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Wow! It’s amazing to live such a great life and survive being stabbed twice by your own family. I think Bruce made a lot of people smile. Thanks Bruce.
I did not personally know Bruce but upon seeing his picture and subsequently reading his obituary, I wish I had. What a fabulous testament to an interesting, heartwarming and fun sounding man. My deepest condolences to his family and all who knew him. I can tell he will be greatly missed.
What a well done piece, Bruce must have enjoyed writing this.salutation s to Bruce.Thanks to his family for sharing him with the world. RIP Bruce
I only wish I had had the joy of knowing Bruce. My kinda guy. None of my friends knew Bruce but nevertheless, I am sending this send off. I should be in The New Yorker!!!
/Users/TRUDY/Desktop/LornasClass50sLincolnElemJCNY.png The Smyks lived behind my gram on Lincoln Ave in JC. Here's Bruce, top row, last on right. Fond memories of the Smyks, hadn't seen Bruce since way back then. Sounds like he had a terrific life. God bless you Bruce and family.
Lorraine & Family: I was so saddened to learn of Bruce's passing. I have such fond memories of him and his brother Steve. Years ago I was a development director at Syracuse University and both of them helped me so much with SU events in the Binghamton area. We always had a great time. They were so much fun to work with Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with the entire Smyk family during this most difficult time. Jim Seitz
I was fortunate to have met Bruce in years past while he had been working with his brother Steve. . Sad to hear the news about Bruce. My sincere condolences to his family.
I was very sad to hear of Bruce’s passing. His obituary brought back many fond memories during all of the times I spent watching the Smyk children over the years. I always loved your Dad’s quick wit and humor. He always made me smile and he definitely lived life to the fullest. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Charlie and Sue Carpenter
Dear Lorraine and your wonderful kids, Rachel, Adam and Leah, when Betsy Carlin and Diane Simmons shared that Bruce had died, it brought back many memories of the years in Binghamton. But, in keeping with this treasure of an obituary, we are reminded of Bruce popping his head in to say hello to Lorraine’s quilting group ( stitch and bitch)…. The girls had just been in a deep discussion about Assertiveness Training, when Bruce greeted us with “Hi , Hey, how are you broads doing with your assertiveness training? Ohhh, Bruce! You will be missed.
Bruce sounds like he had a full and comical life. It would have been nice to meet him. I didn't know Bruce but I had to comment and give my sincere condolences. What great memories you all must have.❤🙏🏻
Very shocked to hear this . Bruce and Steve spent many a Sunday afternoon at Tom and Marty’s watching football and drinking. My condolences.
Lorraine and Smyk family, I had the pleasure of working on some banking deals with Bruce and Steve, including the financing of the infamous, “Smyk” building. I had the pleasure of taking the two brothers to a Yankee Philly game At Citizens Bank park i the private suite. Met the owners of the Phillies, with Steve and Bruce trying to fix my son up with the owner’s granddaughter. Many beers and lunches at Tom and Marty’s. Bruce great guy, never a dull moment. He was truly a one of a kind man, who will be missed by many, but leaves behind a lifetime of hilarious memories, may your sorrow be over taken by laughter, sincerely, Scott
I didn't know Bruce or the Smyk family; but I wish I had. The obituary made me laugh and cry at the same time. He must have been a honor and a challenge to know Bruce. My condolences to his family on his passing.
Bruce C. Smyk
Bruce C. Smyk, passed away, kicking and screaming, on September 29th, at age 74. If you’re reading this, you’re probably pretty bummed. Bruce was predeceased by his parents, NYS Supreme Court Justice Stephen Smyk and Lillian (Lee) Smyk, and his brother, Stephen D. Smyk. Bruce is survived by his loving wife of more than 53 years, Lorraine, and their 3 children and their spouses, Rachel Smyk-Newton (Craig), Adam Smyk (Sonya) and Leah Chapman (Bill). He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Debbie Smyk, brother-in-law, Ronald J. Ankner, nephew, Stephen P. Smyk and niece, Rebecca Balchikonis, numerous cousins and his grandchildren, Luke, Lily, Danny, James and Andrew.
Bruce was born in Johnson City and raised in Binghamton, NY. He graduated from Binghamton Central HS, where he co-held, with his teammates, a sectional swim record in men’s freestyle-style relay. The record lasted for almost 20 hours. Bruce also was on the golf team which tied for first in the regional finals after being win-less for the season. He matriculated at Syracuse University, where he learned big words like that. Bruce attended both Syracuse U. and the Syracuse School of Law, where he received B.A. and J.D. degrees, respectively.
