The Honorable Bruce C. Strong, age 84 of Biloxi, passed away at his home on Sunday, September 12, 2021. He was born and raised in Oak Grove, LA and became a permanent resident of Biloxi, MS in 1967.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James A. Strong and Syble Morgan Strong; his siblings, James W. Strong (Bobbie), Shirley Abernathy (Lewis), John “Tobe” Royce (Ingrid), Dorothy Hill (Basil); and his brother-in-law, Jerry Sansone.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Annette Zohar Strong; his children, James E. Strong (Sammi), Jerry L. Strong (Rose), and Katherine A. Myers (Patrick); his grandchildren, Shannon Strong, Cory Myers, Richard Myers, Sara Myers, Madison Strong, and Aaron Strong; his siblings, Douglas Strong (Mary), J.C. Strong (Betty), Richard Strong (Mattie Rae), Glen Strong (Bettye), Mack Strong (Joanna), and Sherry Strong Sansone.
He received a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi. He enlisted in the Air Force on March 22, 1954, as a Reciprocating Engine Mechanic and became a flight engineer on RC-121, C-54, and C-124 aircraft. His assignments included Charleston AFB (Charleston, SC), Nouasseur Air Base (Casablanca, Morocco), Donaldson AFB (Greenville, SC), Hunter AFB (Savannah, GA), and Keesler AFB (Biloxi, MS). Bruce retired April 1, 1974, as Master Sergeant.
After retiring from the Air Force, he began hauling trailers for Danny Guice. Bruce later joined the Biloxi Police Department in March of 1975, because he really wanted to find a way to make Biloxi a better place to live. Even though it wasn’t a high paying job, he felt working for the public was very rewarding. He better understood the significance of becoming a public servant while escorting Biloxi Mayor, Gerald Blessey to various venues. They had many discussions about the good of the public and how it had its own rewards. He stayed with the Biloxi Police Department as an officer for 20 years, 13 of them as a detective. Bruce was awarded the “Medal of Valor” from the City of Biloxi.
In 1996, Bruce began his first term of office as a Harrison County Justice Court Judge. As a police officer, he saw there was room for improvement in the justice system and wanted to make a difference. He was an active judge for 6 terms, having 3 uncontested elections. During his tenure, he was President of the Mississippi Justice Court Judges Association for 3 terms and Executive Director for 2 terms. He has also served as a member of the Mississippi Judicial Advisory Study Committee and was President of the Biloxi Businessman’s Club for 2 terms.
During his spare time, he was an integral part of the “Biloxi Mullet Brigade”. He and his group endlessly volunteered for events frying fish and serving up Annette’s world-famous hush puppies. The money raised went to various organizations to include Our Lady of Fatima, persons with terminal illnesses, and other local venues. In addition, they cooked for the annual Mississippi Justice Court Judges Convention which, in 2018, was named “The Honorable Bruce Strong/MJCJA Seafood Cookout” to honor his dedication and commitment to the organization. Unbeknownst to most people, all the food for every event was donated by Bruce and his wife. Bruce also served as chairman of OLF Spring-fest. Throughout his tenure as chairman, he raised approximately $100k every year for the church. His goal was not just to raise money but to bring the community closer together. He and his wife also volunteered countless hours running the Biloxi High School Booster Club and raising money to support BHS athletics. He was instrumental in purchasing Mississippi State Championship rings for the entire BHS basketball team in 2004. Bruce also became a self-taught auctioneer and sold merchandise weekly at his auction house for nearly a decade.
Judge Strong’s true passion was his family, his church (OLF), and the entire Biloxi community. Bruce and Annette were married for 63 years, and you rarely saw one without the other; they were truly inseparable. He loved Biloxi, the LSU Tigers, living on the water, and good ol’ country cooking. He worked diligently for 67 straight years and earned three retirements. You’d find it very difficult to find someone who worked as hard as Bruce. He was a man of conviction and made a difference wherever he went. When asked what he loved the most about his jobs, he’d tell you it was marrying people. Ask anyone who knew Bruce and they’ll tell you he was an honest, fair, and humble man.
On behalf of Bruce and Annette, a special “Thank You” would like to be extended to his caregivers Rhonda, Nicole, Jennifer, Stephanie, and Ms. Kathy. They would also like to thank the Hospice staff from Southern Care and Kare in Home, especially Tracy Ladner who cared for him until he passed.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 2090 Pass Road, Biloxi, MS, with the visitation starting at 10:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. A committal service with military honors will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.
The family asks that all visitors wear masks during visitation and the church service. For those unable to attend, the mass and committal will be live streamed and may be viewed at www.riemannfamily.com.
In lieu of flowers the family ask that contributions be made to the local Saint Vincent DePaul Society.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, 274 Beauvoir Road, Biloxi, has the honor of serving the Strong family.
An online obituary may be viewed, and memories shared at www.riemannfamily.com
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