Joseph Bruno Jr.

It is with deep and heavy sadness that we announce the death of Joseph A Bruno, Jr., 98, of Willsboro, NY. Joe passed away very peacefully on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at Angels Senior Living in Tampa, FL surrounded by his loving wife, Blanche; daughter, Cathy and son in law Rick.

He was born to Joseph A Bruno, Sr. and Bertha L. Coonrod on Farrell Rd. in Willsboro, NY on October 26, 1919. He attended school in Willsboro, graduating with the Willsboro High School Class of 1937. He… worked several jobs after high school which included the Austin Construction Co. of NYC, the Prescott Co. in Keeseville, NY and the Dock and Coal Co. in Willsboro, NY, plus a short while working for a logging contractor. While residing in Willsboro, he played guitar in a band with his future mother-in-law (who played piano). He met his future wife at a Grange Hall Dance when she was 15 and he was 21. In 1942, he married the love of his life, Blanche Eleanor Sweatt at the Methodist Church Parsonage on May 31, 1942; on the wedding anniversary of his parents. From January to August 1943 he was in training at Plattsburgh State Teachers College for the U.S. Army Signal Corps prior to official entry into the Army in July 1945. He then went on to Camp Crowder in New Jersey and on to Joplin, MO (joined by his wife and son). Soon after, he was deployed to Europe with the 3104th Signal Corp. Battalion. Joe served in the European Campaign from July 1944 to August 1945. He landed at Omaha Beach and also served at the Battle of the Budge. He was on a ship heading to the Philippines when the war ended. He remained in touch with many of his army friends for over 63 years!!

After his military service, he became employed with The Delaware and Hudson Railroad Co. He worked in Willsboro, NY; Mechanicville, NY; and Rouses Point, NY. Joe worked his way up from telegrapher to Supervising Agent for the Northern District, serving the Albany to Montreal, Quebec, Canada line. Joe was a very hardworking man and for a few years while continuing to work his day job, he and his wife worked evenings and weekends together on a local farm planting and harvesting the crops. This hard work was to help supplement the cost of continuing education for his children. He ended his railroad career after 33 years.

When Joe retired from the Delaware and Hudson in 1979, he and his wife bought property in the Adirondack Park on Willsboro Point in Willsboro, NY and together built a beautiful log cabin facing Lake Champlain. They shared a wonderful retirement there for over 37 years, making many family memories of fishing, boating, swimming, and having lobster bakes and barbeques. He had the most wonderful garden there as well. Family came together for late night stories around the outdoor campfire. Everyone was always welcome, as he knew no strangers.

Joe was active in many organizations over the years. They included the Masonic Lodge, Shriners, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, American Legion, Iroquois Lodge #602 F & A.M. Essex, NY, the D &H Quarter Century Club, Rotary Club, Square and Compass Club. He was a Volunteer Fireman and EMT while residing in the Village of Rouses Point. He also was instrumental in raising money for over 30 years with the American Heart Association.

Joe was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing, both summer and winter. He hunted deer, geese, and ducks. He was an avid bowler with his wife. His hobbies included woodworking, building, gardening, cards and games, reading about history, playing guitar, and singing. He loved spending time with family and friends and enjoyed a day out to a casino for extra fun! He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Clarence Hune, who was killed by a car in 1931 at age 9; and granddaughter, Ashley Erin Redford.

He is survived by his devoted wife, of 75 years, Blanche; his son, Ronald Bruno (Susan); daughters, Jan Sylvester (Anthony), Sharron Vander Weile (Ken), and Cathy Redford (Rick). He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren.

Joe was a patient, loving, strong, and humble person. He was an “I will give you the shirt off my back” kind of man and was always the life of the party!! Not only was he a War Veteran Hero but he was his family’s hero!

Lastly, he was a simple man who spoke volumes. All who knew him loved him. He was one of a kind. Life consists of positives and negatives. We all have losses in our lives and have been dealt bad hands we are forced to play. But for those who were fortunate enough to know Joe, all loved him and knew his words to be true. And, anyone who didn’t know him well will now have a snapshot of what kind of man he was. We truly loved him so.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his loving memory to The American Heart Association or The American Cancer Society. Burial will be in the Memorial Cemetery, Willsboro, NY. 

Calling hours will be Friday, December 29, 2017 from 12:00-2:00 at the Ross Funeral Home, 25 Maple Street, Willsboro.  A funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Ric Feeney officiating.