Bruce Daniels

Obituary of Bruce A Daniels

Bruce Allen Daniels, 72, of Wildwood Crest, passed away on November 2nd. Although Bruce suffered from a chronic illness, he died in peace, at his residence, with his wife and children by his side. Bruce, or “BAD,” or “The Boss,” as he jokingly called himself, was from Delaware County, PA. He was a 1967 graduate of Ridley High school. While there, he earned First Team Honors and the nickname “Stonewall Daniels” as a stellar goalie for the high school soccer team. He enlisted in the Army upon his graduation, and dutifully served his country in Germany until his honorable discharge. Bruce began work as a deli slicer at Wawa #1, while taking classes at DCCC. He then earned a job at First Pennsylvania Bank where he worked as an analyst. The office was not his favorite place - Bruce loved to be outside with nature and playing sports with family and friends. He was a member of many local bar softball teams and was a founding member of the Highland Hawks adult football team. Bruce was known to host many get togethers in the basement “rec room,” where good music, beer, and a little fun, were plentiful. He was a gentle and genial man, who could easily talk to anyone, and would willingly give you his last dime. To know him was to love him - there are certainly many people reading this that have a story about Bruce, and without a doubt those memories are creating smiles, and a happy walk down memory lane. At the age of 14, Bruce met the love of his life, Bonnie (née Gruhler), while roaming the streets of Morton. Theirs was a love for the ages, which lasted 58 years. It surely was his piercing blue eyes, and deep dimples, that grabbed Bonnie’s attention. Bruce was also a man of many talents. One of which was a gift of prose. While in the Army, Bruce wrote love letters to Bonnie. He always ended with: “To the girl who means more to me than anything in this world. Take care while I am gone, but just remember, I will return to YOU. Love you always and forever, Bruce.” During a leave from service, Bruce and Bonnie were married at the original OLPH church, on January 27, 1970. A “rec room” celebration with family and neighborhood friends was held, and then they made their way to Hershey for their honeymoon. In August of 1972, Bruce and Bonnie started their family, with the birth of their daughter, Jennifer. Sons, Matthew in 1975, and Jonathan in 1978, soon followed. Bruce was the ultimate “fun” dad and did everything for his children. He joined Kedron and coached his kids in multiple sports, winning many championships. A highlight being the 1983 soccer team (green shirts), which also included his nephews. He eventually became the President of KYA, where he was a friend to all the athletes and their parents. Bruce was also a father figure to his many nieces and nephews. It wasn’t a true snow day if Uncle Bruce didn’t take his station wagon, with 10 kids and sleds hanging out the windows, to the Boeing Hill or North Ave. He also enjoyed adventures to Grist Mills for some fishing, and to Ridley Creek State Park for hiking and bicycling. Bruce was at his best being outside with his family. In 1999, Bruce, Bonnie, and his mom relocated to Wildwood Crest. He was happiest catering to his favorite ladies and their every whim. Bruce and his neighbor, Anthony Noce, became the best of friends, and Bruce affectionately took care of Anthony up until his passing in 2020. Bruce’s favorite brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Debbie, lived next door, and Bruce could be found there many mornings discussing politics and fishing over a cup of coffee and the Delco Times. Bruce held a few jobs down the shore, with his favorite being a pizza delivery driver. He was affectionately called the “Mayor of WWC” by his family because he knew everything about anything going on in the town. His last job was at the Acme, working alongside his wife Bonnie and son Matt. It was there that he could sit and do one of his favorite hobbies - gardening. Bruce had a green thumb, and his tomatoes were legendary. He was known to drop off bags to his favorite customers, and to all his neighbors. He took pride in his yard, and in cultivating the plants and flowers which made his property both beautiful and inviting. If he wasn’t by the garden, he could be found in his “office,” listening to his favorite songs, and just being happy to be alive. He was always in a good mood after an office visit. Everyone knew that Bruce was a loving husband and father, so it wasn’t a shock that he was an amazing grandfather, otherwise known as “Pops.” Being around his grandchildren is where Bruce shined the brightest. Upon learning of an upcoming visit from his grandkids, Bruce made sure that the fridge was fully stocked with Yoo-hoo, the freezer had ice cream and Rita’s, and the kitchen counter held every known treat and candy that a child would love. A Sam’s size container of Dubble Bubble gum being a favorite. It was literally a candy store, and before the car was turned off, the kids were out the door looking for Pops and his treats. He loved to visit the boards, where he would start the day at the water park, stop to play the candy game before the rides, and end it with a ride on the tram car. He never stopped smiling when he had a grandkid by his side. If a kid wanted to go fishing, a trip was planned. If someone wanted to go to the beach, Bruce would trudge along with his red Solo cup and do some body surfing. He was up for anything, as long as his grandkids were happy. Even though Bruce had a chronic illness at the end, he still maintained his sense of humor and zest for life. He enjoyed facetime calls with his grandchildren, and always asked how they were doing on their sports teams, and in school. He spent time listening to Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Lennon, and never missed a beat when belting out his favorite lyrics. At the end, Bruce was at peace with dying because he knew that he would be able to see his beloved mother and brothers again, and assured Bonnie that he would be waiting for her. In addition to Bonnie, Bruce is survived by Jenn (Jeff), and their daughters Drue and Ellery, Matt, and Jon (Theresa), and their sons Jonathan, Jude, Jameson, and Jonah. He also has a grandson, Jude. He also leaves behind his sister, Ruth Seganti, and sisters-in-law Joan, Judy, and Debbie. He was predeceased by his father, Isaac, and mother and stepfather, Ruth and Richard Graziosi, along with his brothers, Keith, Brian, and Paul. Bruce has over 15 nieces and nephews, along with their children, that he loved and adored as his own. The family would like to thank their many neighbors and friends who helped Bruce during his illness, especially Debbie and Tom Dunbar. The knocks on the door, the notes of love, and the delicious food, were very much appreciated during this difficult time. Bruce wished to have no services, but instead, a celebration of his life with family and friends enjoying good BBQ, some cold beverages, and a beautiful sunset by the bay. Information will be forthcoming about this summer event. In true Bruce fashion, he left us with a “Bruce-ism.” Shortly before he took his last breath, he told Matt, who was by his side throughout, that “Only the good die young.” Indeed, this kind and good-natured man left us way too soon at 72 years young, but he will forever be in our hearts and memories. Until we all meet again... If you are ever feeling lucky, play 123 or 789 and maybe Bruce will bring you some good fortune. In lieu of flowers, please send any memorial donations to the HEADstrong Foundation (www.headstrong.org), in memory of Bruce Daniels.
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