Bruce M. Hostetler, age 59, of Mill Township, Tuscarawas County, entered into the joy of the Lord, Wednesday, September 18, 2013, following a valiant battle with lung cancer. Born July 23, 1954 in Dover, he was a son of Norma J. Potts Hostetler of San Antonio, Texas, and the late Louis C. Hostetler.
Bruce attended New Philadelphia High School and married his high school sweetheart, Thelma Kay King, on April 1, 1971. He graduated from New Philadelphia in 1972, and was employed by the Marathon Petroleum Company where he was a member of the company's Behavior-Based Safety Committee. Bruce also worked for Fleming Foods in Navarre for 26 ½ years, and New Philadelphia's First Baptist Church.
A much-loved coach and respected athlete, Bruce began running in his mid-twenties. After slowly building up to running 5 and 10K races, Bruce saw an Ironman Race on television, and was inspired to do more. He bought a bike, learned how to swim and started participating in triathlons. Bruce set his goals on being a member of Team U.S.A., part of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and ran in the National Championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993, qualifying for the World Championships. He ran across the globe, in such places as Calais, France, the Australian State of Tasmania and Hawaii, and earned numerous awards. Bruce made Team U.S.A. several times, the last being in 2000. He retired from competition in 2001, at which time he obtained his U.S.A. Track and Field Association coaching and personal trainer certifications.
Bruce was always encouraging, and found great enjoyment in helping people of all ages work toward their personal fitness and performance goals. He wanted people to be their best Bruce often spoke at schools, and was an inspiration to many triathletes and duathletes, as well as countless runners, swimmers and cyclists. Additionally, he was a regular participant in the Safe Kids/Healthy Kids Day at Kent State University Tuscarawas. A Christian man, Bruce attended NewPointe Community Church at Dover.
Survivors include his loving wife, Thelma; his son, Christopher M. (Beth) Hostetler of Canton; his grandson, Jeff Pierre Hostetler; two sisters, Caryl Hostetler Rinehart of San Antonio, and Teresa (Chris) Hostetler Conley of Fort Mill, South Carolina; his brother, Allen C. (Patricia) Hostetler of New Philadelphia; his niece, Melanie Hostetler; his (most helpful) nephew, Michael Hostetler; his step-mother, Shelvie Hostetler of Fort Mill; his dear friends, Fred German family of Sugarcreek, Jeff and Helen Pfeiffer of Dover, and Rick and Cheryl McIntyre of New Philadelphia; the Schulz, Levitt, Prok and Klopfer families, who were there for Bruce and Thelma before, during and after Bruce's illness; and his special Marathon Petroleum family.
In addition to his father, Bruce was preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Donald and Violet Cecil; and his grandparents, Victor and Dorothy Potts, and Galen and Caroline Hostetler.
Additionally, Bruce loved the dogs he owned over the years, including his present buddy, Snickers, and his precious late companion, Max, and Sabastian.
The family wishes to acknowledge Joann Trimmer for her care of Snickers during Bruce's treatment in Illinois, all those who helped with transportation, and everyone who helped in any way during Bruce's illness. THANK YOU.
Bruce's life will be celebrated in a service Sunday, September 29, at 3 p.m. in NewPointe Community Church, 3950 Ste. Rte. 39 N.W., Dover, with Pastor Joe Schulz officiating. Immediately following the ceremony, those attending are invited to dessert and coffee at the church and to visit with the family and share stories of Bruce's life. It is the family's wish to create a scholarship for area high school runners in Bruce's name; to help this come to fruition, contributions are suggested to the Bruce M. Hostetler Running Scholarship Fund, c/o Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union, 119 Fillmore Ave., Dover, OH 44622.
I meet you in the stillness of my soul. It is there that I seek to commune with you. A person who is open to My Presence is exceedingly precious to Me. My eyes search to and fro throughout the earth, looking for one whose heart is seeking Me. I see you trying to find Me; our mutual search results in joyful fulfillment. Stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world addicted to noise and speed. I am pleased with your desire to create a quiet place where you and I can meet. Don't be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal. I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your attempts to seek My Face. - Zechariah 2:13; 2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV; Psalm 23:2-3