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Striffler-Hamby Mortuary - Columbus

4071 Macon Road, Columbus, GA

OBITUARY

Bruce Willis Berreth

November 19, 1946March 18, 2020

Bruce Willis Berreth was an American hero. He was a soldier. A law enforcement officer. A brother, husband, father, friend and a fighter. He was a man who lived by only a few, simple rules. Rules like "Look a person in the face and greet them kindly.” “Hold your head up and be proud, God is always watching.” And “If it wasn't worth it, you did it wrong." I did not know this man for the entirety of his life. I think I missed some of his really good years. The really fun stories I could tell, the publisher won't print, but I will lead you through a few details of his life that stand out, and provide you with a few things by which he will be remembered.

Bruce Willis Berreth died March 18, 2020 after living for 73 years. And man, did he live. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Sharon Chalk Berreth. He leaves behind his daughter, Holly Walker; her husband, Gusty Walker; and their two children, Chipper and Ward Walker. He also leaves behind his son, Ryan Berreth; his daughter-in-law, Mary Ellen; and their three children, Elsie, Ben and Timothy. He was the middle child of the late Milbert (Butch) and Edna Berreth of Lodi, California. He was the younger brother to the late Gary James Berreth. He was the Brother-In-Law to the late Calvin Pitto. He is survived by his sister, Sally Pitto, and her daughter, Haley Marie Pitto, of Lodi, CA. He will be missed by countless cousins, nieces, nephews, kinfolk and friends. Family was always important to him.

Bruce was a native of Lehr, ND but was born in Eureka, SD and has always, therefore, claimed to be from the south. He moved to Lodi, CA as a young boy where he resided until he voluntarily enlisted in the Army in June of 1966. After a couple of "assignments and various close calls" he landed in Ft. Benning, GA.

He met his life-long wife, Sharon, while stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. They were married on March 1st, 1969 (the year of love) in Columbus, GA. They had a good life together. Bruce was discharged from active duty in 1969 after one tour of duty in Vietnam, for which he was awarded three purple hearts and two bronze stars for valor. He stayed on as a staff sergeant with a reserve unit until 1972 and then served with the Georgia National Guard until his honorable discharge in 1978. He was a 1971 graduate of San Joaquin Delta College with an Associate in Arts degree, attending classes while working for the Stockton, CA police department. He was a 1976 graduate of Columbus State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, where he attended school while working as a police officer for the city of Columbus GA. Bruce made his career in law enforcement, earning the rank of Detective Sergeant for the Columbus Police Department, retiring from there in 1987. He was also a 1984 graduate of the FBI National Academy. He then moved to the private industry as a fraud investigator for CB&T/Synovus, where he remained until full retirement in 2007. Bruce was a hard-working, dedicated, smart, and educated man who loved to serve his country and his fellow citizens.

Bruce was a member of several different churches in his life, but of late was a member of Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus, GA. His various church affiliations are where he forged the bonds with many of his life-long friends whom he cared about deeply.

In his retirement, Bruce enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Better known in recent years as Grandpa, Bruce loved attending the multitude of sporting events in which his grandchildren participated. He will be missed dearly by all of his grandchildren. He always had a soft spot in his heart for his animals and he will certainly be missed by his dog, Charley. He will always be remembered for being a good friend to a lot of good people throughout his life.

Bruce was an excellent judge of character. He knew from the very instant he met you what kind of person you were. Bruce taught us many things. He taught us marriage was hard work and that true dedication was not for the faint of heart. He taught us that raising a family required many things but was impossible without God. He taught us that you are to stand firm in your convictions because that is what makes you who you are. He loved his family. He loved his friends. And he loved his life. He was a strong, honest, hard-working man who cared about others. I know all of this because he was my father, and I will miss him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to PAWS Humane, Inc at www.pawshumane.org.

Services

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Memories

Bruce Willis Berreth

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Catherine Christain

March 23, 2020

To Sharon and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you now and in the coming days. Bruce was an amazing guy and was a joy to work for at CB&T BankCard years ago and was always fair and professional. He was my Secret Santa one year at Christmas and I still have one of the ornaments he gave me and cherish it (Thank you Sharon - I know you were his shopper for the gifts he left on my desk!).
He will be missed, but not forgotten! God Bless you with His amazing love and peace. Cathy and Daryl Christain

Gail Davis Lee

March 22, 2020

Dear Sharon, and family,
It made me so sad to hear the news about Bruce. He was such a nice and fun person to be around, when you would bring him to my
antique shop. I can just see him now, with that big smile, kidding me about where he was going furniture shopping next❣️ I’m sure you well remember the store. It was people like Bruce, that made it a pleasure to work...someone who helped to make me have a good day!

Please know you will continue to be in my prayers, as I send you my sincere sympathy, and love.

Gail Lee

Terry & Dianne Fields

March 20, 2020

Sharon, Holly and Ryan,
We are sorry to hear this sad news about Bruce. You and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. May Bruce rest in peace with our God.
Sympathy and love,
Terry & Dianne Fields

Cheryre Lott

March 19, 2020

Sharon, honey so sorry to hear about this. Prayers to you and the family. He was one of the greatest guys to work with at CB&T. Plus, he told the funniest stories of his previous job. God Bless.

Susan Logan

March 19, 2020

Hello Holly, dear girl....and rest of family. So sorry for your loss. Susan Logan

Chris Starks

March 18, 2020

Ryan, Mrs. Sharon and family - sometimes there are just no words. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Mr. Bruce was an incredible man.

With Sympathy,

Chris Starks

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY