Busy Aurora Deacon Watermann Dies Jan. 31
February 9, 2023
AURORA—Deacon Bruce M. Watermann, 72 of Aurora, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 at his home. He was born March 20, 1950 in Elgin, and came to Aurora in 1968 to work for WKKD radio as an on-air personality. He married his wife, Jody, in 1972, and they celebrated 50 years of marriage last year.
In 1976, Bruce became manager of food and nutrition at St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. While there, he was asked to assist in pastoral care, leading a Communion and prayer service two days a week and visiting and bringing Communion to Catholic patients. 
The hospital chaplain encouraged him to discern becoming a deacon. He began diaconate studies in 1995 and was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Rockford in 1999.
Deacon Bruce was first assigned to St. Therese Parish, serving as director of religious education and in other parish ministries, including to seniors at Asbury Gardens retirement center. He and Jody had become involved in prison ministry and he continued in that role after becoming a deacon.
He became chaplain of the Aurora Township Fire Department in 2007. He also began serving at St. Nicholas in 2009. 
Deacon Bruce was bilingual, and he was asked to tutor Spanish-speaking priests in liturgical English beginning in 2010. He also provided spiritual direction and bilingual family counseling.
As a cancer survivor, Deacon Bruce also reached out to cancer patients. He began service at St. Joseph Church in Elgin in 2019.
He is survived by his wife, Jody (Poss) Watermann; his son, Robert (Holly) Watermann; and two grandchildren, Abigail and Jackson Watermann. 
The visitation was held Feb. 3 at St. Joseph Church in Aurora. The funeral Mass was held Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. at St Joseph Church, with interment at St. Joseph Cemetery.
“The Catholic community will truly miss him,” says the St. Joseph Church Facebook feed announcing his death. It added that the parish “can’t begin to list all the thing he did, and the people he helped.”
Many tributes were posted on the Daleiden Mortuary Tribute Wall, including this from Christian and Verena Nunez: “Deacon Bruce was an influential person in our lives since we were children and was integral in our faith formation. We will greatly miss him. He meant so much to us and many others. His example, influence and legacy will never be forgotten.”
Deacon Bill Stankevitz noted on the same page: “Since my ordination, Bruce has been there with kind and encouraging words. Throughout his own tough times with his battles with cancer, he has always been an upbeat beacon of faith.”
And Vanessa Astorga concluded her tribute: “God has, indeed gained such a beautiful soul.”
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