Bruce W. Hulke, son of the late Herbert and Lucile Hulke, died Tuesday, July 2, of heart failure at the age of 76. True to his nickname, "the Hulk", Bruce stayed tough through a number of different physical challenges. When it was time for him to transition to his final adventure, he was able to pass quietly in the loving presence of his family.
Bruce was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1941 and graduated from Wausau High School. He spent much of his youth wandering the near-town wilds with his beloved beagles. Bruce had an affinity for the Rib River and many of his finest childhood memories came from time spent along its banks. As he got older, Bruce traded beagles for basset hounds, but never lost the desire to be in the woods and fields with his beloved four-legged friends.
Bruce married his life-long love, Mary (Krause) on September 28, 1968. Together, they had two daughters, and spent much of their vacation time traveling, camping, and showing their children the more beautiful parts of Wisconsin and the American West.
Early in his professional life, Bruce managed the Holiday Inn of Wausau and Ramada Inn hotels in the Janesville and Rockford area. Following that he was a food packaging engineer and a master specialty welder, working at Rondele foods for over 32 years. His skills with titanium and stainless steel made him the go-to guy for many technical food processing machinery projects. His retirement in 2006 left behind a rich work history and a satisfaction of many jobs well done.
Outside of work, Bruce was a lover of fine photographic equipment, as well as motorcycles for both adventure and just stretching out his hair. Whether on a trip on a bike or in one of his long-running Volkswagens, Bruce could often be found sidetracked into obscure camera shops or looking for a special part to make a motorcycle more interesting.
To his family, Bruce was someone who dedicated his life to providing all that he didn't have in his own upbringing, and to his friends, he was loyal, funny, opinionated, and generous. A sometimes practical joker, humorous stories about Bruce were a given within his social circles in Wausau and beyond.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Mary, his daughters, Laura (Todd) and Kelley (Jason), four grandchildren (Alex, Daniel, Brooke, Finn), his sister, Sharon, and numerous other relatives.
The funeral service for Bruce will be at 12:30 PM on Friday, July 6, 2018 at Helke Funeral Home. Rev. Sid Bouldin will officiate. Visitation will be from 10:30 AM until the time of service at the funeral home on Friday. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com. The committal will be at Restlawn Memorial Park, Town of Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for a future charitable donation in his memory.