Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Shirley Ilene Bruce

Aug. 18, 1929 - Dec. 22, 2021


December 30, 2021

Shirley Ilene Bruce

Shirley Ilene Bruce

Funeral services for S. Ilene Bruce, age 92, will be held Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., at the Farmington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farmington, Wash., with Pastor Hal Whitman officiating. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Farmington. A luncheon will follow the burial service. Mrs. Bruce passed away peacefully Dec. 22, 2021 in Garfield, Wash.

Shirley "Ilene" Bruce was born on August 18, 1929, in Colfax, Wash., to J. Lawrence and Margaret Cornelia (Greer) Pennell. She was the youngest of 4 siblings born to J.L. & Neal. Her family spent a short period at Hay and Endicott, Wash., before moving to Garfield where she spent the rest of her childhood. She attended school in Garfield and after graduation enrolled in Kinman Business University in Spokane, Wash. learning technical and clerical skills.

In 1947, Ilene met Albert Bruce, Jr. from Tekoa, Wash., at an all-county dance. On June 12, 1949, she married Junior and they made their home in Pigeon Hollow, in Latah County, Idaho, near Farmington, for 68 years, where they farmed and raised their three boys.

Ilene and Junior enjoyed traveling the world together and she had an extreme passion for her family. Wearing many hats, she was an excellent bookkeeper for the family farm, a hard worker in gardening, canning, mowing acres of lawn, and cooking many delicious meals for her family and hired help. Ilene was an active community member of the Farmington Garden Club, Cub Scout Den Mother, and traveled on a women's bowling team. She loved baking and decorating birthday cakes, attending sporting events of her sons, grandkids, and great grandkids started her orange bowl tradition in 1968. One of Ilene's hobbies included taking thousands of photo of her family and travels.

She was a longtime member of the Farmington United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school. Ilene had a strong faith and later attended the Tekoa Community Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, J.L. and Neal Pennell, her three siblings, Willard Pennell, Tomas Pennell, and Jean (Pennell) Phillips and husband Albert Bruce Jr. Survivors include her three sons, Lynn (Sharon) Bruce of Lacrosse, Doug (Cathy) Bruce of Farmington, Dan (fiancé Sherise) Bruce of Lewiston; 10 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be Wed., Dec. 29, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., at Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse.

Memorial gifts may be given to the Mountain View Cemetery, c/o Jerry Wagner, 2952 Reuben Schultz Rd., Farmington, WA 99128. Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, WA is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at http://www.kramercares.com.


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