ODESSA Leonard John Bruce, Jr. fondly known as "Lenny" by his family and friends went home with the Lord on May 21, 2012 at the age of 59 years. Surrounded by his family, he slipped quietly into the arms of Jesus.|
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday May 24, 2012 at Redeemer Lutheran Church at 824 East 18th Street with the Reverend Jerry Bagwell officiating.
Leonard was born on September 5, 1952 in Ft. Worth Texas to Leonard J. Bruce and Valerie Bruce. He graduated from King High School in Corpus Christi, Texas where he served as student body president during his senior year. He graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. In 1987 he graduated from Texas Southern University in Houston Texas with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He received many awards and honors including Cum Laude, Dean's List, Phi Delta Phi (Legal Honor Fraternity).
Leonard was truly a self made man leaving home at the age of 15 years and working in a surf shop in Corpus Christi while completing his high school education. He worked for Kent Moore cabinets as production manager and as a self employed building contractor. He continued a career in law after graduation from Law school working as an intern with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. After moving to Odessa, he continued his career in private practice eventually moving to the area of criminal prosecution with the City of Odessa as an assistant city attorney, the Ector County Attorney's Office as the First Assistant to the County Attorney and finally to the Ector County District Attorney's Office as a Deputy District Attorney where he proudly prosecuted cases in the 161st and 244th Judicial District Courts. Leonard also served as Judge for the Odessa Teen Court Program. Leonard retired from the career in which he had such a deep passion in February of 2011 due to his illness.
Leonard was preceded in death by his mother, Valerie Bruce. He married his best friend and sweetheart, Deborah Bruce on December 21st 2000. He is survived by his wife, Deborah, his father Leonard J. Bruce Sr. of Houston, Texas, children James T. Bruce of Odessa, daughter Amanda Miller and husband Tommy of Ft. Worth, Texas, daughter Lizzie Bruce of Corpus Christi, Texas and step son Matthew Thomas and wife Kathie of Odessa, Texas; his ever faithful and loving sister Robin Bruce of Houston, Texas, brothers Robert and Carter Bruce and sister Christina Bruce of Houston, Texas; his loving mother in law Bonnie McQueen of Odessa, his grandchildren, Wyatt and Madi Bruce, Jake and Allie Miller, Brooke and Morgan Thomas.
Leonard enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved scuba diving; cooking bar b que on his Pitts and Spitts, wood working, cooking for family and friends, fishing, hiking, gardening, reading and spending time with his chocolate lab Mocha. He loved celebrating Jesus' birth each Christmas at the candlelight Christmas Eve Service with his family in Christ.
The family of Leonard Bruce wishes to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the angels with Compass Hospice, Judy, Marci, Cheryl, Melody, Michelle, Kyle and Clay; who made this last week easier and more comfortable for us all. Also a special thanks to Reverend Jim Myers and Reverend Jimmy Braswell who took time to pray with Leonard.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made in Leonard's name to Redeemer Lutheran Church or to the Wounded Warrior Project by going on line at woundedwarriorproject.org.
Published in Odessa American on May 23, 2012