J. Bruce Wackenhut, age 97, of Greenville, passed away Saturday morning, April 1, 2017 in UPMC Horizon Greenville. 

Mr. Wackenhut was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 16, 1919 to John H. and Ella F. (Stahl) Wackenhut.  Bruce was a graduate of Emsworth High School, attended Carnegie Tech and Drexel Universities and was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Civil Engineering.  During WWII he worked as a ship fitter's helper at Pearl Harbor and from 1949 until his retirement in 1982 he was employed in the Engineering Department of the Bessemer & Lake Erie R.R. 

Bruce was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Greenville, where he had served on church council, served as the chairman of the Property Committee and as the Superintendent of Sunday School.  In addition, he had also for some time been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Meadville and had served on the Board of Directors at Bethesda Children's Home, where he had volunteered over 2000 hours with the construction of the Home's Chapel. 

Bruce was a fifty-four year member of the Hempfield Twp. Municipal Authority, served on the Board of Directors of the Greenville Public Library, had been a Boy Scout Leader with Troop #54 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and he very much enjoyed woodworking. 

On September 29, 1945 he married the former Margaret E. Floyd, she passed away on July 13, 1995, he then married the former Frances L. Callahan on September 20, 1996, she survives. 

Also surviving are two daughters, Ann Mathieson and her husband Scott of Aurora, NY and Janet Michaelsen and her husband Christian of Annandale, VA, two sons, Paul B. Wackenhut and his wife Martha of Blackfoot, ID and Norman C. Wackenhut and his wife Socorro of South Lake Tahoe, CA, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, 1st wife, and a brother, Norman H. Wackenhut.

Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1 Trinity Place, Greenville, PA 16125 or to the Greenville Public Library, 330 Main St., Greenville, PA 16125.



  1. Ron Chrsitman Ron Chrsitman
    April 3, 2017    

    Worked for your dad for many years. He was in the drafting room when I stared with the B&LE in1954. Then later when he was Engineer of Track, I was a Supervisor of Track under him. A kinder and fairer man to work for you won’t find, and I will miss him even tough I haven’t seen him since my transfer to The Birmingham Southern RR in 1979.

  2. Ray and Mary Ella Young Ray and Mary Ella Young
    April 3, 2017    

    So very sorry to hear of Bruce’s passing. There are so many great memories of him, scouts, and just hanging out with you, Norman. We are unable to attend calling hours since we have moved to Terre Haute, IN but you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Ray and Mary Ella

  3. Rick Willaman Rick Willaman
    April 3, 2017    

    So So Sorry to hear. A very respectful and generous man as I was growing up. His working at B&LE is what got me to be a B&LE “Track Rat” for a couple of summers after High School. He also helped me find my career in electronics by letting me tag along with Norman to a school interview. Norm,,, sorry to hear of you dad’s passing. Rick Willaman

  4. Rick Jaxtheimer Rick Jaxtheimer
    April 3, 2017    

    Sad to hear of J.B.’s passing. He was a a good man, a great scoutmaster and father to one of my best high school friends, Paul. Bruce had a positive impact on my young life in Boy Scouts and had the patience to put up with my youthful antics. Paul- My sincere sympathy on your loss.

  5. Eddie White (Class of 72) Eddie White (Class of 72)
    April 3, 2017    

    Norman and family I trust that it is a comfort to all of you that your classmates are praying for you during this difficult time. My you find the gift of God’s presence drawing you closer to Him.

  6. John Logan John Logan
    April 3, 2017    

    I remember overnight “campouts” in his back field as a Boy Scout in Troop 54 and his attentiveness to fulfilling our badge requirements in an organized way. Laying a fire for cooking could be done well and right, just learn the way. And his quiet leadership in our church after I returned to Greenville as an adult was always apparent. A good friend and example for us all.

  7. Debra Bresnan Debra Bresnan
    April 4, 2017    

    Sorry for your loss, Norm. Sending deepest sympathies to you and your family. May your dad rest in peace.

  8. Shirley Curtin Slaff Shirley Curtin Slaff
    April 4, 2017    

    Dear Janet and all of the Wackenhut Family,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Father and Husband. Janet, you always had the most wonderful things to say about your family, especially your mother and dad. He lived to a wonderful age, and though my dad left our earth too soon, at nearly 82 years old, I know that you would feel the same way. Age does not diminish how we cherish those we are the closest to and although he is now with those that have passed before him, you will miss him dearly. Thinking about you and your family and you have my heartfelt sympathies.
    Love, Shirley

  9. Charles N. Maietta Charles N. Maietta
    April 4, 2017    

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad, Condolences to you and your family.

  10. Marty & Ruth Anne Ahl Marty & Ruth Anne Ahl
    April 5, 2017    

    Ann, Janet, Paul, and Norman,
    My earliest memories of your father were from the friendship that our parents shared as members of the “Loyal” class at Holy Trinity Lutheran. I remember the class picnics at Riverside Park and at your home on Conneaut Lake Road. In conversation my parents always referred to your father with the highest respect and admiration. As I grew older and returned to Greenville to attend college, I was very gratified about how I was received by your parents, as though our family had never left Greenville. Your father was very generous in allowing me to park my car in his driveway, so that I had a way to get home on some weekends. While I was in college, I enjoyed seeing your dad driving my grandfather’s former Pontiac back and forth to work. Through my wife who was church secretary at Trinity Lutheran in Meadville my friendship with your dad was rekindled again because at that time your dad was a member and church treasurer there. We want you to know that we share in your loss and will keep all of you in our prayers.

  11. Jim Grueser Jim Grueser
    April 5, 2017    

    Norman, So many memories…Boy Scouts, canoe trips, his generosity, and inviting me into your family. They shaped my youth and my adulthood. May you find comfort in this time of loss.

  12. Joan Artzberger Barys, daughter of the late Lou and Alice Artzberger Joan Artzberger Barys, daughter of the late Lou and Alice Artzberger
    April 6, 2017    

    As I read Marty Ahl’s note of condolence. it struck me that the first few lines could have been written by me. Not only do I fondly remember those many Loyal Class picnics, I also remember my brother Greg and I visiting with our parents both of the Wackenhut homes on Conneaut Lake Road. By the way, I also remember visiting with the Ahl family, both in Greenville and, was it Union City, I think. Although we moved from Greenville to Massachusetts in 1965 when I was 13, my memories remain strong. Your dad continued to remember by mom with a Christmas card until she died last year. My dad passed in 2004. My sincere condolences to all of the Wackenhut family. May your faith comfort you at this sad time.

  13. Ron and Debbie Gosnell Ron and Debbie Gosnell
    April 6, 2017    

    Janet and family, so sorry for the loss of your father! I’m sure you have many wonderful memories to give you peace! Keeping you in my prayers at this difficult time.

  14. Judy (Cook) Kougher Judy (Cook) Kougher
    April 14, 2017    

    Janet and family…..very sorry for your loss. Fond memories will help to ease the pain during this difficult time. Sent with caring thoughts and sympathy.

  15. Cheryl (Meeker) Davern Cheryl (Meeker) Davern
    April 17, 2017    

    Norman, I can’t go past your house without thinking of you and the fun sledding from the Shack! We knew it was time to go home when your mom pulled the plug!! I was sorry to learn of your dad’s passing, he was one of my Sunday School teachers and I remember all the Sundays with you at the late service. Your parents were always kind to all of us, another great one gone.

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