John Lawrence Bruch Jr., 90, of 521 S. Main St., Muncy, died Sunday, November 10, 2013.
Born February 6, 1923, in Williamsport, he was the son of John L. and Mary Augusta (Sprout) Bruch. On May 6, 1949, he married Sarah Hays Bubb, who survives. Together they celebrated 64 years of marriage.
John attended Muncy-Muncy Creek High School and graduated from Dickinson Seminary in 1940. He enrolled in Syracuse University and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity before enlisting in the Army in January 1942. He was an Army Air Corps B-24 pilot and instructor during World War II. Leaving active duty in November 1945 as a First Lieutenant, he returned to Syracuse to graduate in 1947 with a degree in transportation. He retained his love of flying and in his late 70's returned to the controls of a restored B-24 for a Williamsport to Elmira flight.
John Lawrence Bruch Jr.
Following the death of his father in 1949, John purchased the John L. Bruch Agency and served as its president until his death and as an independent insurance agent and broker. He was a member of the Independent Insurance Agents Association of Pennsylvania and a delegate to state conventions for many years.
A member of the Citizens National Bank board of Muncy, John became a director of the Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company when the two companies merged in 1969. He retired as a director of Commonwealth Bancshares Corporation in 1988. He was a founding partner of Locust Hill Land Company and an investor in the former Highland Ski Area.
Long active in county and community affairs, John served in a number of volunteer capacities and supported a variety of causes. He was a founding member of the Muncy Planning Commission in 1956 and continued on that board until his death. John was Muncy's first Zoning Commissioner and an original member of the Lycoming County Recreation Authority and board member when the authority opened the White Deer Golf Course in 1965. John was Muncy's first Shade Tree Commissioner and later a founding board member of Penn Hall Preservation and the Muncy Main Street Association. As a charter junior member of the Muncy Historical Society, many years later he served as a director and corresponding secretary. John was also a former trustee of the Lycoming County Historical Society. At the time of his death, he was on the board and treasurer of Old Immanuel Lutheran Church, Muncy Creek Township. Other affiliations included the Muncy Creek Watershed Association, Pennsylvania German Society, Pennsylvania Canal Society, National Rifle Association, Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center and The Pennsylvania Society. Family genealogy was a passion and led to his membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the latter through his ancestor Henry Samson. He was an Eagle Scout and the proud father, grandfather and uncle of Eagle Scouts.
As a member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Muncy, he served as treasurer for twenty-five years, the third generation of his family to hold that position. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Muncy Lodge 299, F. & A. M., the Williamsport Consistory, American Legion Roland Ritter Post 268, Ross Club, Williamsport Country Club and Larrys Creek Fish and Game Club.
John enjoyed family vacations and travel especially summer trips to Wyoming and Upper Saranac Lake, N.Y. He had a lifelong love of the outdoors and great enthusiasm for downhill and cross-country skiing. He last took to the slopes at age 82.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Susan H. B. and J. Thomas Muir, of Palmyra, Va.; a son and daughter-in-law, John L. III and Anne L. C. Bruch, of Baltimore, Md.; a daughter, Ann P. Bruch, of New York; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by two sisters, Mary Bruch Young and Nancy Bruch Coppes.
On Saturday November 23, 2013, friends are invited to the burial service, with full military honors, at 2 p. m. in the Muncy Cemetery, immediately followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 201 S. Main St., Muncy, PA 17756.
Memorial contributions may be made to Old Immanuel Lutheran Church, c/o C. Frantz, P.O. Box 577, Muncy, PA 17756.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grenoblefuneralhome.com.