Bruce William Hansford
Bruce William Hansford, age 94, died May 6, 2023. Bruce was born in Kent on June 24, 1928 to Oren Donald Hansford and Nina Goothier and lived in Kent his entire life. He graduated from Kent Roosevelt High School in 1946 and married his high school sweetheart Nancy Greer on October 2, 1948. They raised two children, Susan and David. Throughout their 65 years together Bruce and Nancy always also opened their home to nieces and nephews and anyone needing a place to stay. Their home soon became a second home for many friends and relatives as well as foster babies.
Bruce began working for Greer Heating right after high school, soon after it was founded by his future father-in-law, Redmond Greer and was involved in the business until he was into his 90s alongside his son, David.
In June 2022, Bruce was recognized as the longest-term active member of Kent United Church of Christ, joining the church in 1946. He and Nancy served the church in multiple capacities whenever, wherever and in whatever capacity was needed, including advisors to the church’s youth group for several years. He was the “go-to guy” for whatever needed fixing and for decades checked it every Sunday morning at 6:30 before services to be sure everything was functioning as it should.
While Nancy was alive, he loved spending weekends fishing at their cottage at Leesville Lake. He was a founder of the local Masonic Golf League and golfed with them into his 90s. He was particularly proud of having the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game in 2015 at the age of 87 (his ball reached the plate!).
Throughout his life, Bruce was active in many community and masonic organizations. Bruce (and his wife Nancy) were life members of the Order of Eastern Star, serving in many offices and capacities locally and at the district and state level. He was Worthy Grand Patron of Ohio in 1977, and was recently awarded his 70 year membership pin. He also was a 50 year member of Shriners International, a member of the Scottish Rite and Knights Templar, and an Endowed Member of Rockton Lodge F. & A. M., receiving his 70 year membership pin in 2021.
A generous, honest, and giving man, Bruce was a 50+ year member of the Rotary Club of Kent with perfect attendance until his illness. Bruce exemplified their motto of “Service above Self,” and was a multiple Paul Harris recipient.
Bruce and Nancy were members of the Kent chapter of the NAACP and in 2014, the NAACP established the Bruce and Nancy Hansford scholarship.
Bruce was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Nancy, brothers Donald, Robert, and Frank Hansford, and step-brother Edgar Babb.
Bruce will be deeply missed by daughter, Susan Hansford of Kent; son and daughter-in-law David and Kay Hansford of Kent; granddaughters, Rachel (Matthew) Carter of Kent, Emily (Andrea Chisnell) of Kent, and Ashley (Richard) Peepers of Columbus; great-grandchildren, Mallory Carter, Logan Peepers, Tyler Peepers; sister, Janice Argent of Mesa, AZ; and several nephews and nieces.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, June 3 at Kent United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St. Bruce’s family will receive friends from 1:00 – 2:00, with the memorial service beginning at 2:00 in the church sanctuary. Prior to calling hours, an Eastern Star service will be held at 12:30 in the church’s chapel.
A private burial was held at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
Kent Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 6, Kent, OH 44240
Kent United Church of Christ, Outreach Mission, 1400 E. Main St., Kent, OH 44240
Services in care of Bissler and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory.
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