Fred Bruss

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Fred G. Bruss, 96, of Freeburg, IL, born October 10, 1924, in Belleville, IL, died Monday, April 26, 2021, at St. Paul’s Senior Community, Belleville, IL.

Fred served in World War II with the Army Air Force from 1943 to 1945, completing over 60 combat missions over Africa, Italy, and southern France, receiving several medals. In 1949, Fred was appointed by the Belleville Council as a firefighter, and in 1973 he was appointed Chief.  He retired in 1979. Fred served as president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association in 1975 and was a member of the International Fire Chiefs Association, the Professional Firefighters Association, the Illinois Firefighters Association, and the National Fire Protection Association. Fred served as president of the State of Illinois Retired Firefighters Association for 10 years, 1996 – 2006, and had served as president emeritus since 2006.  During his presidency, he helped pass some very important pension laws in the state of Illinois, including the Widows Pension. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #58, the Swansea Moose Lodge, the VFW #1739 and PSOP in Belleville. Fred attended Union United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL.

Fred was preceded in death by his daughter, Sandra (Ray Dean) Daesch; parents, Fred and Viola, nee Hoffman, Bruss; and his first wife for over 50 years, Wilma Mae, nee Hart, Bruss.

Surviving are his wife, of 20 years, Kathleen A., nee Vogt, Bruss; whom he married on October 25, 2000; two sons, David (Barbara) Bruss of Hecker, IL, and Bryan Bruss of New York; 8 grandchildren, Chris Bruss, Debbie Schachner, Mike Bruss, Laura Wilson, Joe Bruss, Nick Bruss, Paul Bruss, and Allison Bruss; 11 great-grandchildren; and his cat, Tom.

Memorials may be made to the Belleville Retired Firefighters, Hospice of Southern Illinois, or to the family.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, 2021, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 29, 2021, at Belleville Fire Department Station 4, Belleville, IL. Standard CDC guidelines, including masks and social distancing, will be observed.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 29, 2021, at Belleville Fire Department Station 4, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Harvey Gaither officiating.

Burial with military honors will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.


11 Comments on Fred Bruss

Gabe Schwemmer said : Guest Report May 06, 2021 at 10:30 AM

I am so sorry for the loss of Grandpa Fred! I remember him fondly and am so sorry I was unable to make any of the services. Keeping the entire Bruss family in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Mary Mosir said : Guest Report May 01, 2021 at 11:49 AM

Thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and the family in their loss

  • Waterloo
  • Illinois
Bob & Joyce Dintelmann said : Guest Report Apr 29, 2021 at 7:53 AM

Our sympathy to all the family.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Betty Schreder said : Guest Report Apr 28, 2021 at 1:20 PM

Sorry to hear of the passing of :Mr. Brussels. Our prayers and sympathy to Dave &Barb and all the family.

  • Hecker
  • Il
Cary and Teresa Smith said : Guest Report Apr 28, 2021 at 9:59 AM

We are so sad to hear of Fred's passing. He led a long and good life. He was one of the good guys!

  • Swansea
  • IL
Jill Moore (Gardner) said : Guest Report Apr 27, 2021 at 10:41 PM

My sympathy to Fred’s family. One of our great fire chiefs when I lived at home. Thank you for your service Freddy.

  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • California
Stephanie said : Guest Report Apr 27, 2021 at 5:47 PM

My sympathy for your loss????

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Linda Lawrence said : Guest Report Apr 27, 2021 at 3:30 PM

Prayers being sent your way. I remember spending time with your family when I was young. My dad and your dad were friends. Sorry for your loss. Fred was a Great Guy!!

  • Belleville
  • Il
Tom & Gerri Raab said : Guest Report Apr 26, 2021 at 9:32 PM

Our Sympathy to the family of Fred. Hoping that happy Memories will help you thru this sad time.

  • Carlisle
  • PA
Dan and Merry Muckensturm said : Guest Report Apr 26, 2021 at 8:14 PM

Our deepest sympathy to all the family! Dear friend and neighbor on Adam’s St! RIP

  • argyle
  • TX
Brian Wood said : Guest Report Apr 26, 2021 at 6:37 PM

I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Benton
  • Arkansas

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