David Bruce Chittock, age 89, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, on September 29, 2023. Known as Bruce to most and Bop to his family, he was born on July 25, 1934, and after living in Chagrin Falls, in 1942 moved to the house his parents built in rural Bainbridge, joined by brother Clive and Sister Bonnie.
Bruce was a gifted student and outstanding athlete, excelling in football (six-man), baseball, basketball and track at Bainbridge High School, from where he graduated in 1951 with a class of fifteen. Bruce attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in industrial engineering and met the love of his life, Geraldine Smeiska. Bruce was drafted into the army after graduation, and while stationed at Fort Knox, KY, Bruce and Gerry were married in 1957, a union that lasted 66 years.
After his army service, Bruce and Gerry settled in Auburn township and began raising their two boys, David and Chris. There they reconnected with Bruce’s high school pals, some of whom are friends to this day. Bruce and Gerry joined Valley Presbyterian Church in 1959, and have been active there for the past 64 years, with Bruce serving in a variety of volunteer roles, including as a deacon, a Sunday school teacher, and a member of the choir. Bruce worked as an industrial engineer for GE, Eaton Corporation, and then in sales for Equipment for Industry.
While raising his family, Bruce worked tirelessly around the yard and house, earning the nickname of The Craftsman, for his woodworking skills. During the fall while raking leaves, the Browns and Buckeyes could be heard in the background, and Bruce was a lifelong fan of Ohio State and Cleveland sports. He was an avid reader and loved classical music, two traits that he passed down to his following, grateful generations.
In 1972, Bruce and Gerry bought his parents’ home on Cats Den Road, known as Birchanrock, where they spent 45 joyful years, and where Bruce tended many flower gardens and an annual vegetable garden. Bruce was active in the Bainbridge Jaycees and Bainbridge Historical Society.
Attending their five grandsons’ sports and countless school activities became a favorite pastime for Bruce and Gerry, which helped them build deep relationships with their grandsons Kendrick, Cameron and Connor (David and Linda), and Carson and Andy (Chris and Pati). Bruce was proud of the year he and Gerry attended 52 basketball games. Bruce also loved and excelled at fishing, and he and his sons and grandsons gathered frequently for angling trips to Canada.
Bruce and Gerry loved to travel and embarked on vacations every year as the boys were growing up, including many visits to Nags Head, NC. Later, Bruce and Gerry ramped up their travel, eventually visiting all but two states, numerous national parks, and many countries in Europe. Bruce enjoyed planning his trips months or even years in advance. In later years, the two enjoyed bus trips with new friends.
Bruce will be long remembered for his relentless good nature, fabulous sense of humor, loyalty to friends, and his love for Gerry and his extended family.
Bruce is survived by his wife Gerry Chittock (née Smieska); sons David (Linda) Chittock and Chris (Patricia, deceased) Chittock; sister Bonnie Chittock Laux; grandsons David Kendrick (Kristen), Cameron (Rebecca), Connor, Carson, and Andy; grandson David Luther and granddaughters Rowe and Taren. A Memorial Service will take place at Valley Presbyterian Church, 17560 Chillicothe Rd, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 on Saturday, October 21st, 2023 at 11:00 AM. Donations may be made to Valley Presbyterian Church.