Bruce Passman (June 18, 1949- December 24, 2021).
Bruce was born in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Herbert and Lorraine, and spent his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended the University of Kansas, wrapping up his college degrees with a Ph.D in Special Education Administration. His career began in Lawrence as a School Psychologist, continued in Blue Valley as Executive Director of Student services, followed by a position in Topeka as the State Director of Special Education, and he returned to and retired from the Lawrence school district as the Deputy Superintendent.
Bruce taught numerous graduate courses for KU and served on a multitude of state and national boards. His passion for special education was evident in his life-long commitment to students and families and was instrumental in changing the focus of special education across the state.
Those who knew Bruce would be hard pressed to recall a memory of him that doesn’t include laughter, a KU sweatshirt, a cold beer in hand, and music in the background. He could tell you the name of every song/artist and was always singing along. Bruce never forgot a face or a name and loved nothing more than talking with people. He was incredibly open-minded and interested in politics and current events. His non-professional resume includes soccer coach, tennis partner, avid yet unsuccessful Minnesota fisherman, dedicated SNL viewer, and basketball fan. His granddaughters loved baking for him and he raved about everything they made. In return, Grandpa always kept a secret stash of gummy bears or Twizzlers for the girls. His highlight of the week was Sunday family dinners.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 52 years, Michele, of the home; his son, Travis Passman of Lawrence; his daughter Erin Passman Lawrence, her husband John, and their daughters Abby, Elise, and Anna, all of Lawrence; his mother Lorraine of Overland Park; his brothers Neal of Tampa, FL and Randy of Raleigh, NC.
The family wishes to thank Bridge Haven for the compassionate care he received in the last year of his 17-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation through Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.
A Celebration of Bruce’s Life will be held at a later date.