John Dennis Bruza, Jr. passed away on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the age of 66. He was preceded in death by his parents, John D. Bruza, Sr. (April 2012) and Alice Sullivan Bruza (March 2015). John studied at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA and received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Wildlife Management, Biology and Anthropology in 1976 and his Master of Science degrees in Biology and Botany in 1978. He furthered his education at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS where he studied for his PhD. While attending Mississippi State University as a grad student, he worked at the Institute for Botanical Exploration in Iquitos, Peru. In 1982, John earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Botany. Thereafter, John entered the workforce with the Jefferson Parish Environmental and Development Control Department as an Environmental Specialist. While working for Jefferson Parish, he also worked in the science department at Loyola University as a professor of biology. John then went to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District where he was hired as a Field Biologist. He retired in June 2008 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as their Chief of Surveillance and Enforcement at the age of 55 years and 10 months. The meaning of John’s life extended well beyond his distinguished academic accomplishments. Since John never liked being the center of attention, there will not be a service per his wishes. However, he will be interred in the Chapel of Peace Mausoleum located in Garden of Memories Cemetery.
In accord with John’s love of nature, animals, botany and biology, anyone wishing to honor his life should plant a tree or hang a hummingbird feeder at their home.