Before he was 20, Bruce had worked delivering mail at Harpur College, shoveled concrete to help build Rte. 17, life-guarded the Rte. 17 bridge (without a loss) behind the Pig Stand, traveled to Europe twice (where he dated Lorraine in Paris) and Africa, bar-tended, was a bouncer, baseball player and a greens-keeper. While in Paris, Bruce and Lorraine had an unexpected and very exciting ride in the back of a Parisian paddy-wagon.
While in college, Bruce was a Deke, played on the SU rugby team, taught golf to his freshman gym classmates (because the teacher didn’t play golf). Bruce was on the championship teams for inter-fraternity golf and football for the Dekes. He also made both Dean’s lists (the good and bad ones). He tended bar at Ed’s Place for 6 years and avoided cirrhosis. He loved bar-tending and was nicknamed the “Load Monster”. He once threw out the owner of Ed’s and locked the door. When Bruce went for his admittance interview at the Law School, he was greeted by a rugby teammate. It was a short interview. While in law school, Bruce was a member of Phi Delta Phi.
Bruce and Lorraine were married in 1969. After graduating from law school, Bruce, Lorraine and daughter, Rachel, moved to Vincent St., and resided there for 35 years with the additions of Adam and Leah. While in Binghamton, Bruce served on the boards of the BC Pops, Binghamton City School District, the Binghamton Country Club, Endicott Coil Co. and Endicott Research Group. After practicing law for a few years, Bruce partnered with his brother to form Smyk & Smyk, where they practiced together for 30 years. The firm had various partners, two of whom went onto the bench – Broome County Court Judge Joseph Cawley and NYS Supreme Court Justice Molly Fitzgerald.
In his spare time, Bruce enjoyed golf, having played at Binghamton Country Club in 7 different decades. At the first Olds Scramble, Bruce aced the second hole and his partner, Greg Feduke, aced the 18th for 2 aces in the same round and a rather large bar bill. Bruce also double-eagled En-Joie’s 15th hole when it was still a par 5 (driver, 8-iron) and aced the 7th at North Hampton CC (Yulee, FL) on St. Patrick’s Day – yet another bar tab to live in infamy.
For 10 years, Bruce and Dick Fahrenz coached softball for girls aged 8-12 and ingrained into them the team motto, “It just doesn’t matter”, which they yelled, on cue, at their games at unruly parents. Bruce also worked part-time for the Golf Channel, ESPN and NBC Sports at PGA and Seniors golf tournaments. He was inside the ropes with Tiger. Bruce played some top courses and walked off of the 17th at the PGA Sawgrass course with a birdie.
Bruce loved playing softball for such fine establishments as the Bate’s Motel, Yonda’s, Reardon’s and Madame Oars, among others. Ask Leah the M.O. story. As Bruce aged, he discovered that, between seasons, someone was lengthening the playing surfaces.
Bruce also survived 2 stabbings (by family members -rough family- ask the family for the details, great stories).
Bruce and Lorraine moved to Fernandina Beach, Florida in 2007, Bruce having retired from Hinman, Howard & Kattell. They came to love Amelia Island and were very happy until Bruce’s body sabotaged him. Rat b****** body (hello, Jake). Towards the end, Bruce complained that he was seeing more doctors than bartenders. His skin doctor named his new boat the “Thanks, Bruce”. His oncologist and heart doctors got airplanes.
While on Amelia, Bruce was a long-time treasurer for the Fernandina Beach Men’s Golf Association, served on 2 city golf advisory committees, as well as the committee that assembled a Request for Proposal to hire a managing company for the city’s golf courses.
Bruce’s last words were, “I’m dying-- just kidding.”
His family will receive visitors on Monday, October 10 from 4pm to 6pm at the Oxley-Heard Funeral Home in Fernandina Beach, FL. Bruce asked to have his ashes dumped in the ocean, if the Coast Guard nixes the Viking funeral. A Celebration of Life will be held in Binghamton, NY on a date to be determined.
Rather than flowers, please donate to the John Patrick Leet Memorial Scholarship Fund at SUNY Broome, P.O. Box 1017, Binghamton, NY 13902 or online via credit card at www.sunybroome.edu/gift.
Th-th-that’s all, folks.