Obituaries » Chairman Trustee John William Bruce, Jr.

Chairman Trustee John William Bruce, Jr.

January 31, 1950 - July 31, 2022

Trustee John William Bruce, Jr. departed this life on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, surrounded by family and friends. Affectionately known as “Junior” or “Brucie” by some, John was born January 31, 1950, to the late Deacon John William Bruce Sr. and Deaconess Mary Robinson Bruce in Forest, Virginia. Being the only boy and the baby of his parents’ five children, John was “spoiled rotten.”

He received his formal education in the Bedford County Public Schools and was a graduate of Susie G. Gibson High School class of 1969.

During his formative years, John was introduced to Christ and accepted Him as his personal Savior. He joined the Forest Level Baptist Church and worked faithfully in the membership. He was a man who understood the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”  John gave of his talents and time as Chairman of the Trustee Board, a member of the Food Committee, and the Grounds Keeper for many years. In addition to driving the church van for special services, he would also pick people up in his vehicle to bring them to church. He was never a person seen sitting down when there was work to do.

John’s work ethic matched his zeal for serving in the church. After retirement from Blue Ridge Beverage, he continued to work part-time in many areas. He worked at Country Kitchen and showed his expertise in mechanics while tinkering on automobiles for family and friends. John was also an entrepreneur with many side businesses, including Bruce’s Lawn Care. He did more than cut grass; he manicured lawns and meticulously ensured each yard was picture-perfect.

He was a member of the Lynchburg Virginia Moose Lodge 715 Lakeside Drive. He was a member of the Virginia State Ushers Fellowship Convention. He and Hester received the His & Hers Award from the Virginia State Ushers Fellowship for being committed, dedicated, and selfless. John was always ready to assist in any way for the fellowship.

Some forty years ago, John met Hester Harmon, and they were married on July 21, 1985. Lovingly known as her “Sugar Plum, John was the love of Hester’s life for 37 years. Together they raised their son John W. Bruce, III (JB). Some of the favorite family times were when John drove the transport for Kenneth Hammersley. He would take Hester and JB with him on day trips to New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and other eastern states and occasionally spend the night.

Other deaths preceding John were two aunts, Ms. Rada Poindexter and Mrs. Annie Rucker: three uncles, Misters Rudolph, James, and Ulysses Robinson, and a nephew Jessie Alexander. John was a loving and devoted brother, and he cared for his sisters, who were devoted to him. He was a loving uncle, too.

In addition to his wife, Hester, and son, JB, he leaves to cherish fond memories a daughter Ms. Tonya Bruce; four sisters, Rev. Eleanor McKinney; Ms. Annie Casey, Ms. Doris Alexander, and Ms. Frances Coles;  four sisters-in-law, Ms. Elnora Williams; Mrs. Margaret Saunders (Herman); Mrs. Julia Jones       (Terry); Mrs. Kaye Allen (Lawrence) four brothers-in-law, Elder Fletcher Hubbard (Savannah); Mr. Sidney Harmon, Jr. – his devoted friend; Rev. Garrett Harmon (Eva); Mr. Oscar Harmon; and lots of nieces and nephews, including great; great-great and great-great-great nieces and nephews.

Whenever John would go to a business, restaurant, or just the corner store, he never met a stranger. Some of those chance encounters became friendships over the years. His most treasured friends include  Ms. B (Ann Weathersbee); Mr. Daniel Barksdale Sr.; Mr. Spencer Braxton; Mr. Clyde Craighead; Mr. Ken Frederick; Mr. & Mrs. Barney Seagel; Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Revis; and Mr. & Mrs. Warren Simmons. Papa and Grandma (Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Staton) loved and treated him like their son. His weary hours and days of pain and troubled nights are past. And in our hearts, we know he has found sweet rest at last.

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 5, 2022 from 6pm-8pm at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 11am at Tree of Life Ministries.

Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg is assisting the family.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Chairman Trustee John William's life with a short message, photo or video!

My prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with Hester, JB, and his Sisters, and other family members. John always smiled and showed Christian love whenever I would see him. I think it was 2017 Susie Gibson School Reunion my son Murrell, told me to get someone to walk me out from The Hotel Select when I got ready to leave. When John came to the table to speak, I told him he said I will be glad to do it. When I got ready to leave, I didn't see him, but when I got to the door someone reached out, opened the door, it was John. He said I saw you, he walked me to the car, opened the door, waited for me to start the car and back out, he told me to have a safe drive home. I said Thanks and God bless you, John. I pray God will bless his family during the days ahead.

