MASTALINSKI - Bruce, A. Of New York, NY, formerly of Buffalo, NY, March 17, 2018, at age 61. Loving son of Eleanor and the late Stanley Mastalinski; devoted brother and friend of Sharon, Paul and Ann (Carl) Groth; loving uncle of Levi and Allegra; dearest friend and companion of Whitney Rolle; also survived by many cousins and dear friends. Visitation at the KOLANO FUNERAL HOME, 396 Amherst St. (near Grant) Friday 4 - 8PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Assumption Church, 435 Amherst St., Saturday at 9:30 AM. Please assemble at Church. Bruce was retired from a long, successful career at Lighthouse Guild. If desired, donations in Bruce's memory to God's Love We Deliver, are preferred. Please share your memories and online condolences at www.KOLANOFUNERALHOME.com
Bruce was always loving, a foundation of reliability, and our rock. He was a source of reason, compassion and comfort. He was always dependable in that way, offering insights into our daily lives that provided a measure of sensibility that was comforting. He was our beacon in making some of the most significant decisions in our lives.
Bruce had no shortage of humor. I cannot count the times when he took the most regular and mundane things and made them funny in a way that only he could pull off. I think you know what I am talking about. Using his quick wit, he would fire off a one liner that would crack us all up. He did it regularly.
Let me give you an example. Recently, our mother had become ill and was in the rehabilitation unit at Northgate. She wasn’t quite sure she wanted to be there (I think all of us would be having this thought). So she asked Bruce, “Bruce, if I wasn’t here, where would I be”? And without batting an eye, Bruce turned to her and said, “Forest Lawn”.
These were but a few of his many gifts to his family and friends.
Bruce was a man of many tastes. As with the fundamental things in life as in love, friends and family, he sought pleasure from travel, food, culture and style and opened the doors to his family and friends about these things. If anyone has enjoyed the exquisite meals that Bruce has prepared, you know what I am talking about.
Bruce, was the first of the Mastalinski family, a pioneer of sorts, to move to New York City. New York in the late 70’s and 80’s was like the wild west. Since we all grew up in Buffalo New York, a visit to New York City was an eye-opening experience. Bruce shared his knowledge of the city as we explored and experienced so much of what this world class city had to offer. Eventually, two more of the family, Ann and Paul came to call New York City home as well. Thanks to Bruce our family’s view of the world was broadened widely.
Bruce was always there in times of need. He was the first person we would call. He probably thought why me, but he never hesitated. There are too many examples to share with you but here are a few.
Eleanor: Bruce being my eldest child, grew up not only supervising the three younger kids, but as he got older, he ended up giving advice to his parents as well. But he regularly sought my guidance and I am proud to say that I helped him with some of his own life decisions. He was the first of the extended Mastalinski family to finish college which made us very proud. He was the first one to “leave the nest”, move from the Buffalo area and establish a very successful professional career. Upon reflection, maybe I had something to do with making him the pioneer he was.
Sharon: I live in Hawaii. About 10 years ago I was sent to the hospital and found out I had to undergo serious surgery. I called Bruce to let him know. By the time I came out of surgery there he was waiting for me. He had even rented a house in Kailua Beach where we stayed ten days for my healing and he took care of me. This is just one memory of how I will always think about my brother.
On the lighter side, Bruce also convinced me to dance on the bar at the Pyramid Club after a few cocktails (ok so I might be dating myself). Bruce, you are my guiding light, mentor and gave me hope to always move forward in my life. You will always be with me. In my heart we will always be dancing together.
Paul: After high school, I spent 8 months in Florida on an “extended vacation” having fun and trying to figure out what to do with my life. Realizing a life in Florida was not for me, I decided to visit Bruce in NYC on my way back to Buffalo, but still without a plan. I saw that Bruce was meeting with success in his professional and personal life. It was working for him and I realized I needed the same for me. He had such a big influence on me I tried to emulate his success so I too enrolled at Buffalo State Collage and tried my hand at business classes. Well, that definitely didn’t work for me.
But here’s the thing, I did take a music elective which I enjoyed immensely and took me in a different direction. Fast forward to today after 28 years of teaching music education in various public school districts around the state, I am proud to say that my brother was the motivation to start a great career in teaching music.
Ann: Being the youngest of four I was Bruce’s favorite, or at least I liked to think so. Seriously though, he used to tell me we were all his favorites.
Because of Bruce, I was able to move from Buffalo to New York City at the age of 23 and brave the fear of finding a new home in one of the biggest cities in the world. Bruce had been living in Yonkers, New York and when I decided to move to the city, together we found an apartment there were I lived with him for a few years. During that time, he taught me the ropes of living in the big city as only he could do. It was with Bruce in New York City where I met my husband Carl who I have known and loved for 30 years.
I also grew to depend on him. Looking back, it seems like I needed him for so many things, but he was always there for me. He would laugh with me, educate me, guide me and sometimes just listen. He was my guiding light, my best friend, my hero and the most sensible person I’ve ever known in my entire life. He was a voice of reason for me and my Mr. Fix It.
Sometimes I think I was a pain in the you-know-what. But he never let me feel that way. He always gave me his love and attention 24/7 no matter what was going on in his life.
Now he is gone. Or is he? Now when we are faced with a decision however simple or difficult, we can no longer just pick up the phone and give him a call. But Bruce, we know you will always be with us in our hearts and minds – looking over us. And when we seek your advice and guidance we know that we will be able to hear and see you and we will always find comfort in that.