Memorial held for Gatesville explosion victim

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:48-04

On Monday, hundreds went to the Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center to honor a construction supervisor who died in the Gatesville hospital explosion last Tuesday.

During the memorial in Temple, family, friends and former co-workers remembered Michael Bruggman. They described the 43-year-old who worked for Lochridge-Priest as a loving son, brother and uncle. 

"He was my person, my protector. He took care of me. If someone treated me badly, he would make sure they knew what they had done and would never do it again," Bruggman's sister Lisa Rowell said. 

Bruggman will also be remembered by his friends from Sam Houston University and Academy High School. For many of them, it was hard to talk about their beloved friend without tearing up. 

"That quiet strength will always be remembered. That kind of heart already is and will be dearly missed, and that smile," Bruggman's friend from high school Stephanie Tomasek said.

His work family was also represented at the memorial with nearly 200 Lochridge- Priest employees attending the event.

"We wanted to show the family what he meant for us," LP President Skip Burch said. "Michael is one of the finest men I've ever worked with. He always had a smile."

Bruggman, who was a construction supervisor, worked for the company for two years. 

“When you get to my age, you understand that when events occur that you’ll never be the same. And those events occurred. We will never be the same," Burch said. "It's a tragic accident. It's a horrific accident."

Bruggman was one of the two people who died in the explosion. Fourteen others were injured during the blast, including five of Bruggman's co-workers who remain at Texas hospitals.

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