Noel Bruce was born on August 24, 1924 in Gainesville, Texas. He died on June 2, 2019 at the age of 94 years.
He was raised on a farm near Memphis in the Texas panhandle and graduated from Memphis High School. He briefly attended Texas Tech before joining the Army in 1943. After 13 weeks of infantry training he was sent to the European theater and assigned to the 29th Infantry Division as a 30 Caliber Machine Gunner. During World War II he was awarded the Bronze Star and 3 Battle Stars along with other medals and his unit was recognized with the Presidential Unit Citation.
Following the war he returned to Memphis and married Vernice Spencer on September 6, 1951. Moving to Amarillo in 1954, he began a long career in finance and banking, starting out as a collection agent for a personal finance company. He eventually held positions as Executive Vice President of Tascosa National Bank, President of First Bank, and retired from First National Bank in Amarillo as Senior Vice President.
In Amarillo he served for several years on the board of directors of High Plains Baptist Hospital, Kids Incorporated, the Kidney Foundation, and other organizations. He was involved in Optimist and Rotary Clubs and an active member of Paramount Baptist Church. He and Vernice moved to Temple in 1995 where he was active in the Golden K Kiwanis Club, as a volunteer at CTLC ministries, and a member of First Baptist Church of Temple.
Noel was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Carrie Bruce; a sister, Alma Bruce; and four brothers, Weldon, Glenn, Boyce, and Ray.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Vernice Bruce of Temple; a son, Keith Bruce and wife Janet of San Antonio; a daughter, Deborah Golden and husband Paul of Temple; four grandchildren, Preston Bruce of Houston, Jonathan Bruce of San Antonio, Kendra Golden of Dallas, and Justin Golden of Virginia Beach, Va.; three great granddaughters and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7 at First Baptist Church in Temple. There will be a time for visitation with the family following this service. A private burial ceremony with military honors will be held at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.
The family requests that memorials be made to Children at Heart Ministries in Round Rock, the Children’s Ministry of First Baptist Church in Temple, or an organization of choice that serves children.