We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Wherry Mortuary Pawnee City
Bruce Edward Haughton was born November 6, 1946 at Tecumseh, Nebraska to Velora (Bartels) and Ernest Haughton. Born with pneumonia, Bruce was brought to the waters of Holy Baptism by Reverend Gerkin on November 7, 1946 at the hospital in Tecumseh. Bruce celebrated the Rite of Confirmation at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Tecumseh on May 7, 1961. Bruce was a life-long member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and a member of four different churches: Immanuel Lutheran in Sterling, St. John’s Lutheran in Tecumseh, St. Peter’s Lutheran in rural Elk Creek, and Zion Lutheran in Pawnee City. It was in his church family where Bruce felt at home–a place to nurture his faith and quench his desire to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” God’s Word.
Bruce attended kindergarten at Lewiston before his family moved to the Sterling area where Bruce attended school until the 8th grade when the family moved south of Tecumseh. After attending the Brush Hill country school southwest of Tecumseh in the 8th grade, Bruce attended high school at Tecumseh where he was actively involved in sports, music, and theater. He was the 1964 Tecumseh Homecoming King, a lead in the senior class play, and the Athlete of the Year his senior year of 1965. Bruce enjoyed his high school experience so much that he began to feel that education was his calling. He became the first of his siblings to graduate from a four-year college with a degree in secondary business education from Peru State College in the summer of 1969. He secured a teaching job at Pawnee City High School in the fall of that same year.
On August 22, 1970, Bruce was united in marriage to Karen (Lippold) Haughton at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, rural Elk Creek. The couple made their home in Pawnee City where Bruce continued to teach business education at Pawnee City and Karen owned and operated her own beauty shop. To this union, the couple welcomed two children–Ryan Edward on October 24, 1972 and Angie Rae on November 1, 1975.
Bruce stayed at Pawnee City High School as a business teacher, bus driver, coach, athletic director, and yearbook sponsor until he resigned from teaching in 1984 to pursue a career as a full time insurance agent. Bruce learned that you can take the teacher out of teaching, but can’t take the desire to teach out of the teacher. Bruce continued to substitute teach as much as time and health would allow right up to the time of his death, logging countless substitute teaching hours at Wymore Southern, Pawnee City, and Beatrice. In 2005, he even served as a long term substitute teacher at Southeast Consolidated in their industrial technology department. Bruce loved his students and his students loved their beloved Mr. Haughton. Teaching allowed Bruce to help young people reach their potential, and he had the God-given gift of instantly connecting with them. He loved asking them about their lives and following their sporting events. Bruce also hired numerous young men to help out on the farm with general chores and cattle work. He left a lasting impact during the formative years of generations of teenagers. He was proud that both of his children decided to make teaching their career.
From 1984 to the early 1990s, Bruce worked as full time insurance agent and district manager for the Franklin Life Insurance Company. This career change allowed Bruce to network with even more people and earn trips with his family for insurance conventions. His congenial, friendly manner made him an honest and natural businessman. In 1993, Bruce transitioned to an independent agent working part time in the insurance business until the time of his death.
There was never a time where Bruce was not an active member of his church and his community. Bruce and Karen owned numerous rentals in Pawnee City over the years, providing affordable housing to countless young people including practicing medical students and teachers. He served as elder, president, trustee, and Sunday school teacher through the years at Zion Lutheran Church. He was president of the Pawnee City High School Athletic Boosters, Pawnee City High School Foundation President, a member of the Pawnee City Historical Society, a member of the Pawnee City Housing Authority, a member of the Pawnee Pride Committee, a city council member, a Rotary member, a summer janitor at the school, and countless committees and groups that involved volunteering. Bruce viewed “work as therapy”, and never wanted to burn daylight. He also enjoyed working part time for Wherry Mortuary working services and assisting with flowers.
Bruce took great pleasure spending time with his grandkids and following their activities and contests. Grandpa and Grandma Haughton were known to make 3-plus hour treks to football games and other activities. During this time, Bruce continued to make connections with all people of all ages, never knowing a stranger and always making someone comfortable through conversation. Bruce also enjoyed honest work with his grandsons through cutting wood and leisure through a little bit of fishing up at Camp Flapjack. He nearly made it to all of his grandkids’ confirmation celebrations and rejoiced that they grew to know Jesus as their Savior. Bruce also relished the simple pleasures–early morning walks on the track with his friends, a cool glass of sun tea after mowing, and reading his daily Portals of Prayer and nearly anything he could get his hands on–especially Scripture that he studied in Bible studies at Zion Lutheran and at the Men’s Prayer Group in Pawnee City.
Bruce loved the Lord, and by serving others, he served God. He was a sinner who was fully redeemed and dearly loved by God, and he wanted you to know the Hope that he had during his Earthly life, too. Bruce passed away June 14, 2022 in Lincoln, Nebraska surrounded by his family. He was 75 years old.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Velora Haughton; brothers, Robert and Larry Haughton, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Bruce is survived by his loving wife, Karen; son, Ryan Haughton and wife Lynn of Tecumseh, daughter, Angie Hunzeker and husband John of rural DuBois, grandsons, Ryly, Brady, Hunter, and Jackson Haughton; granddaughters, Stella and Ayden Hunzeker; sister, Ruth Mandery and husband Gene of Cape Fair, MO; brother, Harlan Haughton and wife Doris of Wentzville, MO; brother-in-law Gayle Lippold and wife Amy of Berthoud, CO, sister-law, Mary Haughton of Lincoln, nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 20, 2022 at the St. Peter's Lutheran Church, rural Elk Creek, Nebraska. Reverend Tim Llewellyn will be officiating. The service was live streamed on the St. Peter's Lutheran Church Facebook page for those unable to attend and a link to the livestream is now also available on the bottom of Bruce's webpage. Memorials to family's choice. Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.
Services entrusted with Wherry Mortuary, 919 G Street, Pawnee City, Nebraska.