Bruce Thomas Ahlquist passed away after a long illness on Sunday, August 29, 2021, at his home in Woodland, California. Bruce was the first of five children born to Carl and Norma (Grube) Ahlquist. He grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota where his family owned and operated Central Parlor Frames a furniture business. During his growing up years, when he wasn't working at the family's business, the YMCA was very important to him. He looked forward to swimming, basketball - but most of all, camp. Sometimes he would come home after being away for weeks and be "camp sick." Later Bruce spent his summers serving as a counselor, wilderness canoe guide, and then Assistant Director for the Minneapolis YMCA at camp Menogyn. After graduating from Edison High School in 1960, he graduated with honors from Hamlin University, with a major in history and sociology. Then he attended George Williams, a YMCA college, for his masters in group work. That's where he met his wife, Susan Fulton. They were married on June 18, 1966. Bruce started his professional career with the YMCA at the Hiawatha branch in Minneapolis. Next, he served at the Appleton YMCA, in Appleton, Wisconsin as the Director of Youth and Camp Nan A Bo Sho from 1969-1979. He thrived in the role of camp director, building many memorable relationships with staff and campers.
Next the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where Bruce served as YMCA Camp Director and Assistant Executive Director from 1980-1984. His final post was at the Yolo County YMCA in Woodland, California as Executive Director from 1984-2003. Bruce and his family enjoyed their time in Woodland and have fond memories of living and working in the community. During his time there Bruce was involved in Rotary, meals on wheels, community action board, the United Methodist Church, and the Senior Center. Bruce loved to see kids, teens, and families grow in spirt, mind, and body (the YMCA creed). He was also thankful for and gained greatly from his partnership with many volunteers and staff throughout his years with the YMCA. Bruce is survived by his wife Susan Ahlquist, children - Julia (husband Danny Tanner, granddaughter Betsy), Gunnar (wife Corrine, granddaughter Trinity, grandsons Eli and Ian), and his sister Carolyn Ahlquist, and brother Clyde Ahlquist. A celebration of life service followed by light dinner will be held at Nelson's Grove in Woodland on October 3, 2021 at 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to your local YMCA.