Obit: Ghent, Bruce Owen (1958 – 2009)



Surnames: Ghent, Konze, Sprain, Rosas, Shippe, Abbot


----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) December 30, 2009


Ghent, Bruce Owen (19 May 1958 – 19 December 2009)


Bruce Owen Ghent of Melrose died peacefully in his sleep Dec. 19, 2009, at his home.


Bruce was born May 19, 1958, to parents Donald and Lorraine (Konze) Ghent.  Bruce was raised on the family farm in Melrose and always helped on his parents’ and neighboring farms.  He attended Melrose-Mindoro High School and proudly followed Mustang athletics even after his high school days were behind him.


Bruce became a meat cutter for Copps Corp. and later a foreman at Northern Engraving. Bruce moved to La Crosse in 1979 and was married to Roxanne “Nikki” Sprain in 1982.  In 1990 the couple returned to Bruce’s family farm in Melrose.


Bruce was an avid fisherman and gun and bow hunter.  He loved to hunt from his shack that was perched overlooking Douglas Creek and the Black River bottoms.  Later on in life, Bruce turned to ice fishing, shed antler hunting and walleye fishing on the Mississippi River.  He always made sure to chronicle all his adventures with plenty of photographs and journals.


Bruce was always out and about doing something, whether it was going to bingo, playing cards and shaking dice at the restaurant, grilling out at the shack, maybe driving around in Amish country to cruising around the area on the Ruckus scooter looking for rummage sales.  He put on thousands of miles a summer on his scooter and would go as far as Winona just to take a ride.  His work for the township and at the campground in his later years provided much enjoyment for Bruce and a seemingly endless supply of stories.


For a number of years, Bruce belonged to the Coulee Archers and the Eagles Club in La Crosse.  He was also a member of Black River Watershed, Friends of Lake Neshanic, NWTF and the Melrose Rod & Gun Club.  One thing he looked forward to everyday was the ‘coffee cluck’ group at the L & M Café where he would shake dice, joke and shoot the bull for hours on end.


Bruce loved all the cats and the dogs at the farm like they were his children.  Bruce never had any actual children of his own, but many kids loved and looked up to Bruce like a father, and he cherished knowing the positive effect he had on so many lives.  Bruce was never afraid to speak his mind and believed with all his heart in what he thought was right: and that is integrity.  That’s why Bruce was everyone’s best friend.


Bruce is survived by his wife, Nikki Ghent; brothers-in-law, Tony Sprain, Dan Sprain, Ted Sprain and David Sprain; sister-in-law, Becky Rosas; brother, Terry (Veda) Ghent of La Crosse; nephew, Terry Lee Ghent; niece, Krissy Shippe; aunts Joann Abbot, Caroline Konze and Janice Konze; uncles, Buck Konze and Edwin “Buzz” Konze; and numerous cousins.


He was preceded in death by parents, Donald and Lorraine Ghent.


There was a visitation and celebration of Bruce’s life Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, at Zwickey Funeral Home in Melrose from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  A short graveside service will be held Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the Melrose Cemetery at 1 p.m.  A luncheon will follow at the Melrose American Legion.






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