Bruce Haldeman II, 85, of Wilson, peacefully passed away on September 30, 2021, after complications from a stroke. Born on June 23, 1936, Bruce was the son of Walter Newman Haldeman II and Jane Norton Haldeman of Louisville, Kentucky. He was the great grandson of Walter Newman Haldeman, the founding Publisher and President of the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper and the founder of the city of Naples, Florida. Bruce was also the great grandson of Eckstein Norton, former President of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, founder of the Eckstein Norton Institute, and namesake of Nortonville, Kentucky and Norton, Virginia.
Bruce grew up in Glenview, Kentucky, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Eastern High School, Middleton, Kentucky, class of 1954. He was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute [VMI], class of 1958, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. While at VMI he was a 4-year member of the swim team, a letterman, a co-Captain, and a 3-time Southern Conference Champion in the 220, 440, and 1500 freestyle.
Bruce served active duty in the United State Air Force from 1959-1962 as a Civil Engineering Officer, First Lieutenant. He served as an Air Force Academy liaison officer and USAF Reserves, with a rank of Major. He was extremely proud to have served his country and was a treasured highlight of his life. After active duty, he continued his education at Princeton University pursuing an advanced degree in Engineering and briefly, attending Law School at the University of Louisville. He also served 10 years on the North Carolina 7th Congressional District Service Academy Selection Committee.
In his professional life as a Civil Engineer, he worked for Armco Steel, a steel manufacturer now owned by AK Steel Holding, based in Middleton, Ohio from 1963-1978 as a Territory Sales Manager, and at various times he was based in Memphis, Tennessee, Dallas, Texas, Richmond, Virginia and Greensboro. From 1978 to 1984 he worked as a Civil Engineer for the American Wood Preservers Institute and for Atlantic Wood Industries until 1985. He also served as the President, Vice President, and Director of Kentex Mineral Co. from 1976 to 2019, having served as President for 22 of those years, from 1996-2019.
Bruce was an ardent tennis player, especially doubles, having played for over 50 years, including many clubs, city, and state tournaments. Over the years he had published articles in publications such as the VMI Alumni magazines, the Society of Colonial Wars newsletter, and the Deep Foundations Institute.
He was a proud member of many associations and organizations, including the Society of Colonial Wars [served as Treasurer for 13 years], Sons of the American Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers, Peyton Society of Virginia, Filson Historical Society, North Carolina Zoological Society, the VMI Keydet Club, and Preservation North Carolina.
He was a former member of St. Francis Episcopal Church of Greensboro, NC for 47 years, as well as: Forest Oaks Country Club, Louisville Country Club, the U.S. Tennis Association, Guilford Battleground Company, Weatherspoon Art Museum, the National Association of Royalty Owners [NARO], a registered Professional Engineer in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, National Society of Professional Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, and Deep Foundations Institute.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara Olds Haldeman; son, Walter Newman Haldeman III (Ella); daughter, Anne Haldeman Blackmon (David); and grandchildren, Charles Walter Blackmon, Bruce Haldeman III, Davis Haldeman Blackmon, Aidan Spencer Blackmon, Priscilla Mae Reyes (Joseph), and great granddaughter, Alessandra Amelia Reyes.
He is remembered as a loving husband, a devoted father, an active church member, a great athlete, and respected businessman, and above all else a gentleman. Family and friends share memories of his personable approach, his genuine interest in others, his love of VMI and VMI athletics, his passion for history and our country, and his devoted faith in God. We will miss his dry sense of humor and banter with wife, Barbara. He was loved and cherished by family and friends, and we are blessed to have been a part of his life.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday, October 23rd in Maplewood Cemetery, 400 College Street NW, Wilson, NC with a reception to follow. Another celebration of life will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in Cave Hill Cemetery, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Crossnore School and Childrens' Home and Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina.
Condolences directed to Joyner's Funeral Home and Crematory at www.joyners.net
Published by Courier-Journal from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6, 2021.