Dr. Frank Osborne Bruch, 91, of Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — Dr. Frank Osborne Bruch, 91, of Middlebury passed of natural (non-COVID related) causes on December 17, 2020.
Frank was born to Karl and Mildred (Osborne) Bruch on May 18, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio. Respectfully known as “Doc,” he was a well-known figure in the local community. The youngest of four, he grew up in Cleveland and attended the University School, as had his older brothers, Karl and Peter. He followed his brothers to Dartmouth College, where he pursued a pre-medical curriculum and was a standout four-year varsity swimmer and diver, earning All American status and narrowly missing qualifying for the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics. Frank graduated from Dartmouth in 1951 and then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, obtaining his medical degree in 1955.
Frank began his medical career in Cleveland, in a general practice with his brother Peter. In 1970, he joined the staff of the University Health Service at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, where he also served as Acting Director. Then, in 1977, he became the College Physician and Director of Sports Medicine at Middlebury College, where he remained until his retirement in 1994. Frank particularly enjoyed being the team physician for the sports teams at Middlebury, especially soccer and hockey. When a player went down either on the field or the ice, Doc and his cherished colleagues from the athletic training room would sprint/slide to attend to the athlete, quickly assessing the situation. In addition, he was a vocal supporter and the de facto team physician for the Long Trail summer league soccer team, made up of many Middlebury College alumni with whom he would develop lifelong friendships.
Frank met the love of his life, Sally Anne Rounds, when they were still in grade school, and they married in Cleveland on March 27, 1953. Over the course of the next 12 years, they welcomed six children, and ultimately, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Together, they created a welcoming household full of love, and supported their children and grandchildren in all their endeavors. Frank never gave up his love of swimming, and enjoyed family vacations at the beach in Rhode Island and Cape Cod.
Frank was also an activist at the height of the civil rights movement in Cleveland, deeply involved in housing and health issues and candidate fundraising. A seminal moment in his life was driving Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., around the neighborhoods of Cleveland on a flatbed truck, after the city had denied Dr. King a parade permit. Frank and Sally were also regular supporters of many nonprofit organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, the NAACP, the ASPCA, Heifer International, Addison County Home Health & Hospice, Vermont Public Radio and others.
Frank’s passions included not only medicine but the Cleveland Browns, having been a long-standing season ticket holder during his years in Cleveland. It was a race from church (where he served as a deacon) to the stadium on game-day Sundays to ensure he made it in time for kick-off. His other passion was classic cars. Many in the Middlebury area will remember seeing the old man driving his 1967 Lotus Super 7 year round. He loved that car, and truth be known, Sally called the Lotus his mistress, though she was and always will be his soulmate.
Frank and Sally called a few houses their home while enjoying their years in the Middlebury area. As they both shared a passion for renovating old homes, they did just that to houses in Cornwall, Shoreham, and Weybridge, before eventually settling in the town of Middlebury. Each house was filled with laughter and family, particularly during special occasions. One of the family’s favorite traditions was a formal New Year’s Eve dinner, for which Frank would break out his old tuxedo and the family and guests would enjoy dancing and a delicious beef tenderloin roast. Frank was known to grab a catnap on the couch after dinner, before getting his second wind and giving Sally a kiss to ring in the New Year.
Frank was predeceased by his sister, Barbara Nash of Gates Mills, Ohio, and by his brothers, Karl F. Bruch, Jr., and Dr. Peter A. Bruch, both of Cleveland. In addition, Frank was predeceased by his daughter, Jennifer Bruch, and by his beloved wife, Sally. He will be greatly missed by his children Matthew and wife Kylie Bruch of Weybridge, Vt.; Elizabeth and husband Steve Davis of Lander, Wyo.; Amy McWilliams and partner Christopher Gramza of Springfield, Va.; Sarah Sparks and husband Alec of Addison, Vt.; and lastly by Josh and wife Jennifer Bruch of South Salem, N.Y. He will also be dearly missed by his grandchildren, Whitman Schofield, Lilly Schofield, Kenzie Bruch, Nick Bruch, Bruce Wright, Josh Rotholz, Celeste Rotholz Schwann, Annika Bruch and Wyatt Bruch, and lastly, by his first great-grandchild, Walter Schofield. We would like to thank Frank’s “extended family,” the Delanceys, for their love and care.
The family is planning to hold a celebration of Frank’s life on or close to Labor Day Weekend — details will be announced one month prior.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the previously mentioned nonprofit organizations which Frank and Sally were proud to support. ◊
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