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Peter Andrew Bruce dies; Nassau's former deputy commissioner of general services was 79

Peter Andrew Bruce, a former deputy commissioner of

Peter Andrew Bruce, a former deputy commissioner of general services for Nassau County and a longtime Locust Valley Republican leader, died of Alzheimer's disease on April 17, 2015, at 79. Credit: Courtesy Bruce Family

Peter Andrew Bruce, a former deputy commissioner of general services for Nassau County, left his home country in the 1950s and traveled to the United States aboard the original Queen Mary.

"He came from Scotland, he came from the old country, respect and family values were huge for him," said his son Peter W. Bruce of Glen Cove. "He would rule with tough love, and taught us family always comes first."

Bruce died April 17 of Alzheimer's disease. He was 79.

Bruce had been a longtime Locust Valley GOP leader, having served as treasurer of the Locust Valley Republican Club and as a Nassau County Republican committeeman, his son said.

He had worked as a photographer for the Scottish Daily Express newspaper, and served in the Royal Air Force, his family said. In 1957, Bruce immigrated to the United States.

He worked as an assistant to the manager at the Piping Rock Country Club in Locust Valley, before becoming a purchasing agent for the east and west coasts for the now-shuttered department store Ohrbach's, his son said.

In the early 1980s, Bruce became Nassau's deputy commissioner of general services, where he was responsible for "acquiring products and services for the county," his son said. He worked for the county for about 25 years before retiring.

Bruce was a fourth-degree Knight at the Knights of Columbus and former grand knight of the Thomas Connelly Council.

In addition to his son Peter, survivors include his wife of 47 years, Joan Bruce; daughter Eileen Watson of Hicksville; sons Alexander of Locust Valley, Roy and Bryan, both of whom live just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina; and 15 grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church in Bayville, followed by burial at Locust Valley Cemetery.

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