Bruce Hoffnagle Hoskins, husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on August 6, 2023. Born May 2, 1929, in Willsboro, NY.
Bruce was a man of many talents. A former Industrial Arts teacher at Lake Placid High School and Westport Central School (35 years), his resume at Westport included Vice Principal, school bus driver, guidance counselor, ski program director, and driver education teacher. A volunteer, and Captain, he devoted 65 years to the Westport Fire Department and Emergency Squad, was recognized as Westport Citizen of the Year, and inducted into the Westport Central School Hall of Fame. In 1963, Bruce, along with three other teachers, Don McIntyre, Loren Bullis, and Fran Feltman, purchased the Westport Marina and together ushered in the legendary “Saturday nights at the Marina” to global proportions; 21 years later only Bruce and Mac remained as co-owners when it was sold.
An Industrial Arts graduate of SUNY Oswego and St. Lawrence University (M. Ed), he was a member of the Sons of the Wilted Wallets Fraternity and paid his way through college working at McPhail’s Chocolate Works. Bruce served in the US Army during the Korean War conflict achieving the rank of corporal. He became a field artillery meteorological crew member and provided information to stationary guns at Elmendorf, Alaska.
Among his friends, Bruce was best known for his skills in construction and excelled at overbuilding. If a chair needed two screws to hold it together, he used six for added measure. No floor was ever laid that wasn’t glued and screwed or a hinge that wasn’t oiled. From the sheds at the Westport Fair Grounds to the docks at the Westport Marina to the sacristy at St. Philip Neri Church, Bruce’s handiwork still stands. Most notable was his work at Camp Dudley (#13737), where he was employed after his retirement for 20+ years and whose handiwork can be seen in many of the cabins, several of the staff quarters, the “Institute”, the flooring in McLean, and the redesigning of the Lee chairs currently gracing the porches of Witherbee.
A connoisseur of Michigan sauce and all things chocolate, Bruce had a life-long love affair with pie, Tutti’s ice cream, Nona’s homemade cinnamon rolls, and an evening on the porch with a splash of Black Velvet and ginger ale. Working since the age of 13, he finally retired at the age of 86, but never slowed down.
Of all things, family was most important to him. He married the love of his life, Nona Cross from AuSable Forks, 68 years ago, and shared seven children: David (Cindy) and Robert Hoskins of Panama City, FL; William (Spring) Hoskins of Port Henry, NY; Kathryn (Michael) Gavin and Tammy Johnson of Westport, NY; Cheryl (Jim) O’Reilly of Falls Church, VA; and Margaret Hoskins of The Villages, FL. He also took extreme pride in his nine grandchildren (Geoff Hoskins, Kyle Gavin, Julie and Elizabeth Schreiber, Abby and Casey O’Reilly, Zachary and Katie Hoskins, and Thomas Hoskins). He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to measure twice and cut once, to look for a dove tail as a sign of a well-made drawer, to love s’mores, and be thankful. Bruce is predeceased by his mother Julia (Stafford) and father Wesley; brother, Vernon; son, David and wife, Cindy; son-in-law, Craig Johnson; and grandson, Nathan Schreiber. He is survived by his sister, Pat (Gay) Young, of Willsboro, NY.
Bruce believed a good piece of furniture should be like family, built with love to endure through the ages. He will be missed by all.
A graveside service will be held 2:00 PM Saturday August 19, 2023 at St. Philip Neri Cemetery in Westport. Arrangements have been entrusted to Heald Funeral Home, 7521 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY. To light a memorial candle or leave an online condolence please visit