Ferdinand A. Bruno, Esq., 88, of Bristol

EastBayRI.com ·

Ferdinand “Fred” Bruno, former attorney and judge, long-time Rotarian, and proud family man, died Sunday. He was 88.

Graced with personality, humor, and smarts, Fred was a problem-solver, mentor, and optimist extraordinaire. A lifelong Bristolian and proud father, he was full of stories about his daughters’ adventures and accomplishments. He loved animals, enjoyed travel, was a master crossword-puzzler and avid fountain pen collector. He had a few good card tricks up his sleeve

Fred cherished the arts of penmanship and letter writing, and dreamed of being a cartoonist or sign painter. He mentored many young lawyers, always generous with his time and expertise. Impressed by tradespeople, he could spend hours watching a brick path being laid or a sink being fixed.

Fred graduated from Colt Memorial High, Providence College, and completed a Georgetown law degree in two years. He entered the Army the day after being sworn in as a lawyer. At 27, Fred was elected probate judge in Bristol, one of the youngest ever in the state. Eventually he stepped down to practice civil law in Providence and Bristol. Later in his career he specialized in wills and estates, happily working well into his eighties.

Fred was one of the original trustees at Roger Williams University School of Law, where he also taught. He was a devoted member and past president of the Bristol Rotary Club — and their longest-running member. Through Rotary, he became an advocate for organ donation. 

Fred cherished his friendships. Ever the social one, he had a Friday lunch group called The Fathers of Daughters.

Fred and Joan Bruno were married for 34 years. Together they traveled to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, France, England, Italy, and Luxembourg.

Fred will be missed by his wife, Joan Bruno, his daughters, Marie MacLellan, Judith Bruno, Ellen Bruno, and Kristen McClusky, three sons-in-law, six grandchildren, and stepsons, William and Christopher Newton. 

A wake will be held at Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood St., Bristol, on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church at 330 Wood St., Bristol, at 11a.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Elizabeth’s Manor in Bristol or Potter League for Animals in Middletown.

For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions please visit www.sansonefuneralhome.com.

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