Obituary of Bruce Stephen Matsunaga
We are sad to announce the sudden passing of Bruce Stephen Matsunaga on June 5th, 2023, at the age of 76.
Bruce was born in Chicago, IL, on January 16th, 1947, to parents Yukio “Andy” and Masaye “Ruth” (nee Hiraoka) Matsunaga. He was the middle brother of two siblings, Douglas and David. After being drafted into the US Army and serving in Vietnam, he graduated from Loyola University. He married the love of his life, Sue, on October 6th, 1973, and would often say he won the jackpot and out punted his coverage being with her. Bruce was the Yin to Sue’s Yang. They were preparing for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Anyone who met Bruce knew that his four girls Stephanie, Erin, Megan, and Bridget were his pride and joy. At the drop of a hat, day or night, he was happy to be his girls’ chauffer, handyman, spider killer, and shoulder to cry on. He also loved to spoil his grandchildren. Whether it was his magical way of reading books, taking them to Chuck E. Cheese, or saving all the Lucky Charms marshmallows, he always sought to bring joy to his kids’ and grandkids’ lives. Bruce would sarcastically describe himself as “Mr. Friendly,” but those close to him knew underneath his seemingly tough exterior was a man who loved to crack jokes, was generous, loyal, and loved fiercely.
Bruce owned J.J. Peppers in Rogers Park for 22 years and maintained many of his friendships from his work there, acting as a father figure to several. During his retirement, he enjoyed volunteering as Commander of the American Legion in Libertyville. He looked forward to his visits with his best friend and brother, Doug, and maintained many of his childhood friendships. He enjoyed traveling, fishing, playing pool, poker, and ping pong. Bruce always said he never had a prayer go unanswered and this sentiment comes to mind knowing he passed quickly playing his favorite sport, golf, on a beautiful day. He always told his family, “If I died tomorrow, I would die happy…I’ve lived a full life.”
He is survived by his wife, Nora “Sue” Matsunaga (nee Conway); his children, Stephanie (Jeff) Crivello, Erin (Aleks) Svirskiy, Megan (Brian) Robinson, and Bridget Matsunaga; his two siblings, Douglas (Barbara) Matsunaga, David Matsunaga; grandchildren Ava, Milania, Ryder, and Kai; and many nieces, nephews, and loving friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andy and Ruth.
Visitation for Bruce will be held from 3:00 – 6:30 PM on Thursday June 15th at McMurrough Funeral Chapel, 101 Park Pl, Libertyville where a service with military honors will be held at 6:30pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Military Outreach USA https://www.militaryoutreachusa.org/. Funeral info (847) 362-2626.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bruce Matsunaga, please visit Tribute Store