Vernice Carmelia Bruce
Vernice Carmelia Spencer Bruce was born on April 22, 1924 in McAlester, Oklahoma to Jesse and Bessie (Cox) Spencer. When she was an infant, the family moved to the Texas panhandle where she grew up on a cotton farm near the town of Lakeview in Hall County, and was the next to youngest of nine children. She passed away on May 13, 2023 at the age of 99 years.
A memorial service will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 2:00pm at First Baptist Church of Temple, 8015 W. Adams Ave. Temple, Texas 76502.
After graduation from high school, Vernice attended business college and then worked in administrative support for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Memphis, Texas. She later continued her professional career with the Bureau of Mines Helium Operations in Amarillo, retiring in 1984 as a procurement officer with almost 25 years in federal service.
Vernice married Noel Bruce on September 6, 1951 and they were happily married for 67 years. They moved to Amarillo, Texas in 1954 shortly after welcoming their son Keith. In 1958 they relocated to Longview, Texas where they welcomed their daughter Deborah and then briefly moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, before settling back in Amarillo in 1961. They lived in Amarillo until they moved to Temple in 1995 to be near family.
As a young adult, Vernice became active in the Baptist church and especially enjoyed singing in an ensemble with friends at First Baptist Church of Memphis. She later was a long time member of Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo and then First Baptist Church of Temple where she enjoyed volunteering in so many ways. At FBC Temple, she and Noel especially enjoyed their beloved Sunday School class, LLL senior adult group, and singing in the senior adult choir.
Serving others and bringing people together brought the greatest joy to Vernice. She frequently hosted gatherings for family and friends and provided countless meals to neighbors or acquaintances in times of illness, loss or simply because she wanted to show someone kindness. In Temple she and Noel volunteered at CTLC ministries for several years. Through the years, she enjoyed playing in a Bridge Club in Amarillo and had a “42” group in Temple. She also took great pleasure in sewing, cooking, canning and most importantly being “MeMom” to her four grandchildren.
Vernice was preceded in death by her parents, her 5 brothers and 3 sisters, and her husband Noel. She is survived by her son, Keith Bruce and wife Janet of San Antonio; her daughter, Debbie Golden and husband Paul of Temple; grandchildren Preston Bruce & wife Michelle of Houston, Jonathan Bruce & wife Hannah of Boerne, Kendra Golden of Dallas, and Justin Golden & wife Cassandra of Washington, D.C; four great-grandchildren (and a 5th on the way) and a number of treasured nieces and nephews.
Because of her love for children and families, the family requests that memorials be made to the Children’s Ministry of First Baptist Church of Temple or to a children’s / family ministry of the donor’s choice.