STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) – Staunton is remembering Bruce Elder. The family-man, former councilman, and enterprise proprietor handed away Tuesday on the age of 63 following a protracted battle with most cancers.
Bruce Elder fell in love with the Staunton after visiting with a good friend in 1988. He moved to the Queen Metropolis one yr later together with his household, purchased a constructing downtown, and opened up Bruce Elder Vintage and Basic Cars.
“The city has been fantastic to me. It gave me a possibility to develop my enterprise and educate my kids in a small-town setting,” mentioned Elder throughout an interview in March 2006. “And I really feel that I’ve an actual good sense of what makes this city particular.”
Buddies say Elder by no means met a stranger.
“All people that met Bruce knew that they’d simply met any person they’d identified their complete life,” mentioned Brian Rhodes. Rhodes, who labored for Elder described him as not simply his boss, however a mentor, good friend, and father-figure.
“After one, one, attending one convention, the subsequent yr everyone would ‘hey Bruce, you understand how are…’, all of them knew him,” mentioned Carolyn Boring, a Staunton councilwoman who served with Elder.
“He began his enterprise when he was 15 years outdated with $50,” mentioned Rhodes.
Remembered as a strolling encyclopedia of automobile information, Elder was also referred to as a storyteller.
“He had 10,000 tales,” mentioned former councilman and good friend, Dave Metz.
“Whether or not or not it’s humorous, or whether or not or not it’s endearing, he may inform a narrative,” said Rhodes.
“They had been simply fascinating,” mentioned Boring.
Elder was elected to Staunton Metropolis Council for the primary time in 2006.
“He was an clever, extraordinarily clever man. He noticed the potential in Staunton,” mentioned Boring.
For years, he spoke out in opposition to predatory lending and advocated for revitalizing Staunton and Staunton Crossing.
“He was all the time form of the one that claims ‘guys, we are able to do higher than this,’” mentioned Metz.
Then Elder was identified with most cancers in 2013 and compelled to finish his run for Congress.
“He nonetheless had simply such an upbeat angle about it and I simply I feel we should always all study from one thing like that,” said Metz.
Regardless of Elder’s ardour for the neighborhood and vehicles, his spouse Cathy says he was proudest of their 4 kids.
“None of us are right here eternally. We’re leaving a legacy that was left to us and hopefully to go away issues higher than the best way we discovered it,” mentioned Elder throughout an April 2009 interview.
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