Jean Ruth Bruce Fuser of Boonville, Missouri passed away on April 22, 2014 at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Missouri with her family by her side. Jean was born June 28, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri to Emil Hermann and Mamie Georgie (Williams) Diedrich, and was baptized at St. Stephens Evangelical Church in St. Louis. She graduated from Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis in 1945. Upon receiving her Nursing Diploma from St. Louis City Hospital in 1950, Jean worked as a registered nurse. On October 20, 1951, Jean married Harry Newton Bruce of Woolridge, MO. Harry was on active duty in the U.S Air Force, and the newlyweds soon embarked on a series of moves to various air bases. While stationed in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the couple was blessed with the births of two sons, David William and Steven Newton. Following a move to Greenville, SC, a daughter, Deborah Jean, was born. Eventually, the couple returned to Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, MO and upon Harry’s retirement from active duty in 1966, they moved to a farm near Warrensburg, MO. From 1966 to 1970, Jean worked as the Director of Nursing Services at the Warrensburg Nursing and Medical Center. In 1970, Harry and Jean moved to a farm near Boonville, MO, and in 1971, Jean began work as a consultant and Director of Nursing for Ashley Manor Convalescent Center. In 1972, Harry unexpectedly passed away due to a heart attack. Jean was named as Cooper County Health Department Administrator in 1975. She started several different health programs including WIC clinics, Well Baby Clinics, and prenatal clinics. She also was involved in starting the Cooper County Memorial Hospital Home Health Agency in 1985. While administrator, she stood up for the nursing aides and fought to get them benefits and better pay for their hard work. Jean served the citizens of the county faithfully for over 14 years. Following her retirement, Jean wed Martin “June” Fuser and they enjoyed many years of marriage. Together, they traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, and to Mexico and Europe. They also enjoyed gardening, canning, and entertaining, as well as spending time with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Jean is survived by her son David (wife Debbie) Bruce of Cape Girardeau, MO, granddaughter Christa (husband Jeff) Wilmsmeyer and their children Clayton and Connor of New Franklin, MO, grandson Tyler Bruce (fiancée Brandi Kujawa) of Cape Girardean, MO; and daughter Deb (husband Keith) Spackler of Waterloo, NE, granddaughters Steffany Spackler (fiancée Marc Chedel) of Omaha, NE and Kelsey Spackler of Scottsdale, AZ, and grandson John Spackler of Columbia, MO. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Emil A. Diedrich, sister Alma May Weisner, husband Harry N. Bruce, son Steven N. Bruce, husband Martin Fuser, and stepson Michael Fuser.
Visitation will be held at Davis Chapel Funeral Home, 1397 W. Ashley Rd., Boonville, MO 65233 on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 4-6:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Davis Chapel on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. with interment to follow at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville. The family asks in lieu of flowers, remembrance donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Mid-Missouri Chapter and Evangelical United Church of Christ of Boonville.