Creston Jonathon Bruce
Creston Jonathon Bruce, 103, passed away Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at the Whitcomb Senior Living Community in St. Joseph.
A Celebration of Life Service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 28, at Peace Lutheran Church, 3950 Lincoln Ave, St. Joseph, where he was a member. Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 p.m., Friday, January 27 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorial donations in Creston’s name may be made to Peace Lutheran Church or to the St. Joseph – Lincoln Senior Center. Those wishing to sign Creston’s guest book may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Creston was born October 28, 1913, in Braggadocio, Missouri, to Claude Jonathon and Clara (Kersey) Bruce. He graduated from Braggadocio High School and held many jobs including mechanic, school bus driver, ambulance driver and factory foreman as well as serving during the Great Depression in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was the oldest of six children and cared for his mother, brothers and sister beginning at age 14 after his father’s death in 1927. He married Lois Allene Ledford on August 12, 1938. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where their daughter Gwendolyn was born, working there until he entered the United States Army serving from 1945 to 1946 in Saipan, Asiatic Pacific Theater during World War II. He was a proud World War II Veteran and was very happy to travel to Washington DC in 2013 on the “Honor Flight.” After returning from the service the family moved to Grand Haven, Michigan, where he worked for many years at Continental Motors, Muskegon, Michigan. Their son, Gary was born in Grand Haven. In 1956, he joined the Whirlpool Corporation in St. Joseph as a Test Engineer where he worked for the next 23 years until retiring as a Senior Lab Technician. In St. Joseph, he hand built the house that he lived in until age 100. Following retirement he worked for Phillips Engineering in St. Joseph, eventually rejoining Whirlpool on a part-time basis where he worked until age 78. Creston and Allene enjoyed gardening, square dancing and doing household projects for himself and his family. He was a fix-it man who refused to hire anyone to do something he could do himself. He befriended many at Whirlpool, his church, and the community and was known for his quick wit and warm personality. He loved the game of pool and will always be remembered for being a “shark,” playing pool in tournaments and for fun and exercise all the way to age 103.
In addition to his parents, Creston was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years Allene, his brothers Harold, Herman and Byron and his sister Mildred. He is survived by his brother Parker of St. Charles, Missouri, daughter Gwen (Lester) McLean of South Bend, Indiana, son Gary J. Bruce of St. Joseph, Michigan, daughter-in-law Gail Jennings Bruce of St. Joseph, granddaughter Christine (Mark) Schlutt of Madison, Wisconsin, grandson Joseph (Janet) Rubleske of Cincinnati, Ohio, and granddaughters Hailey Elizabeth Bruce and Erin Gail Bruce of St. Joseph. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Greta Dorothy Rubleske and James Creston Rubleske also of Cincinnati, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family is especially appreciative of the wonderful care given to Creston by the staff at the Whitcomb and by the medical staff at Lakeland Hospital.