Musician, swimmer, star student: Cameron Bruce, a 2010 Staples graduate found dead Monday at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, was all of those things. But to his family and friends, Cameron will be remembered not only for his numerous accomplishments, but for the kind of person he was.
"Cameron was very gregarious," said his father Iain Bruce. "He had a lot of friends, an eclectic bunch of friends, including athletes, musicians, and friends he's had since preschool."
In addition to his father Iain Bruce, who is president of the Westport Weston Family Y board of directors, Cameron is survived by his mother Linda, a member of the Westport Representative Town Meeting; his sister Margot; and his grandmother Shirley.
Cameron, a freshman at Queen's University, had planned to major in engineering. Cameron was found dead outside of his dorm on Monday. The police chief in Kingston was quoted in a Canadian newspaper as saying Cameron's death was believed to be accidental.
"He always loved math and science. He did well in those courses," Iain said. "And to him, it seemed like the natural next step. He thought it would be fun."
Though he was only 18, Cameron led an accomplished life. He was an AP Scholar, a 2010 National Merit Scholar and received an Outstanding Achievement in Forensics award from the science department. Cameron had played the trumpet since fifth grade and played the violin before that. At Staples, Cameron was a member of band, jazz band and symphonic orchestra. He was also a five-year member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, a member of the United Nations Youth Band in 2008 and 2009 and played taps at the most recent Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies in town.
"Every few years you get a student like Cameron. I'll never forget him," said Nick Mariconda, Cameron's band/jazz band teacher. "He was my No.1 trumpet guy. He took a leadership role in that section. He was always eager to learn and was never afraid to volunteer when an opportunity came up."
Cameron was on the varsity swim team at Staples for four years and placed every year as a finalist in the FCIAC and state LL competitions. During his senior year as team captain, Cameron was named Academic All-American and Scholar Athlete.
"I'll always remember Cameron for his big, bright smile and spiky blond hair," said Jeff Schare, Cameron's swimming coach at Staples. "He was someone a lot of people wanted to be around because he was always happy and upbeat."
Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road E., Westport. A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Saugatuck Congregational Church. A celebration of Cameron's life will be held during the Thanksgiving weekend in November.
Donations in Cameron's memory can be made to the Cameron Bruce Scholarship for Trumpet at New England Music Camp, 8 Goldenrod Lane, Sidney, ME 04330, or to a scholarship grant, which will be established in his memory, at Staples Tuition Grants, PO Box 5159, Westport, CT 06881.
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