Bruce Curtis Drennan
Published 4:43 pm Friday, June 24, 2022
Bruce Curtis Drennan, (The Great Santini, Bossman, Grandpa, Dad, Brucey) died on Thursday, June 23, 2022 after threatening his children he would do so for quite some time. Funeral services to celebrate his truly unique and full life will be held on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Rainey Family Funeral Services. He will be buried at Sunnyside Cemetery with Military Honors following the service. His children, grandchildren, and family will be at the funeral home on Saturday June 25th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to laugh, cry, tell stories about their dad, and to hear new ones from his friends they haven’t heard before.
Bruce was born on October 10, 1947 in Pineville, Louisiana and was adopted by Charles Curtis Drennan and his bride, Gwendolyn Ruth Ballinger, whom he met in England and married after the war. His childhood taught him the value of hard work and overcoming adversity. He was especially close to his father, and he worked with him in the service station, small engine repair shop, and trailer park his family owned and operated. His dad affectionately referred to him at ‘Butch.’
Eventually Bruce ended up in Bossier City, Louisiana where he met his future wife Sandra Lynne Sheppard at their High School Graduation Party. Over the next few years, Bruce started college at Northwestern University in Louisiana, married Sandy, and enlisted in the Air Force where he served in the Vietnam Conflict. After his enlistment was over, Bruce and Sandy moved to Cordele, Georgia where they both graduated from Georgia Southwestern College. After college Bruce was commissioned an Ensign in the United Sates Navy. Over the next 20+ years Bruce and Sandy lived the Navy life in Milton, FL, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Jacksonville, FL, Fairfax, VA, Prattville, AL, Washington, D.C., and Tampa, FL with countless deployments and one epic stunt where Bruce left a pregnant Sandy at home, who went into labor while he was rounding the tip of South America on the USS Scott. While in the military, Bruce completed his MBA at Central Michigan University and studied Foreign Affairs at The Air Force War College. Along the way, they collected memories, several Siamese cats, a love of the water and boating, oh yeah and three children. After retiring from the Navy in 1995, Bruce began his second career in community and economic development eventually moving ‘home’ to Cordele, Georgia. He was proud of his work as the Executive Director of the Cordele-Crisp Industrial Development Council and the relationships he built while working there. Not one to relish the spotlight, Bruce was beyond proud when he was named one of Georgia’s ‘100 Most Influential Georgians’ in 2013 by Georgia Trend Magazine.
Bruce and Sandy were at their happiest on the water. They loved living on Lake Blackshear and taking their boat, ‘Lagniappe’ out for a spin or over to Cypress Grill for lunch. Through their travels on the Florida coast, they fell in love with a little forgotten fishing village, Carrabelle, and eventually put down roots there as well, which led to the need for another boat, ‘Innisfree.’ One of the happiest events in Bruce’s adult life was finding his biological family and discovering that he had a brother and sister. He and Sandy both became very close with his sister, Linda, and cherished the time and relationship they had together until her death.
Bruce’s three children are still not convinced that he wasn’t abducted by aliens and replaced with a look alike right around the time he became a grandfather. Suddenly the stern disciplinarian from their childhood with a penchant for surprise closet inspections seemed to abandon rules altogether. All bets were off when it came to his four grandsons, and he took pride in buying them every video game, toy, power-wheel, and gadget they could dream up. He especially enjoyed finding the loudest, most annoying toy possible for birthdays and Christmas, gifting it to one of the boys, and then sending them home along with extra batteries for their parents to ‘enjoy.’ Bruce finally got a granddaughter in his last years and we are pretty certain that she never did anything wrong in his eyes.
For Bruce, love was more about what you did than what you said. He showed his family how much he loved them through his hard work, the experiences he provided them, and the way he was always there for them no matter how bad they had messed up. His love for his wife, Sandy, was one for the ages. After losing her in 2016, he was just never the same and his family is at peace knowing that they are once again together.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Sandra, and his sister Linda Core Al Alawi. He was father to Jane Cameron Bedore, Johanna Rebekah (Jack) Masters, and Benjamin Bruce (Liz) Drennan, grandfather to Andrew Cameron Bedore, Johnathan Patrick Bedore, Matthew Thomas Bedore, Isaac Benjamin Drennan, and Emilee Masters, and brother to Jim (Pat) Reed of Denham Springs, LA. Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services. An online register book is available at www.raineyfuneral.com