Oakville Images
Bruce, John (Died on 18 Apr 2013)
appeared in Oakville Beaver, 19 Apr 2013, p. 31

Full Text

BRUCE, John Husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, sailor, veteran and gentleman, John Bruce passed away peacefully of old age on April 18, 2013 in Oakville at the age of 92. John is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren, who all adored him greatly. John was born on the island of Trondra in the Shetland Islands in 1921. As a young boy, he lived a simple life, and his connection to the water started at a young age, sailing to mainland Shetland with his father for supplies the family needed. He grew up quickly. One morning, shortly after his 14th birthday, John woke up to find that his parents (Helen and David) had a bag packed for him. He was off to sea, to work and send home money to support the family. John spent many years at sea and had the stories to show for it: chasing whales from the Arctic to the Cape of Good Hope; driving fuel tankers during WWII; and nearly dying while painting a hull (during all that time at sea, he never learned to swim). John moved to Canada in 1954 and met the love of his life, and best friend, Lee. They were together until his passing 60 years later, and had 4 children: Brenda, Barb (Dan Ferrone), Jayne (Jay Vandevenne) and Robert (Barb). John had two children from a previous marriage: John and Pat (Gilles). John and Lee settled in Oakville, Ontario to raise their family. John was a born entrepreneur and risk taker, and always had the right tool to fix any problem (in his business enterprises and his personal life). Despite his lack of formal education, he founded several small businesses, the most enduring of which was John Bruce Boats, operating out of Metro Marine at Bronte Harbour. JBB was a successful enterprise that supported his family and continued his lifelong connection to the water. For over 50 years, John bought, fixed and sold hundreds of boats. He was especially fond of the beautiful wooden Chris Craft and Owens yachts, many of which he used personally and on which he and his family formed so many memories. Some of John's favorite boats are still in use on Lake Ontario, a fact that brought a smile to his face, even in his last days. John's savvy negotiating techniques, refined over many years, are still legendary in boat yards around the Great Lakes. (Seller: 'I'd rather burn my boat before I sold it to you for that price!" JB: "Sir, here are some matches and here is my card, please call me if you change your mind"). Whether it was at the Ontario Place marina, the Toronto Islands, his condo in Panama City, Florida or at the numerous family gatherings throughout the years, John was happiest when he was surrounded by his family. He was as supportive a husband, father and grandfather as you could hope for, always ready to lend an ear or a hand. The entire family always felt a bit stronger in his presence. "Grandpa" will be greatly missed by his grandchildren: Matthew, Marco, Danielle, Alana, Nicole, Elyssa, JT, Cole, John, Joey and Kelly. Visitation will be on Sunday April 21, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Kopriva Taylor Funeral Home, 64 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville, Ontario. The funeral service will be on Monday April 22, 1:00pm at St. Paul's United Church, 454 Rebecca St., Oakville, Ontario. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to Big Brothers Big Sisters Halton. Online condolences may be made at www.koprivataylor.com.

Media Type:
Genealogical Resource
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
19 Apr 2013
Date Of Event:
18 Apr 2013
Last Name(s):
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4473682625124 Longitude: -79.6665048808289
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Oakville Public Library
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

Oakville Public Library

Central Branch

120 Navy Street

Oakville ON L6J 2Z4

Tel: (905) 815-2042

For information about photographs, news articles, or other information included in this database, please contact the Local Collections Librarian by email.

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Bruce, John (Died on 18 Apr 2013)