Cover photo for Shirley Mae Bruce's Obituary
Shirley Mae Bruce Profile Photo
1948 Shirley 2024

Shirley Mae Bruce

April 8, 1948 — March 7, 2024

Park Rapids

Shirley Mae (Petersen) Bruce, age 75, of Park Rapids, MN, passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at her home with her family by her side.

Shirley was born on April 8, 1948 in Park Rapids, MN, the daughter of Wayne and Margaret (Wyffels) Petersen. She graduated from Park Rapids High School in 1966.  She briefly moved to Illinois with her brother Jim and his wife Jeannette for a couple of years where she worked as a telephone operator.   When she returned to Park Rapids, she worked waiting tables at Wimpy’s Diner on Main Street where she met Conrad Bruce, and they married in 1967 and would remain so for 28 years until his passing in 1995.   Shortly after they wed, they moved around and lived a couple of years in Dent MN, then to Bemidji, MN, where they owned a small grocery store and Conrad Jr. was born, then to Ulen MN where they operated a second small grocery store and where Troy was born, then eventually settled back in Park Rapids where Tom joined the picture.  She worked as a cook at Great Northern Café for about 18 years, then Heartland Homes for a few years, then home health care and cleaning at St. Joseph’s hospital for the remainder of her career, about 15 years.

Shirley moved her family out to the country west of town and that’s where she raised her boys and lived for 20 years.   Her sister Mary Lee came to live with the family for about 10 years shortly after her mother passed away as well.  She met her current and longtime partner, Tim Greenwood, back when they were kids and she used to babysit him.  Eventually they partnered up after the passing of Conrad Sr. and remained partners up until the very end.  They were together for a total of 26 years.

Shirley had a servant’s heart and would do anything to help someone, especially her family.     She was a hard worker, very dedicated and punctual and never called in sick.   She instilled her tireless work ethic, honesty, integrity, and high moral fabric into her family and all she did.   She never cared about impressing anyone or about fame or fortune.   She truly appreciated the little things in life, loved Elvis (especially his gospel albums), and loved going fishing and camping with her family.    She was an amazing cook, as honest as the day is long, frugal almost to a fault, and you knew what you were getting with her, there were no secrets or games or mysteries – she was straight forward, didn’t mince words or beat around the bush, take it or leave it.   She was an animal lover, especially loved her dogs, and above all, she loved her family deeply and would do anything for them, especially her grandchildren.    You can’t sum up her life in one little page, but she left a lasting impression on all those around her and if we can be even 1% as amazing, loving and honest as she was, the world would be a much better place.     She was an incredible lady and the world is a better place for her having been in it.  

Shirley is survived by her son, Tom (Sarah) Bruce of Fargo, ND; partner of 26 years, Tim Greenwood of Park Rapids, MN; 3 grandsons, Robert (Martha) Bruce of Duluth MN, Matthew Bruce of New Ulm MN, and Adam Bruce of Park Rapids MN; and siblings, Larry (Donna) Petersen of North Branch MN, Carol Theide of Park Rapids MN,  Jim (Jeannette) Petersen of Park Rapids MN,  Bobby (Deb) Petersen of East Jordan MI, and Kathy Petersen of Cabool, MO; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  She was preceded in death by her father, Wayne Petersen; mother, Margaret Petersen; husband, Conrad W. Bruce, Sr.; sons, Conrad Jr. and Troy Bruce; and siblings, Helen Branstner, Tom Petersen, and Mary Peterson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Mae Bruce, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, March 15, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Jones-Pearson Funeral Home

608 Park Ave S, Park Rapids, MN 56470

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