Cameron Bruce is sorely missed at Staples.

Proof of how much he's missed was the turnout for his wake, which had a very long line, and funeral, where the church was so packed people viewed it from outside.

Based on his pedigree and contributions to Staples and Weston, this should be no surprise to anyone. A captain of last year's boys swimming and diving team, he's not just missed by the swimmers and athletic community but by everyone from all walks of life because of his bright personality and his many talents.

"I think it was the way he led in his everyday life, which made him respected, not just among Staples swimmers but in the Staples community at-large," Wreckers swimming Coach Jeff Schare said. "Swimming was only a fraction of who he was. He was talented in a wide variety of areas. The entire Staples community was there for him. I think everyone wanted to be there for Cameron because they were touched by him."

An Academic All-American, Bruce sported a 3.75 grade point average. Based on his performance in the classroom, pool and in the community, Schare selected Bruce as the Staples boys swimming scholar-athlete for the Staples Scholar-Athlete banquet.

"I think I can speak for the entire Staples community that our sympathies go out to the Bruce family," said Staples Athletic Director Marty Lisevick. "He made a very positive impact on the Staples community. He was intelligent, well-spoken and well-liked by his peers. There are many kids upset with his passing."

One memory Lisevick will treasure is when Bruce played the national anthem with his trumpet at the start of the scholar-athlete banquet.

Bruce also played taps on his trumpet at the Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations in town, was in the orchestra for Staples Players and was an assistant principal in the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. He was a deacon in his church as well.

Reflecting on the services, Lisevick said, "Seeing all the boys in their Staples jackets was a testament to how much of a leader he was. Kids get a hard lesson in how quickly life passes and it's important to enjoy your families and friends."

Schare said that one of the attendees told him that everyone has a picture with Bruce because he was so friendly and involved in so many extra-curricular activities.

"He crammed more in 18 years than some people cram in their whole lives," Schare said. "He lived an active and happy life."