Bruce Werrbach helped decorate Rockton for Christmas


Bruce Werrbach (1957-2023)

Bruce Werrbach worked for the Village of Rockton for forty years. He was responsible for decorating Village Green Park for Christmas, before Frank Saladino was.

He died on March 14, 2023, a few days before his 66th birthday 

Bruce was born March 23, 1957 to Robert "Ozzie" and Phyllis (Baumruck) Werrbach. With Bruce's older brother, Steve M., the young family of four would enjoy camping, fishing and swimming at Devil's Lake State Park and Peninsula State Park, some of their favorite places.

Bruce and his father worked at Pheasant Run Resort before Bruce came to the Wagon Wheel Lodge in Rockton as a groundskeeper for the Wagon Wheel Golf Course and did various other jobs at the Wheel. While working at the Wheel, he also worked at the Phillips 66 gas station in Rockton and met lifelong friends there. 

Bruce retired from the Village of Rockton Public Works after forty years of service. Bruce knew the integral parts of Rockton and was a very important part in keeping Rockton beautiful and running smoothly. He was congenial and helpful and made many friends in the forty years. Bruce and Tink, his beloved dog, were rejoined when he got to Heaven. 

Bruce shared time with his soulmate, Deb Kearns. They enjoyed going to car shows, working on hot rods, going to swap meets and fairs, enjoyed music venues, traveling and dining out. No matter where they went, someone always knew them. Bruce surprised Deb with an engagement ring and they were planning a car show wedding as their love for one another was strong. No matter if it was the Lions Club or the American Legion, Bruce was there to give them a helping hand. Because of his caring nature, generosity and his sense of humor, he made friends easily.

He is survived by his brother Steve, his special lady Debbie Kearns, the Kearns family, many cousins, aunts and uncles, close friends, too many to list as the list is long and you would know who you are. Bruce was a special person in all of our lives. There is a huge empty spot in the world and Bruce shall be greatly missed.

Our reporter Marianne Mueller writes, "Bruce was one of the most genuine, kindest people I have ever met. I believe that his title at Rockton Public Works was Superintendent. He dedicated over 26 years to the village. As a resident and a village employee he would unselfishly help anyone who ever needed anything. He was a long time member of the Rockton Lions Club. Every year he was instrumental in helping with the set up and worked in different parts of the overall event. "

A recording of his funeral ceremonies is available on the McCorkle Funeral Home website. It was held at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2023 with Pastor Jason Turner from Beloit New Life officiating. Cremation rites were accorded. A visitation was held at the funeral home from 10:00 a.m. until time of funeral Saturday. A celebration of life social gathering was held at the Rockton American Legion, 221 W. Main St., Rockton, IL following the service.

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