Obituary, Bruce Armstrong: A man of service, loyalty and great love for his family

FAMILY MAN: Bruce Armstrong on the mower with his great-grandson, Chace.

FAMILY MAN: Bruce Armstrong on the mower with his great-grandson, Chace.

DECEMBER 9, 2020 was a sad day, a day of great loss, a huge loss not only to a family but to the community of Oberon.

This was the day Bruce Armstrong was accidentally killed while carrying out his farming work with his wife Marjorie by his side.

The grass was long due to the great season and he was not able to see the rock which the side-by-side vehicle hit, causing the vehicle to roll over, pinning Bruce to the ground and killing him.

Bruce was born on January 24, 1944, the second son of Allison Armstrong. Bruce loved his mother dearly. Bruce has an older brother, Trevor, and a younger sister, Robyn. He always felt it was his responsibility to look after his younger sister.

His early schooling was at one of Oberon's small schools, Mozart, and the building still exists today.

COUPLE: Bruce and Marjorie, aged 16, at Bruce's brother Trevor and Marj's sister Beryl's wedding.

COUPLE: Bruce and Marjorie, aged 16, at Bruce's brother Trevor and Marj's sister Beryl's wedding.

Many stories, funny and sometimes even daring, have been told over the years of his life at Mozart School and the walking or pushbike riding to school and home each day.

Eventually, Bruce was sent to Scots School in Bathurst as a boarder and finished his education there. Bruce was a member of the Scots School Pipe Band.

He played football for Oberon in the position of lock, playing with the under 16s and under 18s.

Bruce worked on the family farm at Black Springs when he left school and, like many others who did the same, received pocket money instead of a weekly wage.

This was evidently where his love of farming started. When asked if he had a choice of career when he left school, he replied no, and when asked further if he had, what would he have chosen, the reply was a pilot.

Retiring was not something Bruce wanted to think about; he just wanted to keep farming.

Bruce met Marjorie (nee Bailey) when they were both 16 and they were married at 19 years of age.

Bruce's two children, Toni and Mark, were his greatest pride and joy; his love for them was boundless.

Bruce and Marjorie took Steven Byrne into their care as a foster son, and Steven changed his name legally to Armstrong when he became an adult. Another source of pride for Bruce.

Bruce, along with Marjorie, decided to provide a holiday home to children who were living in a welfare home in Carlingford.

Bruce believed in equality and always supported Marjorie in whatever endeavour she undertook.

The many friends of Bruce would know of his true friendship - once you became his friend, you were a friend for life. He was a patient and tolerant man, a man who loved his family without question, and as grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along, his love was shared among them all.

Bruce was involved with Apex and remained a member until the mandatory retiring age of 40. He then served with Rotary, where he was given the Paul Harris Fellowship.

He was elected to the board of the Oberon RSL Club as a young man and remained on the board for many years. He was given the honour of life membership for his hard work for the club.

On leaving school, Bruce became a member of the Rural Bushfire Service in Black Springs, where he was made captain and his wonderful calm nature was a great asset in this position.

When he and Marjorie moved to Spring Bank, he became a member of the Mayfield Bushfire Brigade and was still a member at the time of his death.

Bruce's life was not always easy. He worked through family issues, considering all sides and sometimes standing firm on his beliefs when necessary. He always had the support of his wife and children.

A successful farmer who was not yet ready to retire, his life was, sadly, snatched from him in a matter of seconds.

He was a modest and unassuming man who will be greatly missed and life without him will be extremely difficult. To put it simply, he cannot be replaced.

Bruce's family, his wife Marjorie, his children Toni and Paul, Mark and Jocelyn, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, would like to say thank you to the many, many people for their kindness and sympathy - it is deeply appreciated and will always be remembered. Sadly, many addresses are unknown.

Bruce will always be loved and never forgotten. He was modest, and gentle of heart; once met, never forgotten. A short life well lived.