Bruce Richard Finlinson

Bruce Richard Finlinson

February 3, 1953 – March 30, 2021

Bruce Richard Finlinson passed away at age 68 from the effects of Alzheimers.  He was born in Payson, Utah to Richard and LaVon Finlinson and was the oldest of seven children.

Bruce’s strong belief in his Savior Jesus Christ drove everything he accomplished in his life. He placed high importance on loving his fellowmen as the Savior modeled.

He served an honorable mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Netherlands mission where his father had served his mission years earlier.

He had an innate eye for detail and appreciated the shape, design and color of a small ginkgo leaf as much as a full mountain range. He felt his calling was to design and beautify, and that he did! He often spoke of the goal of creating worlds in the afterlife.

Every person on the earth was to him a brother and a sister, so he determined early in life to make it a high priority to smile and speak to everyone he passed by on the street. This he did with a light in his eyes and a bright happy face. Kind words constantly tumbled from his mouth, often asking a young child in his mother’s arms if they were mommy’s big helper or asking if they were wearing new shoes. He especially loved older people he encountered and typically would pause to find out if they might have a story they would like to share.

Bruce truly mastered the art of loving his fellowmen. He had a belief in others and gave opportunities particularly to many in the design world.

Bruce was a talented interior designer with a great love for art, architecture, and culture. He was fortunate to be able to work for many years as lead designer for dozens of temples, contributing worldwide to places such as Madrid Spain, Preston England, Cardston Alberta, Billings Montana, Apia Samoa, SanDiego California and his cherished Nauvoo Illinois. Although he was a creative genius, his priority in every temple installation was the rapport he had with people he had pulled in to help him. He mentored and taught in a playful way, making sure other’s talents shone as he put the finishing touches on a temple installation.

He married Mykin Welsh in 1975. They were blessed with six children who eventually married and had children of their own. They were later divorced.

Bruce married Laurel Hartley Olsen in 2008 adding six stepchildren and additional grandchildren to the mix.

In spite of severe health challenges including Alzheimer’s decline for nine years and experiencing a stroke in recent months, he did not let his health condition define him. His last months were spent with his wife Laurel, in the comfort of his own home, locked into a  broken body unable to get out of bed, but continuing to shine in a remarkable way. He still lit up when a familiar face entered the room, he still reached with his one good arm to hug his grandchildren, laughed when he heard the sound of a child, and literally danced from his bed. His last word was thank you.

He leaves behind his devoted wife, Laurel, and a family of seventy:

Jason (Nichole), Madison, Jacob, Emmy, Ashton, Jaxton

Mathew (Katie), Sophie, William, Roman, Colson

Christopher (Michele), Knoxx, Porsha, Banks, Maple

Carly (Patrick), Madelyn, Harper, Radwell, Hendrix Bruce

Jennie (Michael), Pierce, Hazel, Zion, Gabriel, Malia, Elijah, Charley

Alicen (Stephen), Dayton, Beckham, Stella

Bruce naturally brought his grandchildren into his world by kneeling down to their level and through his own zest for life patiently teaching them of the things he loved.

Jarom (Christine) Laela, Ivy, Soren, Freja

Tiffany (Jim), William

Andrew (Janelle), Ruby

Brooklyn (Ned), Oliver, Eleanor, Ada, Sam

Bethany (Kimball), Calvin, Jonas, Levi, Norah

Brittany (Chase), Annabelle, Betsy, Jonny

Bruce loved to lay on the floor and then announce to these little ones that he was their step grandpa so they better come and step all over him. They would jump on his back and giggle with delight, and so would he!

Bruce is also survived by his siblings Diane (Tom), Mark (Kimi), Gary (Aelly), and David (Thelma).  He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and LaVon, sister Karen (Eric) and brother Allen (Breta).

Friends and family are invited to a viewing Tuesday, April 6 at 10 a.m. at City View Mortuary, 1001 East 11th Avenue, Salt lake City. Masks are required. Funeral services will follow at 11:30. Interment at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

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  • Nadeen Marcus
    Posted at 20:24h, 02 April Reply

    Prayers to the entire family. I so enjoyed the many stories Bruce shared while visiting his dad at the building I worked at. What a joy to get to know him. Very talented man. May he rest in peace, no longer struggling with such a hard disease.

  • Michael & Maria Moody
    Posted at 06:50h, 06 April Reply

    Bruce was truly one in a million. We rejoice in his eleemosynary life! Great love to Laurel and all the family.

  • Jesse M Harris
    Posted at 11:59h, 10 May Reply

    Everything in Bruce’s obit is spot-on. I worked with Bruce for several years in Church Physical Facilities Department. He was a joy at work because he always had a positive attitude and happy, smiling approach to all that we did there. I will miss him for awhile and until whatever is next beyond this earth. What a good guy!

  • gary lloyd patterson
    Posted at 10:42h, 18 June Reply

    Although Bruce was a year older than I in school at Westwood HS, we were privileged to live next door to Bruce and Mykin when our children were small.
    Recently, I was reminded that we all light up a room…some when they enter and some when they leave it; Bruce was definitely the first type, always smiling!
    After a somewhat “minor” remodel of the Mesa, AZ temple, we learned that Bruce had been the lead on the remodel and every time we attended from that point on, we marveled at the sacred beauty and his attention to detail.
    Not knowing Bruce was involved with the Nauvoo temple, but remembering the times we have been inside, it is no wonder it’s interior is so striking beautiful!
    Rest in peace, Bruce, until we meet again!

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