James D Bruce , VRHS Class of 1954

James ( Jim ) Bruce graduated from Van Rensselaer High School in 1954, met Carol, started a family in 1957 and spent the next sixty years working to provide for Carol and his children. He worked tirelessly, endlessly, sometimes at more than one job, leaving his day work at Bear-Manning, Norton Corporation, GE or Nashua Corporation to go on to another job until 10:00 at night, when he would return home, sleep and start the whole thing again the next day. He was in such demand for his part time work that he started his own business, operating James Bruce Pumps and WellPoints until Carol's years of pleading finally paid off and he retired from the business. Turns out her pleading only worked to a point, because he immediately signed on for a job as a courier for LabCorp, which he continued to do until retiring to care for Carol in 2015. Apparently working 60 hour weeks and raising four children left him with too much time on his hands, so Jim became active in local politics. He ran for town council, helped to found the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, became the Chamber's first President, and was active in the Guilderland GOP until in his words, he "didn't recognize his own party any more". He was a news junkie, loved lively political discussion, and held his strong opinions and passionate belief in justice and democracy throughout his life. Even in his final days he could still muster outrage at current events, though he never lost his capacity for diplomacy and compassion. But Jim was first and foremost a family man. He said that his children were the jewels in his crown, and he held each of their triumphs and accomplishments close to his heart. As his family grew to include his daughter and sons-in-law, so did his pride and delight - and his greatest joy came with the arrival of his three grandchildren. Nothing could keep Jim and Carol from their basketball games, dance recitals and graduations. Jim held many titles and positions in his life, but this was the one he was born to do. He loved being "Papa". Jim and Carol spent 54 years in a small house on the outskirts of the village, and "Weaver Road" became synonymous for home. Not just for his immediate family, but for countless friends, relatives and anyone Jim brought into his circle. He loved people, loved a gathering, and loved a long chat over a bottomless cup of coffee. The coffee pot on Weaver Road was always on, and everyone was welcome. Jim remained at the house after Carol passed in 2015, only leaving his beloved Weaver Road to live at Kingsway Manor in 2021. Jim loved music, Masterpiece Theater, every dog he ever met ( especially Jackson ), leaf peeping in autumn, tinkering in his workshop, a good home cooked meal ( especially Heidi's ), Christmas, the view from Thacher Park overlook, a cup of coffee and a hard roll, the Wednesday Gathering of Friends and spending time with his family. His face lit up in the company of his children and grandchildren until the day he decided that it was time to join Carol. He was pre-deceased by his parents Ada and James Bruce, his brothers Gary and Leroy and his sisters Carolyn and Patricia. ...He leaves behind a loving and grateful family; his son David Bruce and daughter-inlaw Heidi Bruce, grandchildren Devon and Amanda Bruce, daughter Teri Bruce and son-in-law Ned Mead, daughter Valerie Bruce Judd and her husband James Judd, granddaughter Carissa Judd, and daughter Amy Bruce. His family would like to acknowledge Albany Medical Center and the staff of C8, D4N , MICU and E5, as well as the extraordinary kindness and care shown by the staff of Kingsway Manor.

Family and Friends are invited to visit with Jim's family on Sunday April 16th 2-4PM in the Fredendall Funeral Home 199 main Street Altamont. Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, Altamont on Monday April 17th from the funeral home where a funeral procession will be assembled and depart from at 10am. In lieu of flowers kindly consider a donation in Jim's memory to The Alzheimer Association (Alz.org) or Community Hospice (CommunityHospice.org)

The measure of a man is not determined
By his show of outward strength
Or the volume of his voice Or the thunder of his actions
Or of his intellect or academic abilities
It is seen rather in terms of the love that he has
For his family and for everyone
The strength of his commitments
The genuineness of his friendships
The sincerity of his purpose
The quiet courage of his convictions
The fun, laughter, joy and happiness he gives to his family and to others
His love of life
His patience and his honesty
And his contentment with what he has

-Grad Poulard

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