. Lucia
    The Bahamas
    Martinique
    Antigua & Barbuda
    Cayman Islands
    Anguilla
    British Virgin
    3x Puerto Rico
    Tortola
    St. Maarten
    St. Thomas
    St. Johns
    St. Cruix
    Virgin Gorda


Quinnipiac girls remember Bruce

Shared by Taryn Lenahan on February 27, 2020
Memories from my beautiful friends
Shared by Dawn Barrett on January 9, 2020
I came to Caldwell in September of 1965 as a 21 year old first year teacher. I was terrified.  Bruce was the first person i ran into. He could see how nervous I was so we sat by the planter and talked. Within minutes he had me laughing and at ease. That was one of Bruce's great talents. He was sincere and genuinely concerned about people.His laughter was joyful and genuine as was his concern for others. When I think of Bruce I always smile. Thank you Bruce.