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December 4, 1934 - November 9, 2013

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Paul Bruderer was born in Alta Bates Hospital, Berkeley, California on December 4, 1934 to his parents Renee & Ernest Bruderer. A first generation Swiss-American and native Californian, Paul grew up in Berkeley on Shattuck Avenue.

With little parental guidance from his parents, he became a street smart, self-taught and selfmotivated kid. This produced in him an air of independence, self worth, and courage: he learned at an early age that I cant do this was a figment of his mind and instead realized he could do anything he set his mind to as long as he learned the subject and worked hard at it. This self-taught philosophy became his foundation of values and ethics that set the tone for his entire life.

Another life long experience that shaped and molded his life was his connection to his Guatemalan family. At the time his parents immigrated to the U.S., his Uncle Otto (Ernests brother) and Aunt Marcelle immigrated instead to Guatemala, bought and managed a farm, and had three sons: Frank, Alex, and Carlos. Paul cherished his cousins and grew up with them like brothers. His first trip to Guatemala was an entire summer in 1946 (11 years old) and his oldest cousin, Frank, lived with him when they were teenagers on Shattuck Avenue for an entire year while Frank was learning English in high school. From then on his Guatemala family heritage became an important element of his whole life.
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Paul graduated from Berkeley High School (1952) and the University of California at Berkeley (1958). At Cal, he majored in Economics and was a loyal member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity during the Pappy Waldorf era. Once out of college, he spent a winter working and skiing at the Alta Ski Resort in Utah. While working in San Francisco in Sales, he continued his social life as an alumnus of his fraternity. In 1959, he met the love of his life and future wife, Brenda Shutts on a blind date. Paul recently said, Brenda, if it wasnt for the fraternity, I would have never met you. They married in 1961 and moved to Oakland, California in 1963.

In 1964, Paul and Brenda moved with their one year-old son, Marc to Lafayette, California. In 1968, Paul gave up his corporate career, went back to college to get a Masters degree in Education and teaching credentials and started his new career as an elementary school teacher in Concord, California. During this time he had his second son, Kirk in 1969. While teaching over the next 10 years, Paul dabbled in many experiences: driving Greyhound busses, creating stain glass, repairing cars, building electronics, backpacking, kids soccer coach, gardening, home maintenance, etc. With flexible summers he was able to nuture his passion for forests, nature and trees and take his family on camping road trips all over the western states: Jasper, Lake Louise, Olympic National Forrest, Grand Tetons, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier.
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After the passing of his father, Paul took over the management of his mothers Bruderers Christmas Tree Farm in Napa, California in 1978. Now, he had two simultaneous careers: teaching during the school weekdays and farming on the weekends and summers. By 1994, at 60 yrs old, he was finished with teaching and began his dream of retirement. By this time, the choose & cut Christmas tree industry had matured and shriveled and thus, Paul spent years politicking and planning for the sale of the farm land for residential use. After the farm sold in 2001, Paul officially retired.

For the next dozen years in his retirement, he became a self-taught financial planner for his household. Paul & Brenda loved to travel and their trips included: New York, Washington DC, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska the Southwest, Switzerland, and all over Europe (Western and Eastern). He was drawn to visiting the places of his ancestry and re-living the experiences of his parents in Europe. He loved the people, landscapes, history and architecture of the cultures he visited. Paul also loved his passions of wine collecting, history (especially WWII), landscaping, fruit & vegetable gardening, roses and tulips cultivating, classical & jazz music, and rooting at Cal Football & Basketball games.

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On June 4, 2013, Paul and his family received the tragic news that his cancer had spread to a terminal stage and that he had only 3-5 months to live. He accepted the news with courage, dignity, and grace and became a role model to all. This reprieve allowed him and his family to process the transition of his impending death and gave them a chance at closure and a new found intimate relationship with each other. During this time, and as a lover of the outdoors and forests, Paul chose his memorial to be an ancient living redwood tree where his ashes shall be spread. This tree is marked in Butano State Park, California which all are welcome to visit.

Paul Bruderer will always be thought of as an outdoors man. He was always active, always working projects, always fixing things, always doing-it- himself. He could never sit still for long; constantly desiring his meditative state of hand labor. This state of being produced a man of peace & serenity and a true acceptance of others and of his own mortality.

Paul is survived by his wife, Brenda Bruderer (married 52 years); his sister, Janet Moore; his children, Marc Bruderer (and wife Caroline) and Kirk Bruderer; and his three adoring grandsons: Nate (15 yrs), Luke (8yrs), and Mason (6yrs).

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All are welcome and encouraged to visit and enjoy!

Our deepest gratitude to all of you who reached out with words of comfort and thoughtfulness during this difficult time. Our family is blessed to have so many wonderful and loving friends and family in our lives.
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Donations in Pauls Honor

Our family respectfully asks you not to send flowers and gifts. One of Pauls last wishes was to support his favorite charity: Save the Redwoods League. php Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish. Your donation helps them purchase redwood land, restore logged forests, study how to best protect them, and teach children and adults about these magical expressions of life. Learn more If you wish to pay tribute to his memory, Paul asked that you make a donation in his loving memory to Save the Redwoods League. This is the donation page link: 1

Notification recipient: The Paul Bruderer Family 3973 Rancho Road. Lafayette, CA 94549

Thank you.

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