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Daphne Dell Middlebrook Bruce, 1928-2023



Daphne Dell Middlebrook Bruce
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Daphne Dell Middlebrook Bruce, 94, former resident of Hermanville, died in Madison, Miss. on Oct. 8.

Born in Kosciusko, Miss. on Nov. 5, 1928 to Kathleen and Horace Middlebrook, she took an interest in music at a young age, a passion that would be demonstrated throughout her life.

Because students at her hometown school allowed children to begin participating in the school band in second grade, she was ready to join – but, as the smallest member of the band, her teachers realized the band uniforms were not available in her small size – so her mother had to sew the budding musician’s uniform by hand. As a band member, she immediately began to show a talent in numerous instruments, including the French horn. By age 10 she had her own regular program as a singer on the local radio station.

After graduating from Kosciusko High School in 1946, she earned an associate’s degree from Holmes Junior College and a bachelor’s degree at Millsaps College with a double major in music and elementary education. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Mississippi College in 1961.

A longtime elementary teacher, she worked at Mississippi schools in Hermanville, Port Gibson, Lorman, Crystal Springs, and Gallman; and several more years in Florida.

She married Milton Bruce of Hermanville on Dec. 24, 1950, where she made her home for nearly 68 years before moving to Madison’s “Home Place” residence in 2018.

As a member of the Hermanville Methodist Church, she enjoyed playing the piano for many decades. In fact, during the last few years that she resided in Hermanville she would arrive every Sunday at the Methodist Church to play the hymns on the piano, then pack up and drive to the nearby Baptist Church to do the same.

In 2002, she was preceded in death by Milton Bruce, her husband of 52 years. Survivors include three daughters: Cynthia Blackwell (John), Barbara DeMatties, and Jana Hoops (Alan); along with one granddaughter, Anna Katherine Hoops.

In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the Alzheimer’s Association of Mississippi.

Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. at the Glenwood Funeral Home in Port Gibson, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. Burial will follow at the Hermanville Cemetery.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the staff at The Home Place in Madison for the wonderful care they regularly provide for all of their residents, and especially for Mrs. Bruce.

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