In Memoriam: Bruce Gebhardt

Bruce Gebhardt headshot

Eye & Ear Foundation Board Member Bruce Gebhardt passed away suddenly on September 17, 2023.

“Bruce will be greatly missed by his Eye & Ear Foundation family,” said EEF CEO Lawton Snyder. “We got to know Bruce because of his amazing spirit and dedication to addressing the problems with untreated vision and hearing loss in the community.”

Bruce was born in Pittsburgh and studied chemical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He then received an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. His Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary chronicled his professional life: After graduation, he moved to New York and worked for J.P. Morgan & Co., Merrill Lynch, UBS, and Bank of America. In 2022, he was a founding partner in Pathfinder Capital Advisors, LLC, with offices in Charlotte, NC, and New York. His work revolved around the energy sector.

Bruce joined the EEF Board in December 2022. Fellow Board member Nancy Washington called him a champion for the Foundation’s community outreach mission. “His constant emails noting the accomplishments of others and his frequent presence at events motivated us all to learn more, try harder, and continue to climb,” she said. “He will be missed.”  

Bruce’s PPG obituary described him as a huge personality known for his booming bass voice and the ability to speak to anyone and make them feel special. In addition to the EEF Board, he was on the Tepper Alumni Board. At home, he loved gardening and Pittsburgh sports teams.

Bruce with a Steelers player and a child with glasses

Snyder said Bruce is the reason Vision to Learn (VTL) is in Pittsburgh. VTL is a partnering organization that provides glasses to kids in the community, so poor vision is not a reason for kids to falling behind with education. “Bruce was so passionate about VTL that even though he resided in NY, he worked closely with local organizations and school systems to make sure VTL could come to his hometown of Pittsburgh,” Snyder recounted.

Chair of Ophthalmology, Dr. José-Alain Sahel, said Bruce’s heart was the largest of all. “It was beating for all of us,” he added. “Bruce cared for children, for the underserved, for Pittsburgh. We all were on his team and the loss is immense. The missions that he led are his legacy to us.”

As Bruce got to know more about the EEF mission, he became equally as passionate about it, Snyder said. “I will miss most of all the lengthy discussions we had about making the community better for hearing and vision, and our shared enthusiasm for the exciting research taking place at Pitt and CMU,” he continued. “We lost a great board member, a faithful supporter, and a very good friend!”

Bruce is survived by his wife Celeste and their daughter Olivia.