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Warren William Bruhl began life on March 21, 1964 born to John R. Bruhl and the late Sandra Taylor née Howard in Detroit, MI. Family life eventually led him to the west coast and South Lake Tahoe, California, where he would attend South Lake Tahoe High School. Following an early graduation at the age of 16, he enrolled at Sacramento State Junior College, completing his associate degree at the age of 18, and decided to pursue chiropractic. At the young age of 22, Warren began his career as a Doctor of Chiropractic following his graduation from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in 1986. An additional three-year program earned him the post graduate degree of Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (DICCP). In early 1986, Warren met Marka Heller at a chiropractic convention after she stopped him to inquire about directions. Caught off guard by her beauty, he replied, “You have the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen.” The rest is history. He would later move to the Chicago area, where Marka had her roots, marrying on August 15th, 1987 and joining Lakefront Chiropractic Center, Dr. Marka’s chiropractic practice in Glencoe. Marka and Warren welcomed three children Austin, Montana, and Sage into their lives between 1990 and 1997. They were active members of the Northbrook community through their children’s participation in baseball, community service, ice skating, dance, and martial arts. After many years of good fortune and hard work, 2011 brought winds of change for Warren, as he and Marka sold their clinic. At the age of 48, he thus began a new chapter in his life.
One of Warren’s life philosophies was: “It is better to be interested than interesting.” He valued learning about others’ lives through asking questions and listening to their experiences. However, Warren’s accolades truly suggest he was quite the interesting man and may have given the Dos Equis gentleman a run for his money. Post-retirement afforded new opportunities for Warren. He frequented Kenya and the Dominican Republic providing free chiropractic care to locals as well as teaching manual healing techniques to healthcare providers in hopes of greater sustainable outcomes. Additionally, he recognized that sport could be a means for creating opportunities for the local youth to overcome poverty and recognize self-potential. He started a non-profit organization called Gear4Goals with the vision of delivering used sports and music equipment to under-served boys and girls on an international scale to help provide the means for this change to occur. Since its inception ten years ago, Gear4Goals has provided over 200,000 pieces of equipment from the efforts of Warren and many other volunteers.
Because of his travels into under-served countries, Warren became passionate about trying to empower people to overcome systemic poverty. Alongside his mother and step-father, Kenny Taylor, he helped institute a school and hospital in Kenya’s rural Kimana community four hours outside of Nairobi. Inspired by his travel experiences and his mother’s life work as a missionary in Kenya, Warren co-authored the book Wavers and Beggars, an exploration of global poverty and the ways in which to confront its challenges. It is clear that Warren was deeply passionate about the betterment of humanity and taking on challenges to “help the needy become the needed” a mantra that he recanted to describe how to embrace helping people.
Retirement brought about the opportunity for a new hobby and passion to enter Warren’s life. With all of his children in college or graduate school, he began to take flying lessons in 2015, and earned his aviation license in 2017. At the time of his passing, Warren’s achievements in aviation were extensive. He was an instrument-rated commercial single and multi-engine airplane and helicopter pilot. He was an esteemed and cherished certified flight instructor, instrument rated instructor, and multi-engine instructor. Warren also was an experienced aerobatic and tailwheel pilot flying many different types of airplanes from warbirds to jets. Warren was the co-founder of and a seasoned instructor at Gambit aviation, one of the nation’s premier aerobatics & warbird flight schools. In aviation, he found the greatest joy to be helping student and newly licensed pilots achieve new skillsets so that they could gain their independence in the sky.
It is impossible to capture the essence of who Warren was by way of words on a page. He was a profoundly dynamic human being—intense and passionate about his values and philosophies, yet reliable and nurturing to so many he met along his life journey. Warren’s passion for his family was unparalleled. He was a consistent and ever-present influence in his children’s lives growing up, coaching his sons in baseball all throughout their youth, walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, crafting hand-written notes on his children’s birthdays detailing his immense pride for them, and often reciting that “becoming a father was the best thing that has ever happened in my life.” So too, despite the daily rigors that came with owning a business, Warren always made time for his wife and children after a long day of work. And to his mother, Sandy, following her untimely passing in 2016, Warren paid reverence by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro to spread her ashes on the hallowed African grounds she had called home for so many years.
Years later, it’s that same consistency and availability that has stayed true to Warren’s character across friends and family for which we remember him. He challenged us all to look in the mirror, to live in integrity, and to be the best version of ourselves. His legacy will live on though his wife Marka Bruhl, his three children: Austin Bruhl (Gabriella Bruhl), Montana Bruhl (Jon Katz), Sage Bruhl, and his grandson River Bruhl (Austin and Gabriella). And in the spirit of Warren Bruhl the husband, father, brother, son, healer, pilot, philanthropist, author, fitness influencer and friend signing off to us one more time:
You will be dearly missed.
The family wishes to have all services for Warren to be private.
In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to your favorite charity in honor of Warren and his legacy.
Funeral Directors Greg Parks, Sheila Parks, Stuart Parks, and Darin Schutt are honored to serve Warren’s family.
Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com.