|Birth: ||Jul. 17, 1923|
|Death: ||Aug. 13, 2010|
Bruce was born and raised in Bellevue, Ohio, the youngest of three boys in the Bellard family. Having been born in 1923, he was shaped by the sacrifices and deprivations of the Great Depression. When he was seven, he and his brothers came to stay for 18 months at the Flat Rock Children's Home, while his mother recuperated from tuberculosis and his father scraped out a living as a traveling salesman.
Bruce played football at Bellevue high School, and was a member of the famous 1940 team, which won the League Championship despite never scoring a point. The Redmen amassed enough ties to stay at the top of the standings and may have been the only team in American history to win a championship without scoring a point.
Following graduation from high school, Bruce enrolled at Bowling Green State University on a football scholarship in the fall of 1941. His freshman year was interrupted by Pearl Harbor, and he joined the Navy at age eighteen. He served overseas for twenty months, and when the war ended, he was serving as an aircraft mechanic on Guam.
After the war, Bruce resumed his studies at BGSU. He was an All-Ohio guard on the 1947 football team. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1948 and his Master's Degree in 1952.
Bruce met his future wife Mary Ann in kindergarten, and they were married in 1948. In a life of good fortune, Bruce valued above all else the gracious gift of his wife Mary Ann. Mary Ann was Bruce's companion, partner, friend, and sweetheart throughout their journey. Mary Ann encouraged Bruce at every turn. Together they achieved one of life's great accomplishments, a long, loving, and happy marriage
Bruce was on the BGSU faculty from 1948 through 1981, as a teacher and as a coach, and taught summer sessions for another five years after retiring. He coached five different sports at BGSU. He was an assistant football coach from 1948 to 1959, first under Robert Whittaker, and then for Doyt Perry. While coaching football, he also served with Bo Schembechler. But Bruce's heart belonged to wrestling. As the head wrestling coach from 1952-1977, he had twenty non-losing seasons and his teams won three Mid-American Conference Championships.
Bruce developed the university's course of study for the Physical Education Department, and over his career taught every course in that department. He established a statewide curriculum for Driver Education and is credited with training more driver education teachers (some 4800) than any other person in Ohio.
Bruce was named to the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1979, the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, and National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009. In 1998 he received the Alum of the Year award from the BGSU College of Education and Human Development. In 1981 the BG Chamber of Commerce named him the Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
Bruce was honored to serve twelve years as a Bowling Green City Council member, and as Council President from 1973-1982. He served as mayor from 1983 through 1988, Bowling Green's first full-time mayor. In campaigning for Mayor, Bruce knocked on every door in town. He always considered himself a schoolteacher rather than a politician.
Bruce spent countless hours as a volunteer at the Humane Society, the Wood County Committee on Aging, and Wheeled Meals, and was President of the Wood County Airport Authority for ten years. He was a leader in the local effort to prevent domestic violence. In is "spare time," Bruce had a calling to look after elderly people in the community who were alone: visiting them each day, picking up their medications or groceries, keeping track of their bills, and even helping them get into bed at night. He was a devoted member of Trinity Methodist Church. He offered his help wherever he was needed, serving on the Missions, Nursing Home, and Visitation Committees.
Bruce never cared whether he received credit for any project, as long as the people were served. As a leader, Bruce was able to find ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm, and their inspiration to work together.
Based on a Memorial Resolution at the Bowling Green (OH) Kiwannis Club, given by Drew Hanna on October 21, 2010
Ernest Harvey Bellard (1898 - 1995)
Leota Ada Moyer Bellard (1893 - 1983)
Mary Ann Schnee Bellard (1923 - 2015)
Jean Quentin Bellard (1920 - 2002)*
Ernest Harvey Bellard (1922 - 1990)*
Bruce Harding Bellard (1923 - 2010)
Oak Grove Cemetery
Maintained by: Jan Bellard
Originally Created by: Patricia Maher
Record added: Sep 25, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59176146
In honor of your service to Bowling Green State University|
Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Added: Oct. 29, 2012
In honor of your service to our country and to your years of teaching at Bowling Green State University|
Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Added: Oct. 10, 2012