Paul G. Bruce, 96, long time resident of Hyde Park, passed away peacefully on February 13 after a battle with prostate cancer.
Paul was born on July 30th, 1924 to Napoleon D. Bruce of New Orleans, LA and Bernice Frierson Bruce of Nashville, TN. After graduating from Englewood High School in 1942, he entered the seminary at St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis, MS from 1944-1947 and then went on to St. Mary Mission House in Techny, IL from 1947-1949 for the 2nd part of the Seminary. He subsequently felt a different calling, returned to Chicago, obtained his A.A. from Wilson Junior College in 1952 and his B.A. from Roosevelt University in 1955.
Paul originally intended to be a writer but decided it would not be the best choice for making a living. At the time, there was a shortage of teachers, which initiated the beginning of a long career with the Chicago Board of Education, teaching elementary school at Penn, Shakespeare and Ruggles Elementary Schools before moving on to teach at Bowen High School. In 1972, Paul received a M.A. from Chicago State University and became principal at several schools including Cullen, Morrill, and Murray Language Academy. After retiring from the Chicago Board of Education in 1985, he began a new career as a realtor and finally as a tour guide for the City of Chicago. He was recognized by Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2019 for his contributions to the community.
Paul did not become a writer, but everyone who knew him can tell you what an amazing storyteller and historian he was. Paul had a memory like no other and the ability to recall details that others would have long forgotten. He was able to remember details going as far back to the age of three, when he regrettably dropped his teddy bear off his home balcony and missed it after his mother put him to bed. Paul never married and always wondered why he outlived his younger siblings and other relatives, but it was obvious to the many lives he touched and enriched why he lived such a long life. Paul was a surrogate father to the Yung family; he not only loved, but also took pride in being “Grandpa” to their children.
Paul is predeceased by his parents; brother, Carlton Jerome Bruce and sister, Rosemary Bruce. He is survived by his nephews, Carlton Jr. and David (Coni) Howard and their children, Stacye and Courtney and grandchildren, Jannah and Alex; cousin, Alita Abell and her daughter, Anjenea. He also leaves behind his second family, the Yung’s, who have been a constant in his life since 1960, and many lifelong friends.
A memorial service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Chapter in memory of Paul Bruce.