Bruce Witherspoon

November 3rd, 1928 to October 24th, 2016

Bruce Arthur Witherspoon, 87, of Port Huron Township, died Monday, October 24, 2016.

He was born in Detroit on November 3, 1928. He graduated from Detroit Cooley High School in 1946 and from the University of Michigan in 1950. He spent the next two years in the U.S. Army and during that time, on December 23, 1950, he married Bette Lou Carrithers, who was also a Cooley grad.

Bruce and Bette were the parents of seven children, Suzanne (who was killed in a traffic accident in 1981), Gayle, Marianne, Bruce Daniel (who lived only 2½ months), Ellen, Kathryn Joyce and David Bruce.

Having majored in journalism at U-M, Bruce worked for ten years as a reporter for the Detroit News, eight months as city editor of the Alpena News, and three years as a publicist for the City of Detroit.

In the summer of 1963, Bruce recognized a great void in his life and cried out to God for help. Accordingly, in the language of the Bible, he was “saved.” God mercifully freed him from addiction to alcohol and tobacco and gave him an entirely new outlook on life.

In 1968, Bruce and his family moved to Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, where Bruce enrolled as a student at the Prairie Bible Institute. After a year of full-time studies, Bruce joined the PBI faculty and taught English and journalism in the Bible school for 13 years. He continued to take Bible courses while on staff and was finally graduated from the Bible school in 1978.

Believing they had been clearly directed by God through His Word, Bruce and his family returned to Michigan in 1982. Bruce was hired that fall as a part-time English teacher at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron and the following summer he began his own lawn mowing business.

Bette died of cancer on July 15, 1986, and on August 12, 1988, Bruce married Barbara Hennesey, who had been widowed in 1979. He thus became the stepfather of Barbara’s three children, Jack, Ed (who died in 1990), and Gwen.

Bruce is survived by his children, Gayle (Steve) Smith, Marianne Erwin, Ellen (Ken) Phillips, Kathryn (Ian) Smith, David (Nonie) Witherspoon, Jack (Karen) Hennesey and Gwen (George) Ingles; grandchildren, Courtney Collins, Paige Smith, Katherine (Shelby) Shaffer, Rachel, Makayla, Kendra and Ethan Phillips, Erin and Jenna Smith, Hailey (Alexander) Lamb, Paul (Taylor) and Luke Ingles, David and Jonathan Witherspoon and Lydia (Lavdim) Musliu; and great-grandchildren, Kaesyn Dimou and Loresa and Rion Musliu.

Visitation will be 5-9 p.m. Thursday in Pollock-Randall Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 28, 2016 in Ross Bible Church with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. The Rev. Tim Clark will officiate.

Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Fort Gratiot Township. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Army and the St. Clair County Allied Veterans Honor Guard. Pallbearers will be Jack Hennesey, Ken Phillips, George Ingles, Ian Smith, Paul and Luke Ingles. Honorary pallbearers will be Steve Smith and Lavdim Musliu.

The family requests memorials be made to Ross Bible Church, Prairie Bible Institute, Global Neighbors or the Detroit Rescue Mission. To send condolences, visit

No Upcoming Events

Document Actions