In loving memory of

Bruce Alan Paulsen
November 13, 1963 - August 2, 2023


Bruce Paulsen, 59 of Malvern, IA, passed away on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, IA. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at the Charles E. and Florence M. Lakin Community Center in Malvern with Pastor Carl Phillips officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in the Omaha National Cemetery. Loess Hills Funeral Home in Malvern is caring for Bruce and his family.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are directed to the family

Bruce Alan Paulsen, 59 of Malvern, Iowa passed away August 2, 2023 at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    Bruce was born November 13, 1963 in Harlan, Iowa, one of three sons, to Daryl "Chris" and Janice Paulsen.  He was a 1982 graduate of Avo-Ha Jr. Sr. High School. After completing high school, Bruce joined the United States Air Force and served all 4 years at Offutt Air Force in Bellevue, NE in the Sac Elite Guard. In 1983 his unit was sent to Cairo, Egypt to guard a plane. Although he was not there for an extended amount of time, he talked about it often. Upon being discharged from the Air Force, Bruce knew he wanted to be in law enforcement but got impatient waiting for a call back (2wks) and on May 19, 1986 he joined the United States Coast Guard. First duty station was Sandy Hook, New Jersey doing search and rescue on the Atlantic Ocean. In March of 1988, Bruce received orders to Petaluma, California where he attended A school, he graduated in September 1988 as a Radioman. Next duty station was Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, standing watch over Lake Superior, Michigan and Huron and the St Mary's River. In 1991 Bruce had orders to the United States Coast Guard Cutter Durable (WMEC 628) in St. Petersburg, Florida where he spent one year stationed on the ship patrolling the Caribbean before returning to Iowa to be with his ill mother. Bruce was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard on May 19, 1992, obtaining the rank of Radioman 2nd Class. Again, upon getting out of the military his dream was to be a cop. His dream came true on July 22, 1992 when he was hired with the Mills County Sheriff's Office (65-8). He proudly served the citizens of Mills County and after 24 years, he retired from the department as Chief Deputy/Jail Administrator (65-2).
Bruce received several Military awards throughout his years of service: Air Force Achievement Medal,  two Coast Guard Good Conduct awards, Coast Guard Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation. He served as Firearms instructor for Mills County, Drug Recognition Expert, headed up the Explorers Program, along with other certifications. Bruce attended town hall meetings, assisting with the completion of the current Mills County Jail. He served on the Malvern School Board.
    Bruce married Dawn Michelle Friend on February 27, 1988 in Avoca. To this marriage they were blessed with two daughters, Danielle Michelle and Brooke Amber. They divorced in 2016 but since had rekindled their relationship. Over the years, Bruce enjoyed camping and fishing, and bowling and golfing. He was an avid Atlanta Falcons fan, liked to do character drawings, and loved spending time with his family and friends. More recently since retiring, Bruce enjoyed doing Poppa Daycare and spending time with Dawn, his girls and grandchildren. In fact in the evenings he would sit and watch soap operas with Dawn. 
    Bruce is survived by his daughters, Danielle Paulsen (Ryan Radford) of Malvern and Brooke Paulsen of Shenandoah, IA; wife Dawn Paulsen of Malvern; grandchildren, Tatum Paulsen and Ethan Radford of Malvern, and Avery Crowden and Bently Paulsen of Shenandoah; brothers, Jeff (Lynn) Paulsen and Mark (Nyla) Paulsen, all of Avoca, IA; several aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews; and many, many friends.


Kathy Soetmelk wrote on Aug 9, 2023:

"Dawn and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you today as you celebrate Bruce's life. Unfortunately, we are unable to be at the service. I have fond memories of family gatherings as we grew up. We will miss him. Gary and Kathy Soetmelk "

Brittney Sila wrote on Aug 9, 2023:

"Bruce lived down the street from my grandparents, Dean and Marilyn Sila. I grew up with his daughter's Danielle and Brooke. What can I say about Bruce? He was the most kind, hearted and caring. Person I have ever met. It's definitely not going to be the same without him around. I always told him that he was my favorite former Mills County Deputy. I remember years ago when we held a block party on 2nd Avenue here in town. And he dressed up in his uniform. For the dunk tank. My sincerest condolences. Go out to Dawn, Danielle and Brooke. If you need anything, I am more than happy to help. So to Bruce I want to say. Thank you for your service to our country, and thank you for your service to Mills County. You were a one of a kind person and will be greatly missed."

Brittney Sila wrote on Aug 9, 2023:

"Bruce lived down the street from my grandparents Dean and Marilyn Sila. I grew up with his daughters Danielle and Brooke. He always had a smile on his face and would always say hi to me. One memory I have is when we had a block party on 2nd Avenue in malvern and he wore his uniform in the dunk tank. .my sincere condolences to Dawn,Danielle and Brooke. I'm here for you all if you need anything. Bruce, thank you for your service to our country and 24 years of service to Mills County. You will be greatly missed"

Ann Chickering wrote on Aug 8, 2023:

"Dawn & girls. I'm so sorry. He was always one of my favorite deputies when I worked EMS. He will be missed. "

Sandybelt wrote on Aug 6, 2023:

"We going miss you you was a very good person you will always being our prays and our hearts "

Jeremey stewart wrote on Aug 5, 2023:

"Bruce was an amazing man. I can remember doing the ride along with Bruce he always would call you out if you were screwing up. I can remember one time he found out I had got a speeding ticket in Glenwood and that man never let me live it down. I will always remember this man and the family along with the community has lost another good man. Rest easy sir until we meet again. "

Steve Mckinney wrote on Aug 5, 2023:

"Always a good neighbor and willing to help. "

Will Christensen wrote on Aug 4, 2023:

"Bruce you were an amazing boss and better friend. You mentored me and made me better everyday. Dawn and family I can?t begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Bruce is way too young to have lost. Know he made a huge impact on so many people and his memory will live on for so many years to come. See you on the other side my friend. Will Christensen. "

Kathie and Dennis Gillett wrote on Aug 4, 2023:

"I am so sorry to hear this. Bruce was a great guy- definitely "one of the good ones!" "