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Bruce William Power, Jr. of Havana, born to Bruce and Mabel Power December 21, 1932, passed away with his wife of 62 years by his side, Sunday, July 14, 2019. He was born in Los Angeles, California, and after serving proudly in the US Navy, he moved to Florida in 1956. He retired from the Florida Department of Transportation after 35 years. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Havana, where he was a deacon and Sunday School teacher for many years, and was an active member of The Gideons International, Capital City North Camp. Bruce was a lifelong learner and enjoyed many interests over the years including gardening, ham radio operator, just to name a few.
He is survived by his wife, Jean D. Power, two daughters, Pamela Gresham (Mike) and Karen Power, three granddaughters, Alicia Steinbrink (Andy), Rebecca Draughon, and Samantha Gresham, and two great-grandchildren, Annie and Ezra. He is also survived by his brother, Carl Morales, and sisters, Jacquelynn Power, Patricia Balanky (David), Victoria Morales, and Kathleen Taylor.
Those are the facts you might say, but now, let us tell you about the man! There are three things that really represent the life of Bruce Power—they are faith, family, and fun!
Bruce was raised Roman Catholic and he said he never had a time when he didn’t know who God was. He followed the traditions of the Catholic church growing up and felt if he lived a good enough life, he would one day go to heaven. During his Navy tour, he became disenchanted with Catholicism and drifted away from the church. But at age 26, he finally recognized that he was a lost sinner and on March 12, 1959, he made a public profession of faith in Christ and was buried in the waters of baptism. He was a student of the Bible from that day forward. He taught adult Sunday School for much of his life and always enjoyed discussing theology, especially on long car rides, with his pastor, Eric Erskine.
After the Navy, he came to Florida with his sister Patti and her husband David so David could attend Florida State University. He didn’t plan on staying long, but all that changed when he met the love of his life, Jean Daniels. Jean had her friend Ethel whistle at him to catch his eye. They married on her 19th birthday, April 25, 1957. He was her forever birthday present. Two daughters were born, Pam and Karen. He enjoyed teaching his daughters everything from how to roll your hair (remember he had sisters) to how to use a hammer and screwdriver. Years later, more joy arrived in three granddaughters, Alicia, Rebecca and Sam. He loved to play ball, swing, and work in the shop with each of them. Then later in life, two great-grandchildren arrived, Annie and Ezra. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them every chance he could.
A child of the Great Depression, he grew up in Southern California in a two-room tar paper covered shack without electricity or running water. His playmates were horses, chickens, a dog named Scrappy. He loved to camp, hike, fish and hunt. A stepdad entered his life, and he was forever changed for the better by the influence and guidance of Vince Morales. After his move to Florida, he continued to enjoy camping, tent and camper, with many great camping trips with lifelong friends, Jerry and Laura Wilkinson. He became a ham radio operator and that hobby produced a great friendship with Jimmy and Ellen Davis, the men going to ham radio meets, and the wives going shopping! He loved woodworking and made many items for granddaughters over the years. They had wonderful neighbors during the years they lived on Nancy Drive in Tallahassee, so much so, that when they moved to Havana in 1993, Pete and Tawanna Hay moved to Havana as well and built their house next door. He loved coffee and enjoyed roasting his own beans which he frequently sent care packages to granddaughter Rebecca after she moved to Virginia. He loved photography and took several classes at TCC to perfect his skills. He took tons and tons of pictures of family, wildlife, and flowers for the Havana Garden Club. He enjoyed gardening with Jean so much that they studied and became master gardeners. He was always interested in the weather and liked reporting his observations to local TV stations. He loved to tell stories and he had many adventures for those stories to come from. Some of his most famous stories came from playing sidekick to his brother-in-law David during the private investigation days, some of his backyard antics of lighting the neighborhood woods on fire, and many others. He had the gift of gab and could talk to anyone from the president to the janitor with equal ease and enjoyment. He loved warm banana pudding, and son-in-law Mike’s famous spaghetti sauce. He enjoyed sharing stories of “out West” with his grandson-in-law Andy who also loves the outdoors.
So sweetheart, daddy, papa, great-papa, or “Old Bill of the River” as he was known by his siblings, we will never forget the love, laughter, and legacy of faith you have left for us. You taught us well by word and deed. So, it’s not goodbye but see you later!
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 15, 2019, from 5-7 pm at Faith Funeral Home Chapel in Havana. Funeral services be will Thursday at 10 am at First Baptist Church of Havana, and interment with full military honors at 1 pm at Tallahassee National Cemetery. (www.faithfuneralhome.com 850-539-4300)