On December 2, 2022, we lost our beloved Bruce H. Gelman. He was born Bruce Howard Gelman in October 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jeanne Gelman and the late Harry Gelman. With sadness of his passing, he is survived by Jeanne Gelman, his mother; Beatriz, his wife, and his two loving children, Andrea Dominytus (husband Dalton) and Alex Gelman. Bruce is also survived by his brother Jack Gelman (wife Carol and children Katie, Allison, Charlie and Jane); Michele Gow, the sister-in-law of his late twin-brother, David, and Michele Patterson, his former wife and mother to their two children. Bruce was predeceased by his father, Harry Gelman, and his twin-brother, David.
Bruce was a loving son, brother, husband, and father. Some say that they will climb the highest mountain for love, but would they climb 13,800 feet to show their love? In 2008, Bruce hiked 4 days in the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu with his wife, Beatriz, to propose to her. For more than 14 years of their marriage, there were flowers, romantic travel, and never more than a few minutes without hearing him say, “mi amore”, my love. His kids, Andrea and Alex were his most prideful joy. Picture two young kids and a dad with blue-tongued slushy mouths or seeing them tumbling down a hill with dad in a picnic blanket, to coaching flag football for 9 years or watching his little girl become a young lady and walking her down the aisle. As a devoted son, he became a rock to his mother after she lost her son, David, and later moving her to Pittsburgh after she lost her husband, and Bruce’s father, Harry.
The majority of Bruce’s professional life was spent as an attorney. A Villanova graduate with a B.S. degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration, Bruce also graduated from Duquesne law school in 1992. Bruce spent his successful legal career fighting the “big guys” on behalf of the “little ones”. He took on all of the big insurance companies and never gave up the fight, even when he was a pro bono advocate. Bruce was admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania state and federal courts and the federal 3rd circuit court. He was a member of the Pennsylvania association of justice, and, in 2019, he was inducted into the Allegheny County academy of trial lawyers-an exclusive invitational organization of trial attorneys who have reached the most skilled level of trial acumen. Bruce was also a long-standing member of the million-dollar advocates forum.
For the past 8 years, Bruce took on his greatest opponent. Cancer. Cancer, however, didn’t expect such a worthy adversary-not even his battle tested doctors expected Bruce’s grit. But that was Bruce, a noble warrior, always beating the odds, always taking on the bully, always swinging the last punch. Cancer never overtook his spirit or let it define him.
Bruce loved cars (fast ones), live music, the symphony, photography, travel, cooking and entertaining for his friends and family, telling a good (or bad) joke, and never missed an opportunity to show his appropriate inappropriateness. He had an enduring commitment to his friends and at any get together, he would always say, “my friends are the family that I chose”. Bruce was a generous, selfless, thoughtful, and loving friend.
After Bruce passed, we all sat around sharing stories, crying, and laughing. Those expressions of love are feelings that will endure for our lifetimes and for the lifetimes of those whom he touched in all of his special ways. To the end, Bruce was always authentically, Bruce. As Mr. Sinatra said it best, Bruce did it his way, Bruce’s way.
The Celebration of Bruce’s Life Memorial will be held at North Park Lodge, N. Ridge Drive, Allison Park, 15101 on Monday, December 12, 2022 from 4 pm to 9 pm. From 4 pm to 5 pm will be Condolences to the Family & Arrivals and at 5 pm the Celebration starts.
As he was passionate in his life, Bruce was passionate in his belief in Cancer Research. The family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, please give generously to the Cancer Research Institute at www.cancerresearch.org.