Celebration of Life of Rev. Bruce Wilder
Delivered By
Rev. Scottie Burkhalter, Pastor; Rev. Dr. W. Bruce Wilder, Jr., Guest Preacher
Delivered On
March 12, 2022 at 11:00 AM
Central Passage
JOHN 14: 1-7
Celebration of Life of Rev. Bruce Wilder

Words Of Comfort: John 10:27-29: Pastor Scottie


27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.


First Reading:  Psalm 121: 1-8

1I lift up my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
2My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and     forevermore.


Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 7-8

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.


The Holy Gospel: John 14: 1-7: Rev. Dr. W. Bruce Wilder, Jr

1Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going." 5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Col (Ret) W. Bruce Wilder



It is with great sadness in our hearts, but the joy and comfort of our faith, that we announce the passing of Col. (Ret) W. Bruce Wilder into a new life on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at Holston Valley Medical Center. Bruce was born in Page, KY in a log house built by his father. They moved to Kingsport, TN, in his early teens and he was a 1955 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School where his photo can be found in the Hall of Fame. He began his college years at Georgia Tech on a basketball scholarship but transferred to Davidson College where he was also blessed to receive a basketball scholarship. Following graduation and with a young son and wife, Bruce went on active duty in the Army where he spent 28 years flying in service to his country which included two combat tours in Vietnam flying attack helicopters. For his actions he received the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 Air Medal with V Device. He retired in 1987 after serving as Director of Army Aviation Health and Safety.


Following retirement, Bruce attended Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary and upon ordination accepted a call to become the Mission Developer of what is today the growing and vibrant Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Haymarket, VA. His last call prior to full retirement was as senior pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg, FL. Bruce never met a stranger and folks were drawn to him everywhere he went. He loved to travel, play card games and work on his book for his boys! He was a very proud recipient of more than one Paul Harris Award and past president of his Kingsport Rotary Club.  From his children (biological or step) through 26 grands and 24 ½ great-grands who called him ‘granddad’, he was beloved.  We were truly blessed to have been allowed to share his walk. Peace my sweet Bruce….we love you to the moon and back.


Bruce is survived by his wife, Patricia Wright Patten Wilder; sons, W. Bruce Jr. (Kirsten),

R. Shannon, and Mark A. (Christy) Wilder; stepsons, George (Donna), Michael,

Joel (Betsy), Steven (Tracey), and Mark Patten; his precious sisters, Barbara Gillespie

 and Jean (Gerald) Winstead; and many very special nieces and nephews.


A Memorial Service will be planned for March 2022 to honor what would be his 85th


In lieu of flowers, contributions would be gratefully recognized to St. Jude Children’s

Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org/donate,

or to the Veterans organization of your choice.


Please visit us at http://www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the


Post a Comment