Bruce Allan Roe, age 75, of Grantsburg, WI, passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2017 in Saint Paul, MN.
Bruce was born on January 1, 1942 in New York, NY, to Sanford and Ann (La Marca) Roe. An Eagle Scout who never lost a love of the outdoors, Bruce was a 1960 graduate of New Hyde Park High School (New Hyde Park, NY). He furthered his education, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hope College in Holland, MI and receiving both his Master's and PhD in Biochemistry from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. With a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, Bruce went on to complete postdoctoral research at SUNY Stony Brook. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Kent State University in Kent, OH from 1973-1981. In 1979, he spent the first of two sabbatical terms in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Sanger, at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University (UK). It was in England where Bruce began a lifelong love of the liquid charms of English-style ale.
By 1981, Bruce joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK as Professor of Biochemistry, where he served on the faculty until he retired as George Lynn Cross Research Professor of chemistry and biochemistry after 27 years. The founding director of OU's Advanced Center for Genome Technology, he pushed the frontiers of genomic research, playing an early role in the Human Genome Project by sequencing chromosome 22.
A vocal proponent of collaborative research, Bruce measured his own success by the success of those he mentored. Graduating more than 30 PhD students during his career, Bruce took particular pride in the contributions his students have made in the fields of research and medicine throughout the world. An early adopter of remote communication technologies, he tracked their careers closely and celebrated their successes.
Bruce married his college sweetheart, Judith Ann Pessek, on June 7, 1963 in So. Saint Paul, MN. He loved spending time with his family - on hiking trails, ski slopes, road trips, and sandy beaches with fresh seafood - and was an avid fan of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. He was actively involved in the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, participating as a lay leader most recently with the United Methodist Men in Siren, WI. With an inherent belief in the goodness of humanity, he was extraordinarily kind and generous, attracting others with his warm smile and engaging sense of humor.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Judith "Judy" Roe, Grantsburg, WI; son, Nathan (Sarah) Roe, Portland, OR; daughter, Caroline (Jon) Stolp, Tallahassee, FL; grandchildren, Connor and Abigail Stolp; and sister, Joyce Schirmer, Inverness, FL. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sanford and Ann Roe.
A memorial service honoring the life of Bruce Allan Roe will be held on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM (visitation from 10:30 - 11:00 AM) at Siren United Methodist Church.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Webster, WI. Online condolences may be expressed at www.swedberg-taylor.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Siren United Methodist Church, 24005 1st Avenue, Siren, WI 54872 in Bruce's name.
Published on November 13, 2017