June 29, 1937 - June 8, 2012
Artist, outdoorsman, and conservationist Bruce Killen, 74, passed away quietly Friday, June 8, 2012. Bruce was a renowned sculptor and endeavored to give honor to the wildlife that inspired him. Living life to the fullest, any day could find Bruce riding one of his motorcycles down the back roads of Southern Oregon, fishing along the Rogue, or enjoying the wildlife with his grandsons.
Born June 29, 1937, Bruce grew up in Minnesota. As a young man, he joined the Navy, serving as a medic. In 1958, Bruce married the love of his life, Elaine Mae Benson. She preceded him in death in May 2006.
In 1968, Bruce and Elaine moved to Medford, Ore., from Minnesota. Once here, Bruce found himself inspired by the grace and beauty of the region. He discovered his artistic gift when he began carving the wildlife around him in wood, using a borrowed book for reference and a jackknife and file as his only tools. As the popularity of his art grew, he turned to porcelain and bronze, creating spectacular wildlife sculptures that can now be viewed in homes and museums across the world.
Bruce leaves behind his children, Dirk Killen, Jack Killen, and Kari Rathjen, their respective spouses; six grandchildren; two brothers, David and James Killen; and many close friends.
At Bruce's request, there will be no funeral. Donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association. A private memorial for friends and family will be held at a later date.
Bruce touched the lives of many and will be missed by all.