Bruce Wayne Koonce


PO BOX 232/1554 SH 7 EAST


PHONE: 936-598-4331        FAX: 936-591-9944


NEWS RELEASE: May 17, 2021



Bruce Wayne Koonce, 80, of Center, passed away Monday, May 17, 2021, in Center. 

Funeral service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center with visitation at 3:00 p.m.  Bro. Luke Garrett and Bro. Gordon Vaughn will officiate.  Interment will follow at Jackson Cemetery in Shelby County.

Born July 10, 1940, Bruce is the son of Robie Koonce and Pauline Humphries Koonce.  He graduated from Center High School in 1958.  After 25 years of service, Bruce ended his career at Tyson Foods.  His love of fishing made him an excellent fishing guide on Toledo Bend and led him to attaining a membership in Shelby County Bass Anglers.  He also enjoyed hunting and became a member of both Attoyac and Iron Ore Hunting Clubs. Bruce was also a member of Jackson Missionary Baptist Church in Joaquin, where he was actively involved in the Men’s Sunday school class.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Lewis Koonce of Center; son, David Koonce and wife Angela of Center; daughters, Kathy Nichols and fiancé Mark Davis of Center and Kristi Holt and husband John of Center; grandchildren, Cody Nichols and wife Holly, James Holt and Julie McSwain, Taylor Nichols and fiancé Wyatt Hairgrove, and Kamryn Holt; great grandchild, Laityn Nichols; sister, Alice Sue Howard and husband Bob of Center; sisters-in-law, JoAnn Walla of Joaquin and Joyce Richards of Friendswood; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents, Robie Koonce and Pauline Humphries Koonce; grandparents, George and Ethel Humphries; in-laws, James and Mary Cannie Lewis; brothers-in-law, Walter Walla and Steve Richards; nephew, James “Bubba” Walla.

Pallbearers will be Grant McDonald, Mark Davis, Cody Nichols, James Holt, Shelby Johnson, “Scooter” Clark, Matt Mathews, Wyatt Hairgrove, and Charles Barr.  Honorary pallbearers will be Gary McDonald, Sammy Arnold, Royce Lynn Johnson, Bob Howard, James Crelia, Wayne Willoughby, Freeman Nichols, Iron Ore Hunting Club, Shelby County Bass Anglers, and Jackson Men’s Sunday School Class.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Jackson Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund, 11620 State Highway 7 East, Center, Texas 75935.

A special thank you to Affinity Hospice, especially Tristan, Sara, and Mallory, for their compassionate care.

Online condolences & tributes can be sent at


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