Bruce Rich

Bruce Rich, 66, of Newport News, VA passed away in the early hours of August 5, 2022.

Bruce was a native of Hampton Roads, a beloved father and friend, an army veteran, a retired Newport News firefighter, a boat captain and avid sailor, a pilot, and lifelong adventurer…to name a few.

Few people live their lives as fully, filled with as much love and adventure as Bruce. His gift to all who knew him was his ability to help them do the same. He always had room for more: more time with family and friends, more laughs, more borderline inappropriate jokes, and more adventures.

Bruce served 4 years in the Army in Oahu, Hawaii. After the Army he returned to Newport News and served as a firefighter and paramedic for the Newport News Fire Department, retiring after 25 years. Bruce always had a way of creating fun and joy, and the way he lived showed the rest of us how to make the most out of life.

To his friends and family, he was a legend. His zest for life and adventurer’s credo brought people together wherever he went, inspiring them to enjoy every moment. He was one of those people that never met a stranger!

Bruce loved traveling to meet friends and family, sailing to and from the Caribbean, flying his airplane (Dolly), enjoying live music and local cuisine, and sharing a drink, meal or boat ride with friends. He left no beach, bar, or sky unexplored in his pursuit of the world’s beauty.

Bruce is preceded in death by his mother Judith, father Arthur, and brothers Bill and David. He is survived by his daughter Christy, son-in-law Brandon, grandsons Cameron and Carter, and girlfriend Alice.

A visitation and receiving of friends will be held on Saturday, August 13th, 2022 at 3:00 pm at the Peninsula Funeral Home located at 11144 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601. It will be followed by a celebration of life at Smoke Restaurant at 10900 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601.

His family has asked for special stories and photos to be emailed to to create a lasting legacy.


  1. Teri Dawson

    If anyone lived life to the fullest…it was Bruce! What a wonderful obituary! It describes him perfectly! I cannot think of Bruce and not smile. So many awesome memories! He will be missed!

  2. tom waltz

    I was BLESSED to have known Bruce for so many, many years….back to when we were teenagers at Chesapeake Hunt Club. We remained friends throughout all these years always sharing a laugh, a drink, and of course a story…. One time years ago Bruce told me ” you know they say the Good Lord looks out for drunks and fools….. you and me, we got double coverage”! I never forgot those words of Bruce’s wisdom…. Below is a text I received from Bruce in December of 2020… I imagine it went to a few of his friends. When I came across it the other day it donned on me that this text ( Christmas wish) personified Bruce’s funny, somewhat warped character…. a touch rough around the edges, funny as hell, and yet his way of saying Merry Christmas my old friend!! I hope you and the family are doing well!

    Merry Christmas
    A little early I know, but I have so many happy beautiful friends, I thought I’d get the ugly f’ers out of the way first. After careful consideration of your performance in 2020, I have decided to extend our friendship for another 12 months. A little Christmas message for you. Not every flower can say love, but a rose can. Not every plant survives a thirst, but a cactus can. Not every retard can read, but look at you go, little buddy! Today you should take a moment and send an encouraging message to a f….d up friend, just as I have done. I don’t care if you lick windows, or f…k farm animals. You hang in there cupcake, because you’re special to me, and you’re my friend. Look at you smiling at your screen, you crayon eating mother f….. r!
    Merry Christmas.

    The above is vintage Bruce to me…. I tried to clean it up a bit. but I think you can read between the lines. There are so many stories and fond memories I could write a book! Some of my most interesting and scary life experiences were with my MAN Bruce! Truly one of God’s EXTRA special children!!!!! (P.S.) I hope you made it past St. Peter… if not, I hear there is a back door! Go for it… you deserve it…Love ya Man…..Thank you for the decades of laughs and memories….. Your long time friend….. Tom Waltz

  3. Jeff Nelson

    yep… Tom I got that one too..
    Bruce never was dull moment..

    Every year he and I would send the song …. I want a hippopotamus for Christmas to our former Capt Doug Carper.. Why? because he didn’t like it..There are thousands of stories out there about Bruce. Thousands of them.. And not one of them is bad. They are all happy stories about his humor and his life.

  4. Mark Rich

    So sorry to hear about my cousin Bruce. Many memories from our younger years down at our Grandmother’s house along with his brothers David and Bill, and all our other cousins. Lots of family reunions too.
    Though I hadn’t seen him much lately, I really enjoyed reading about his life. It certainly looks like he lived his life to the fullest.
    God bless his family and may he rest in peace.

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