Posted by Shirley J. Thornhill on August 6, 2022

My sincerest condolence for the family of Junior Bruce. You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering supporting. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time. He was an amazing person.

Posted by Patty Hubbard on August 6, 2022

Hester and JB God has called a good man home . His pain and suffering are over. We will miss him and the visits in Richmond. Pop and him were like brothers . When ever pop came to town John was always with him and when ever you needed help all you had to do was call. We love you aunty ❤️ God be with you !!

Posted by Sidney III & Danise Harmon on August 6, 2022

To the Bruce family, our deepest condolences for the loss of John. He was a dear and wonderful friend to us both. We both became friends with John back int he 80's. He always greeted us with a big smile and left us saying, "Have a blessed day and love you both" He was a remarkable person. He is with his Savior now without pain, and we will all see him again one day. Love and prayers to you all.

Posted by Shorty and Bobbi Moose on August 6, 2022

Mr. John Bruce Family, Sorry for y’all lost. John was truly a very nice person always had a smile he will be missed by all that knew him.R.I.H

Posted by Ramona Coles on August 6, 2022

I hadn't seen John since the pandemic, however, I would run into him frequently prior to the pandemic. John was the same as I remembered him from high school. He was always friendly and smiling. I remember him telling me how often he ate at Country Kitchen. Rest well John, you paid your dues.

Posted by Sereina Paynter on August 5, 2022

Our thoughts and prayer go out to the Bruce family on the loss of John he was a very special person The Kasey Family

Posted by Louvenia(Kasey) Nellums,Bessie( Kasey) Johnson and Roberta Kasey on August 5, 2022

My sincere condolences and prayers to the family of Junior Bruce. May you find peace, comfort and strength during this difficult time.

Posted by Cheryl Robinson on August 4, 2022

Sending our condolences to Mr. Bruce’s family. He was one of our nicest customers at CVS. Thoughts and prayers are with his wife.

Posted by Anonymous on August 3, 2022

Heartfelt Condolences….at this time…Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal …Much Love

Posted by Harriet Hubbard…(Peaches) on August 3, 2022

Heartfelt Condolences….at this time…Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal …Much Love

Posted by Harriet Hubbard…(Peaches) on August 3, 2022

Our condolences and prayers to Aunt Hester & JB for your loss. Uncle John will be greatly missed. I am glad I visited with him with Taylor & my mom. We will forever have our inside joke from that day. Love you guys very much! ❤️

Posted by Diana \"Dee Di\" Redmond & Family on August 3, 2022

My deepest condolences to Hester and the family. John will be greatly missed.He was always cheerful and a joy to be around. Take peace in the knowledge that he now resides with our Father in heaven, leaning on the great memories that you shared throughout the years.

Posted by Tina on August 3, 2022

With deepest sympathy. We will always remember Johnny's smile and humor. The Grooms Family (Barbara, Patricia, Evonne, and Melvin)

Posted by Anonymous on August 3, 2022

You have my deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Kelly Parnell on August 3, 2022

RIH my true friend, Have great memories of our over 40 year friendship, Sending prayers to the family! John you are now cancer free!

Posted by Pamela Smithers on August 3, 2022

Love and prayers to my dear family. My deepest sympathy to all.

Posted by Min. Austin on August 3, 2022

RIP John, Thank you for all you did for My wife and myself. You will always be remembered. Praying for your wife and family. Carol & Jessie

Posted by Jessie Hubbard on August 3, 2022

Condolences to The Family of John W Bruce. J.r . Prayers for the family in your time of bereavement. I will certainly miss him and his kindness towards our family. Rest well Sir.

Posted by Seevon Davis Hunter on August 2, 2022

RIP💐 my friend and classmate 69 . We remained friends for all those years. Such a dear friend to me and my family .My mother loved him like one of her own sons. I will miss calling checking in , don’t need to check now because you are In that beautiful city.Sending prayers and love for the Family. 🙏🏽❤️

Posted by Gaynell D Ferris on August 2, 2022

To the Family & My Family, Jr. Will be missed. Hold on to our memories. May God Bless us all.

Posted by Donald & Jackie Miller on August 2, 2022

I gonna miss you my friend and good buddy.You we're always there for me. Sleep on friend.

Posted by Yvonne Davis on August 2, 2022

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