FREDERICK, MD – Thomas Spartan Bruce died November 6 at his home. He was 92. Bruce was a founding member of the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA), recipient of the 2004 Pioneer Award, as well as inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. Bruce was a past president and director of Southern Auto Auction Association.
Born in Greer, S.C. October 7, 1917, Bruce was known by his family and friends as an exceptionally loving man who gave far more than he took. He is survived by his sons: Thomas Spartan Bruce, Jr. and his wife, Brenda, of Hendersonville, N.C., and Dan Ellis Bruce and his wife Brenda; daughter, Sandra Bruce McDonald and her husband, Ralph(Pat) and Gary Francis Bruce and his fiancé, Melinda Holland, all of Greenville, S.C.
He Bruce attended Furman University and with his father, owned P. L. Bruce Livestock Company and founded Bruce Automobile Auction in 1938. In later years, he partnered with his son, Tom, in Bruce Implement Company, Bruce Construction Machinery Company and Auction Recon Center Inc., and with his son, Gary, in Bruce Auto Auction. He was a past president of Carolina Farm and Power Equipment Dealers Association. He gave back to his community as a member of the Greenville County Planning Commission, Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission, Past President and Charter Member of Goodwill Industries of South Carolina. The Goodwill facility on Poinsett Highway is named in his honor. He was also a member of the Elks, a past president of the Executive Sertoma Club, Hejaz Shrine Club, a past director of the Royal Order of Jesters, and Director Emeritus of the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
The Joel R. Poinsett sculpture on Main Street in Greenville was donated in honor of Tom Bruce and his wife, the late Mary Frances, for the love and inspiration they have shared with the Greenville community. Mr. Bruce and his late wife were active members of St. Mark Methodist Church for over fifty years. He was also a long standing member of Poinsett Club.