Virgil Valentino Bruno
April 28, 1922-June 29, 2017
Dad was a devout Catholic who volunteered in several capacities at St. Peters for over 50 years. He attended mass daily at 6:15 as the start of his day and was soon serving at that mass, a role he faithfully performed for decades until he could no longer stand or walk independently.
Dad loved Big Band music from the 40’s and old movies and was an avid viewer of Turner Classic Movies. He particularly liked anything with John Wayne.
Dad had a real passion for anything with a motor and he learned to drive when he was 14. He got his first car at 16. He lovingly maintained his cars acquiring the tools and knowhow to keep them running perfectly. They were spotlessly clean inside and out. As a city salesman, his car was his office and everything associated with his business was well ordered. One of our many important life lessons was that “anything worth doing is worth doing well”.
Dad loved antique cars, trains, and planes and we attended many shows and exhibits over the years.
After a long day of work he delighted in taking the family out for a ride after dinner. Dad loved to take us to an overlook where we could watch the planes taking off and landing at the old downtown airport, or we might take a driving tour of the city’s fountains, or riding out into the undeveloped countryside.
Family vacations usually meant a road trip to Colorado where we toured from one end of the state to the other. It was during those trips that dad’s love of the mountains and nature were instilled in all of us.
Dad was a quiet unassuming person, who very generously and quietly lent a hand to those in need without expecting to be acknowledged or repaid.
After a long career as a salesman, dad retired and soon assumed responsibility as primary caregiver for our mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He gradually assumed all the household responsibilities. With customary resolve, he applied himself to these tasks and often commented, “I don’t know how your mother did all this when all of you were at home.”
Dad was a World War II Navy veteran, who eventually found his spot as a Pharmacist’s Mate on the USS Repose Hospital Ship. In that capacity he spent much of his service assisting with the treatment of sailors and WACS heading home from the Pacific. The discipline and training he received in the military stayed with him throughout his life. He gave his shoes a military shine every night when he took them off.
Dad was a humble, quiet, dignified gentleman. Being the child of Italian immigrants, he experienced discrimination first hand and was sure to treat everyone with respect. His was a model life of service to God and Church, his family, and his country.