Karl “Fritz” Bruder, of Belding, Michigan, went to be with his Lord on June 26, 2020, at the age of 89. Karl was born on October 2, 1930, and raised in Grand Rapids, graduating from Creston High School in 1948. He went on to earn two degrees in Geology from the University of Michigan and was very proud to become a lifelong Wolverine. Karl’s specialty was in oil exploration, which aligned with his adventurous spirit and led him to explore remote locations in Northern Africa, the Rocky Mountains and the Yukon. Karl was also an avid hunter, fisherman, diver, hockey player, tennis player and skier. He taught science for many years at both Grand Rapids Junior College (now GR Community College) and Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone University), where his stories and photographic history of climbing, diving, and horseback riding across God’s creation became legendary. Karl’s church homes through the years were Berean Baptist Church, and Calvary Undenominational Church in Grand Rapids and Green Corners Baptist Church in Belding.
Karl was preceded in death, in 1980, by his first wife, Ruth Wilma Spruit, also of Grand Rapids. He is survived by his second wife, Marilyn Brock Zeoli, with whom he has shared 38 years of marriage. He is also survived by three children, David (Susan) Bruder, Diane (Michael) Eleveld, Douglas (Linda) Bruder and a daughter-in-law, Charlene Bruder; eleven grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren; and stepchildren Steven Zeoli, David (Heather) Zeoli and Patresha (Edward) Zeoli Roehre and 5 step grandchildren.
Karl’s family will greet visitors on Tuesday evening, June 30, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Green Corners Baptist Church, 4998 Belding Road, Belding, Michigan 48809. A service will take place at the church on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. with pastor Paul Leslie Officiating. Face masks will be available and social distancing guidelines are encouraged to be observed. Interment will take place at Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Those wishing to express sympathy are welcomed to consider a contribution in Karl’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Down’s Syndrome Charity of their choice. Envelopes will be available at the services or by contacting Verdun Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Belding who is caring for the arrangements, at (616) 794-1300 or verdunfh.com.