Bruce Pekkala, age 79 of Bedford, formerly of Maynard, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 19, 2019.
Born in Concord, Massachusetts on June 2, 1939, he was the son of the late Waino K. Pekkala and Marjorie E. (Hurley) Hathaway. Bruce was a lifelong Maynard resident. He graduated from Maynard High School, class of 1957. Bruce went on to attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he studied Chinese language and political science.
Bruce was a beloved teacher of world history at Maynard High School for thirty-two years, retiring in 2002. He was an inspiration and mentor to many young people during his long career.
Bruce was a beautiful dancer and he especially loved the traditional dances and music of Greece and the Balkans. He was warm hearted, generous, curious, and a lover of justice. He was an avid reader on the subjects of history and travel. In addition to Chinese, he also studied Arabic, Japanese, and Russian. Bruce was a world traveler, visiting many countries, including India, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Uzbekistan. He was also very proud to have reached the rank of black belt in the martial art of Small Circle Jujitsu.
He is survived by his long-time partner, Eileen C. Callahan of Bedford, MA and his sister, Marjorie Merrifield of Winchester, NH. Bruce was predeceased by his sister Beverly Gordon of Stow, MA.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Bruce on Thursday, May 30, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Fowler-Kennedy Funeral Home, 42 Concord Street, Maynard.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be made to the ACLU (aclu.org), Folk Arts Center of New England (facone.org) or Pinewoods Camp, Inc. (pinewoods.org).