"Everything I do is to benefit my family," Beth Bruce said.
Beth Bruce of Glennville holds her family close to her heart.
She and her husband, Kerry, will celebrate their 20th anniversary this December. They have four daughters.
Olivia Bruce, 21, is currently employed with Claxton Family Dentistry as a Dental Assistant. She is out on maternity leave with her first child, Camden.
Alexandra Bruce, 17, is currently a junior at Tattnall County High School (TCHS). She plays softball for the Lady Warriors and travel ball teams. She participates in dual enrollment and work-based learning. She is employed with the Tattnall County Probate Court.
“She has been keeping us busy in preparing for her final year of high school. She is in hopes of receiving a scholarship to continue her softball career while obtaining her secondary education,” Beth said.
Kensley Bruce, 14, is currently a freshman at TCHS. She was the team manager for the Lady Warriors’ softball team this past year. She is an officer with Future Farmers of America (FFA) and attended the Livestock Show in Perry this past February. This week, she is off to the FFA State Conference in Macon. She has started her first job with the Glennville Recreation Department (GRD) as a scorekeeper.
Kallan Bruce, age 5, is currently a Pre-K student at TCHS. She considers herself the softball team mascot. She participates in Studio South Dance in Glennville and T-ball at GRD.
“Kallan probably receives the most Facebook time on my page due to her fabulous fashion choices for school. It is almost a running joke of what will she wear to school today,” Beth said.
Beth, 42, hopes to be a role model to her children in every capacity.
“At work, I strive to be the best that I can be to present a strong work ethic to my daughters. I volunteer as TCHS Booster Club President to not only help the athletes of TCHS, but, again, so I have set a good example for my daughters,” Beth said.
She works at the Reidsville Housing Authority as Executive Director. Although there are trials and tribulations, the days when there are accomplishments make her job worth it. She enjoys helping others in this line of work.
“I didn’t really know much about public or low-income housing when I first entered the industry, but God has His plans. My parents and education have definitely molded me into a person that fits perfectly in this position,” Beth said. “I wear very many hats, since we are a smaller housing authority. I need to be able to compose letters, perform research, provide documentation, balance a budget, have basic knowledge of construction and carpentry, and various other items.”
Beth’s initial college dream was to attend law school and become a lawyer. She began her college education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and worked her way to Georgia Southern University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree and a minor in History.
From second grade to her senior year, with the exception of her junior year, Beth attended school in South Dakota. She graduated in 1997 from Iroquois High School, but she did attend TCHS in 1996 for her junior year.
Beth’s mother, Debra Kates, still lives in South Dakota, a town named Huron. Her stepfather, John Kates, lives in Glennville. Her stepmother, Rhoda Johnson, lives in Glennville, and her late father, Wes Johnson, lies in Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.
The Bruces have been attending Birdford Baptist Church, but also attend Oak Grove Baptist Church as well.
“My mom and dad both have taught me so much in a variety of topics that I feel I am qualified to be titled a Jack-of-All-Trades,” Beth said. “My mother has taught me a lot about home remodeling, from framing to sheetrock. My father has taught me electrical, plumbing, and a little auto mechanic. My stepfather has taught me about being constant and stable. My stepmother has taught me that family is not just blood; it is whoever comes into your life who needs your love.”
Beth has three siblings. Michael (Bridgette) Sapp lives in Glennville, and he is the youth pastor at Watermelon Creek Baptist Church. Chris (Alyse) Kates lives in Glennville and is an Afghanistan veteran. Jennifer Johnson lives in Glennville and is a Dual Enrollment Assistant at Coastal Pines Technical College in Jesup.
“We are all fairly close. Even though my brother, Chris, is not really related to Jennifer and Michael, he is included in our family activities. I am a bit closer with my sister. We Facetime almost every day,” Beth said.
The Bruce family enjoys spending time together in the kitchen, though Beth is the cook of the house. Kensley is in training, however.
One of Beth’s favorite dishes to make is a cream cheese pound cake. She always makes sure to save the cream cheese pound cake bowl, spoon, and beater for everyone, so they can sample the batter. Sometimes it’s a fight over who gets what.
“It is so easy and simple to make. It does take about two and a half hours to bake though, and it is almost torture, smelling it all that time. If I make one for a bake sale, I have to make two, or I tempt a mutiny in my house,” Beth said.
She learned the basics of cooking from her mother and grandmother.
“I do have to say that I have surpassed them. My goal now is to be able to make cream corn like Ms. Carolyn Kirkland. When I make it, I ask Kerry if it’s as good as Ms. Carolyn’s. I think I may be getting close,” Beth said.
Her favorite dish comes straight from her Midwestern upbringing - steak and potatoes.
“It’s hard to cook a good steak, and, most times, I don’t attempt it. Right now, I would say my favorite is at Bull and Barrel in Statesboro, but, of course, you can’t go wrong at Texas Roadhouse,” Beth said.
Beth Bruce’s Recipes
CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 to 2 Tbsp. vanilla
Cream the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs one at a time until slightly blended. Mix in cake flour and vanilla. Pour into a greased bundt cake pan. In a preheated oven, bake at 275 degrees F. for 2-1/2 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Flip cake out of pan onto a plate, and then flip cake one more time onto the cake plate to put the flaky crust on top.
PORK CHOPS WITH GOLDEN MUSHROOM SOUP
8 pork chops
2 onions, slivered
4 Tbsp. butter
2 cans Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup
2 to 4 garlic cloves
seasoned salt, as desired
pepper, as desired
Sauté onions and garlic in butter. Set aside. Season pork chops with seasoned salt and pepper, be generous. Brown pork chops in butter on both sides. Place pork chops in a 9”x13” baking dish. Pour Golden Mushroom soup over pork chops, and top with onions and garlic. In a preheated oven, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15 minutes. (Can all be thrown together and put in a crockpot for 8 hours on low.)
GURKENSALAT (GERMAN CUCUMBER SALAD)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or regular vinegar)
4 Tbsp. dill
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
2 to 3 cucumbers
1 onion, thinly slivered
Peel and very thinly slice the cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a colander and place in sink. Sprinkle salt over the cucumbers to draw out excess moisture. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Mix vinegar and sugar together in a storage bowl. Put drained cucumbers in vinegar and sugar mixture with onions. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Then add sour cream, dill, and sugar. Chill and serve.