Bruce Michael Fingerhut died on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at the age of 80.
Bruce was born on April 30, 1943, to Helen and Albert Fingerhut in Washington, D.C. Raised Jewish, he grew up in the D.C. area with his younger brother Barry and he attended the University of Maryland. He met his wife, Laila Pedersen, on a date his mother arranged for him, and they were married for 57 years.
Bruce never stopped learning or trying new things. After earning his master’s degree from Maryland in Political Philosophy, he moved to South Bend to study under Dr. Gerhart Niemeyer at the University of Notre Dame. Inspired by his studies there, he converted to Christianity, which was foundational for most of his future pursuits.
His vocation in life was St. Augustine’s Press, which he founded in 1996, and it still thrives today. He published more than 500 books in philosophy, theology, and cultural and intellectual history. The press is known for publishing some of the world’s most important scholarly books of today.
Many people will remember Bruce as a soccer coach. Polio kept him from playing the sport himself, but when his son’s youth soccer team needed a coach, Bruce went to the library and studied the game. He coached each of his children and led multiple state-winning youth soccer teams. He later coached the boys’ high school team at Trinity School at Greenlawn and the I.U.S.B. women’s team.
He loved knowledge, his family, and his dogs. He took equal delight in discussing the intricate musings of Aristotle and Dostoevsky as he did in watching his grandchildren swim and pick strawberries in the backyard.
He is survived by his wife, Laila; their four children: Astrid of Chicago, IL, David (Rachel) of Carmel, IN, Geoffrey (Erin) of Brookfield, IL, and Benjamin (Winifred) of Chicago, IL; and seven grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 31 at Queen of Peace, 4508 Vistula Road in Mishawaka, followed by a luncheon at the church. Friends may visit with the family from 5:00-7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 30th at the McGann Hay, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, Granger, IN (enter at Cherry Rd).
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to either the Shriner’s Hospital, which was a charity Bruce supported and loved, www.donate.lovetotherescue.org, or St. Augustine’s Press, https://www.staugustine.net/donate/, to help carry on his scholarly legacy.
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