Remembering Bob Bruman


GMHC Labbie and Visual Artist

by Daniel Balugaya

Robert "Bob" V. Bruman, a longtime, dedicated and well-respected former Gay Men's Health Collective (GMHC) lab volunteer, passed away April 1, 2018 after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Born on April 12, 1952, in Brown City, MI, Bob was a twin and grew up in a farming family with eight brothers and one sister.

He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s to further his visual art career through abstract portraiture. Much of his work weaves together intricate themes of war and peace; social justice; spiritual awakening; political evolution; and the toll some of these elements have taken on the earth's natural environment. Using wit, wisdom, and grace to deliver messages of personal and social responsibility, faith, hope, and peace for the future of humanity, Bob used raw, bold and provocative imagery to ignite passion. 

Bob started volunteering with the GMHC in 2002, typically every Sunday afternoon, but eventually re-focused his Sundays at the Clinic to attend to the personal care and passing of a decades-long volunteer, "Scottosaurus", in 2008.  As an Oakland resident since 1992, living down the street from UC Berkeley, he also worked and advocated for the University's Disabled Students' Program, until cancer recently reared its ugly head.

Bob was cherished as a profoundly talented artist, with a feisty, vivacious personality, who also was a big-hearted father and grandfather. He turned friendships into villages and could make a room roar with laughter. In his memory, Bob's family asks that you support your local artist or share a meal with the less fortunate.