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BRUCE, DOROTHY

BRUCE, DOROTHY

BRUCE, DOROTHY

BRUCE, Dorothy Braden, 99, of Midlothian, Va., beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away June 25, 2019. She was born June 11, 1920, in Lynchburg, Va., the daughter of Virginia Sweeney Braden and Boyd E. Braden. Dorothy "Dot" Bruce graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a degree in English. She taught public school for a year in Chatham, Va. In 1942, the U.S. military recruited her, among more than 10,000 other women college graduates during the war, and secretly brought them to Arlington Hall, near Washington, D.C., to decipher Japanese and other enemy war messages from around the globe. Arlington Hall became the world's largest recipient of tele-type messages with 7,000 young women in a vast decoding effort. Military officials and members of Congress later lauded their success, said to have shortened the war by two years, but never disclosed that more than half of the U.S. code breakers were women. Sworn to secrecy, the women never revealed their role in the war, until the National Security Agency recently declassified top secret war files and Liza Mundy published the book "Code Girls" in 2017, in which Dorothy is a central character. In 1945, Dorothy married Lt. James T. Bruce Jr., Army Air Corps, of Rice, Va. After the war, they moved to Richmond, where he was a chemist for DuPont for 32 years until his retirement, and ultimately reached the rank of Major in the Air Force Reserve. Dorothy and Jim were married for 62 years until his death. She was a substitute teacher and theme reader at George Wythe High School and Huguenot High School, and sold real estate for 20 years. Dorothy was especially proud of being a founding member of the Chesmond Woman's Club, where she twice served as president, and as chair of various committees. A longtime member of Westover Baptist Church, Dot later attended Salisbury Presbyterian Church during her six-year residency at Spring Arbor of Salisbury. Her brothers were the late Boyd "Bubba" E. Braden Jr. and the late John "Teedy" Braden. She is survived by her sister, Mary B. Crawley of Midlothian; her children, James T. Bruce III (Carol) of McLean, Virginia Bruce Evans (d. Richard) of Midlothian and Nancy Bruce Robertson (Bill) of Midlothian; her grandchildren, Emily Holt (Scott) of New Orleans, James Graham Evans (Karen) of Arlington, James T. Bruce IV of Los Angeles, Sarah Herbert (Graham) of Virginia Beach, Sage Robertson of Midlothian and Barbara Bruce of Washington, D.C.; and eight great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends at the Huguenot Chapel, Woody Funeral Home, 1020 Huguenot Rd., from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. Funeral services are on Monday, July 1, at 11 a.m. at Salisbury Presbyterian Church, 13621 West Salisbury, Rd., Midlothian, Va. 23113. Following a reception at the church, there will be a private interment in Westhampton Memorial Park, 10000 Patterson Ave., Richmond, Va. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Randolph College to establish the Dorothy Braden Bruce '42 Scholarship Fund (Randolph College, P.O. Box 3215, Lynchburg, Va. 24503 or online at www.randolphcollege.edu/give). In 2018, Dorothy received their Alumnae Achievement Award.

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