Bruce Derbyshire, 91, Tiverton, formerly of Westport Harbor

Posted 7/13/20

Dr. Bruce Derbyshire passed away peacefully on July 11, 2020 — just a few days short of his 92nd birthday.

Born July 17, 1928, and raised in Fall River, Bruce attended Durfee High School, …

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Bruce Derbyshire, 91, Tiverton, formerly of Westport Harbor

Posted

Dr. Bruce Derbyshire passed away peacefully on July 11, 2020 — just a few days short of his 92nd birthday.

Born July 17, 1928, and raised in Fall River, Bruce attended Durfee High School, graduating from the Moses Brown School and then Yale University. He studied medicine at Boston University and — during a year abroad at the University of Edinburgh — he met the Scottish lass and love of his life, Elizabeth Todd, and they were married for 65 years.

After an internship at the University of Rochester and a residency at Vanderbilt University, he returned to Fall River to establish his medical practice as an orthopedic surgeon. He and Elizabeth settled in Swansea, Mass., to raise their five children.

Bruce embodied the spirit of life in its fullest sense.

He loved nothing more than to make new friends and to connect people with one another. Through his medical practice, every day was a new opportunity to help people and make the world a better place. His skill as a surgeon was only exceeded by his bedside manner. He remembered all of his patients and they remembered him. When mentioning his name in Fall River and beyond, you would often hear, “he fixed my arm when I was 10 years old!”

In 1976 Bruce and Elizabeth moved to Swans Way, their home in Westport Harbor. He had many passions, including a daily swim in the ocean and a round of golf at The Fall River Country Club or the Acoaxet Club. The self-proclaimed “Greatest Putter in New England” was proud of his hole in one and even more proud of his eagle on the difficult third hole at Acoaxet. He engaged in the game with a sense of humor while remaining fiercely competitive over every $1.00 press bet.

Bruce loved to read and was an avid collector of trivia and factoids. His memory was astonishing. It was a treasury of arcane yet fascinating knowledge, which he was always eager to share. He put this to use by creating a chest of memorabilia for each grandchild to open on their 21st birthday. His thoughtfulness knew no bounds.

And Bruce loved the people of Fall River. There was no topic, person, place, or thing that he could not find a way to connect to this city he loved. For good reason, he was known by his family and friends as “Mr. Fall River.”

Bruce specifically asked to keep his obituary short and only mention that he was a bonesetter from Fall River who loved his family, friends, and profession. He was so much more than that. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his five children, their spouses and ten grandchildren: David Derbyshire and Jason Jacobs; Ralph and Heidi Derbyshire and their children Graham, Hanna, and Adhieu; Richard and Betty Derbyshire and their sons Ralph and Andrew; Peter and Stephanie Derbyshire and their children Myles and Lily; and John and Mary (Derbyshire) Petty and their children Gordon, Eliza, and Liam.

"His arrangements are in the care of Waring-Sullivan Home at Cherry Place, Fall River. To leave a note of condolence, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com". In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the NAACP, an organization Bruce supported for more than 50 years. You can do so in Bruce’s name by contacting his daughter Mary at maryderby1@gmail.com.

We will hold a celebration in honor of Bruce’s life when circumstances allow.

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