Bruce Cale McQuarrie, 93 of Auburn, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2022, at home.
Bruce retired in 1990 after 30 years of teaching mathematics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was born and grew up in Easton, PA and received his B.A. from Lafayette College. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served honorably for 8 years. He went on to earn an M.S. at the University of New Hampshire and a PhD in Mathematics from Boston University. He taught at numerous high schools and institutions of higher education throughout the U.S. and spent a year teaching in Nottingham, England.
Throughout his life, Bruce was an activist and a staunch advocate for social justice and environmental issues. He fought for the underrepresented both locally and nationally. He was involved in anti-war and the civil rights movements; including facilitating voter registration in the Southern states. Bruce was an early adopter and innovator in DIY solar technology. His passive solar heater design, which was published in major media, was shared, without profit so that others could benefit from affordable alternative heating systems.
Bruce was a very spiritual man and was very involved throughout his life at the First Presbyterian Church of Worcester, The Floating Parish, Pakachoag Church and most recently Hadwen Park Church.
Bruce was deeply passionate about genealogy. He spent much of his life researching his Cale and McQuarrie family histories. He organized and attended McQuarrie clan gatherings in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, and Australia. He made many trips over the years to the McQuarrie homeland, the Isle of Ulva, just off the coast of the Isle of Mull in Scotland. He proudly wore the MacQuarrie tartan at holidays and special occasions. He also gifted others with MacQuarrie memorabilia.
Gardening was another passion for Bruce. He grew raspberries, wineberries, and maintained a large vegetable garden. He was known to make regular deliveries of fresh produce to family and friends around town. His love for gardening extended to flowers as well. He would order 100’s of perennials and share with family and friends.
To say Bruce was unconventional might be an understatement. He himself was frugal but extraordinarily generous to others. He always wrapped birthday and Christmas gifts in the Sunday comics, and when the celebration was over, Bruce would find a couch, chair or piece of empty floorspace for his post-meal nap.
Family was extremely important to Bruce. He was very involved in the lives of his daughters and their children. He was generous with his time, skills and resources.
Bruce leaves his sister, Margaret Farmer of Shelburne, VT, his former wife and friend, Betty A. McQuarrie of Northampton, daughters, Nancy Phillips of Austin, TX, Laura Sienkiewicz and husband, Gary, of Northampton and Amy Daly Gardner and husband, Michael Gardner, of Auburn. He was beloved by his grandchildren, Jason Phillips, Daniel Sienkiewicz, Jackson Sienkiewicz, Sarah McFadden, Fiona Daly, Lucas Daly, Alejandro Medina and Michael Gardner Jr. He also leaves extended family around the world.
He was predeceased by his parents, William Caven Hunter and Florence Mable (Cale) McQuarrie, brothers, Malcolm McQuarrie and Lawrence Palmer, son-in-law, Douglas Phillips and granddaughter, Tara Phillips.
There are no immediate services. A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at a date to be determined. Donations can be made to Planned Parenthood, an organization that Bruce supported throughout his life (1055 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA 02215 or www.plannedparenthood.org).