Madison - Bruce Gary Edwards, age 72, passed away peacefully on April 24, 2019, surrounded by close family and friends. He lived his life according to his own rules, combining strong opinions, distinguishing taste, fierce loyalty, and an independent streak to pave a unique path.
Bruce was born in Prairie du Chien, WI, on July 17, 1946. He was a natural and accomplished athlete, excelling in high school as a running back in football, and for many years held the Prairie du Chien High School pole vault record.
After working in his father's plumbing shop in his youth, he held many varied and interesting jobs, including carpenter in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin, a taxi driver in New York City, casino dealer in Nevada, a restaurant worker in Madison, and public school teacher in Hawaii. He also found his way South during the '60s, helping to register voters during those turbulent times.
Bruce attended college in Madison obtaining both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from UW-Madison. Despite moving away for periods of time, Bruce kept returning to Madison and spent over four decades there. He became a linchpin shopkeeper downtown, starting with one of the first vintage clothing stores in Madison-Passing Parade-in the early 1980's. He followed by opening two clothing stores on State Street-Sedona and Scoshi-with Scoshi remaining open until 2008. In 1999 he bought the beloved gift store Tellus Mater, an iconic State Street independent store that he operated until his death.
His work on State Street brought him into a small tailoring shop run by Shoko Narita in the early 1990's. This began a close companionship lasting until 2012 when Shoko passed away. These years were filled with happy trips to far-flung regions of the country and world.
Bruce bravely battled lung disease the last thirty years of his life, caused by a genetic disorder. Despite these health challenges, he remained deeply engaged with his family and business affairs through the last day of his life.
He is survived by his brother, Brian (Mary) Edwards and nephews, (by brother Brian) Nicholas, Neal, and Nathaniel, nieces, Jessica and Jaimie, and nephews, (by brother David) Nathan, and David Ross.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Seymour and Dorothy, his brother, David, and his sister, Rita.
A memorial gathering will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Agrace HospiceCare.