Las Vegas Sun

August 24, 2019

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Where I Stand:

Bruce Deifik was a warrior who never forgot where he came from

My friend, Bruce Deifik, passed away last Sunday in Denver.

During his years in Las Vegas he made many friends in the business and civic communities. His death at a relatively young age came as a terrible shock because Bruce was the guy who would probably live forever — he was just too tough to die. And, he was too nice.

Bruce was laid to rest Friday. At his funeral service at Temple Emmanuel in Denver, his dearest friend, Norman Brownstein, gave a eulogy that I believe not only summed up Bruce’s life but stands as yet one more model for how to live a life of giving to others.

It follows.

— Brian Greenspun

Today, I am standing in front of you, Bruce’s dear friends and loving family, speaking these words with deep sadness in my heart, but trying to make each of you feel honored and special for knowing this amazing person. He was the person who lived life to the fullest, never knowing how or when it was going to end.

Click to enlarge photo

Bruce Deifik

When the end did come, he apparently had given so much of his heart to his family and friends that his big, beautiful giving heart, just gave out. I don’t think Bruce would have wanted it any other way.

We have to take solace in the knowledge that Bruce lived his life to the fullest, the only way he knew. He gave and gave and gave until there was nothing else to give. He lived a life enriched by the good we can do for others.

He was my friend, my brother, everyone’s friend and brother. I loved Bruce Deifik, he was bigger than life.

He was warm, decent, caring, fun, affectionate, thoughtful and kind. He was smart, daring, adventurous and cunning.

He was a warrior.

He was also the one person you knew had your back and who would step in front of you when trouble came calling.

He could negotiate a deal as well as anyone I have ever known, yet he could buy or trade something without any negotiation or second thought. He was visceral, passionate and sensitive, oh was he sensitive.

He was knowledgeable about everything he got interested in; watches, cars and golf. You name it. Bruce was one of the best buyers, sellers and developers of real estate in the country.

He was so proud of his family, his partner and the love of his life, Nancy. And his children, Amanda, Matt, Jordan and Ben. And little Madeline, his granddaughter, your grandfather couldn’t have loved you more or wished more for you. You were his light.

Bruce’s family centered him and brought him ever-loving joy.

When I first met Bruce, it was like I had known him my entire life. He first started calling me "Dad" and after a very short time, I let him know of my displeasure with that moniker, so it became "Brother."

How does one trace his eclectic 64 years from his early manhood at Texas A&M to his days in the meat packing and tanning businesses, as a real estate investor and developer, the car business, Safe Decisions, boxing, casinos and resorts and the CEO of a famed Nevada family business?

Although we applaud his many achievements, it is his giving heart we will remember. Bruce was so kind and generous to people who provided services. He single-handedly raised the bar for tipping for everyone who knew him.

He loved being helpful to everyone and used his extensive network for whatever was needed. Charitable donations — no problem. College and school acceptances — done. Tickets for sporting events or political appointments — consider it done.

He was so resourceful and he loved, more than anything, doing what others thought was too difficult. As for doing the impossible? That just took him a bit longer.

I loved playing golf with Bruce. He could drive a ball over 300 yards or hit any shot required, at the same time as he was coaching you. He could kick or pass a football like a 25-year-old and looked for any opportunity to show his considerable skills. Especially to a 25-year-old!

He loved to drive his pickup truck, coast to coast. He was as comfortable in a Ford pickup as he was a Bentley. Actually, more comfortable in the truck.

He knew more people from all walks of life than anyone I ever knew.

Everyone who knew Bruce wanted to be around him. He was full of life and no pretense. He overwhelmed every circumstance. What a joy.

But though we applaud his many achievements, it’s his giving heart we will remember most.

He lived not to seek admiration or to grow his vanity. He didn’t live just for wealth or to accumulate power. He lived to give back and radiate warmth, friendship and affection back to his family and friends.

As I seek to capture Bruce and to bring some solace to his family and friends who are grieving, I am also trying in my own mind to collect all these memories — the good that he gave and the name that will live to generate a smile, some laughter, and — naturally, a tear. These are the memories which will, in the end, endure as the sadness of today diminishes.

Farewell, Bruce.

I will miss you every day — our conversations, our lunches, the fun and embrace of life you shared with me, and, most importantly, the gift of your days on this earth. Now you will be one of my angels that I know by name, “Pards.”

Goodbye, my dear friend, my “Haver.”