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Joseph Michael Gruce Jr.
February 19, 1938 ~ August 5, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Gruce, Joseph (Joe) Michael, Junior, age 85, of The Villages, FL, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 5, 2023.
Joe was a devoted husband, for 61 years, to Anne Marie (Grosner) Gruce, awesome father to Anne, Joseph III, and Cathy and a loving grandfather to Matthew and Laura VanDerSchuur.
He was born in Bridgeport, CT, on February 19, 1938, to Genevieve and Joseph Gruce Sr. Joe attended Fairfield Preparatory School in Fairfield, CT, Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsbug, MD and the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT, where he graduated with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Over his 40 plus year career he held a number of positions in the chemical, industrial, pharmaceutical, and confection industries, including product development and technical sales.
His greatest joy was his family and being involved in their activities. He enjoyed helping the swim team at the Stratford YMCA as a starter/referee and being involved in the Parents Club. He coached the LA Dodgers in the Stratford PAL Girls Baseball League. Indian Guides, Cub Scouts, high school swimming, basketball, and softball, he loved it all.
He was very involved in the churches he attended. At St. Mark's in Stratford he was very involved in the bazaar as Chairman and other roles. At St. Peter the Apostle in Ebony, VA he was a lector, eucharistic minister and on the pastoral council--an all around utility man. He was a proud brother of the Knights of Columbus, serving as warden at Blessed Trinity Council #11741 in Clarksville, VA and establishing a council at St. Peter's and St. Richard's parishes in VA, registered as Our Lady of the Lake Council #9309. He was a Fourth Degree, Sir Knight, with the Patrick Henry Assembly #1720.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Genevieve, father, Joseph Sr. , and sister, Eleanor. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Anne, his three children, Anne VanDerSchuur and her husband, Leo, of North Port, FL, and their children, Matthew, and Laura. Son, Joseph III, and his wife, Cecily, of Milford, NH, and daughter, Cathy Cooper and her husband, Brian, of Clayton, NC. He also leaves many extended family and close friends, who will miss his cheerful presence and jokes.
The family would like to thank the staff at Freedom Pointe Place, The Villages, FL for their devoted care of Joe over the past years.
Friends and family are invited to pay their respects on Wednesday, August 16 from 5-7 p.m. at the Cyril F. Mullins Funeral Home, 399 White Plains Rd. Trumbull, CT. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Rose's Church, 46 Church Hill Rd. Newtown, CT. Burial to follow in St. Rose's Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Freedom Pointe Associate Appreciation Fund. Checks should be made payable to "The Gift Fund-Freedom Pointe Place," and mailed to Administrator, Freedom Pointe Healthcare, 1460 El Camino Real, The Villages, FL, 32159, in memory of Joe or to the Fairfield Prep Memorial Scholarship Fund www.fairfieldprep.org/give or send checks to: Fairfield Prep, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824, Attention: Advancement. For additional assistance making a donation you can contact the Prep Development office at 203-254-4237 or the Alzheimer's Association- http://act.alz.org/goto/JosephGruce.