Bruce E. Aris passed away peacefully Thursday, April 2, 2020 at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. A Port Arthur native, he was born December 18, 1934 to parents Bernard and Edna Aris.
Following primary school, Bruce attended Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, graduating in 1954. With the assistance of Mr. Ross Rogers, Bruce was accepted into the University of Toronto Dentistry programme, graduating in 1959.
On December 29, 1959 he married his sweetheart of Lambda Chi, Margaret Thompson. Just recently they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. And, during those years they enjoyed fishing, hunting, skiing, golf and raising Labs. Florida was a favourite holiday destination where Bruce could indulge his passion for golf and the highlight this winter was a trip to PGA Village in Port St. Lucie.
Bruce spent over 50 years in the practice of dentistry. He had a special rapport with all with his patients and became affectionately known as the whistling dentist. He loved to hear a good joke and often told the odd one himself. Bruce found much solace in the outdoors especially while walking his faithful companion “Barney”. Sports, too, were a great stress reliever and he excelled in hockey, tennis, skiing and golf. He was a proud left-handed player and spent many hours, at the Port Arthur Country Club, perfecting his grip. He won many golf awards throughout the city. Bruce thoroughly loved fishing and hunting and recently enjoyed his last speckled trout fishing trip near Lake Nipigon with grandson's Kadan and Kyler. Teaching his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews how to water ski, tube, fish and golf also brought great joy. At Two Island Lake he was the chef, flipping pancakes, and frying up beer battered bass with home fries which were cooked on the wood stove.
Bruce was past president of the Thunder Bay Dental Association, Volunteer for the Thunder Bay Cancer Society, Executive member for the Port Arthur Marrs Hockey Team 1966-67, dentist for the Thunder Bay Twins hockey team, and an exceptional hockey player, himself, for the Port Arthur West End Bruins where he was scouted as a potential player for the Montreal Canadiens. He also received special recognition from the City of Thunder Bay for his humanitarian services.
Predeceased by his father, mother and brother-in-law Roy Beninger. Survived by his wife Margaret, children Shawn (Fiona), Doug (Heather), and Shelly, sister Marilyn Beninger, brother-in-law Peter Thompson and his wife Fran, sister-in law Daphne and her husband Ken Clark. Sadly missed by his grandchildren Hugh, Dylan, and Keefer Aris, Devan and Aidan Aris, Kadan and Avery Garner, and step grandson Kyler Maki-Garner.
Special nieces and nephews are Barney (Ryan) and Bruce Beninger, Tracey and Michael Crystal (Julia and James), Tim and Alison Thompson (Thorin), Joel and Kelly Clark (Celia and Tessa), Ryan Clark and Ben Marmion (Quinn and Owen), Danielle and Kevin Foster (Coen and Camden). Special aunts, Ethel Calabakas and Sharon Merits as well as several cousins also survive.
Cremation has taken place. Due to the current public health concerns, a funeral and celebration of Bruce's life will be announced and take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Port Arthur Minor Hockey Association or to Confederation College to support the dental program in memory of Bruce would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made on our website or cheques in the name of the charity can be mailed to Sargent and Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street, Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7A 4T4. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.