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Bruce E. Hunsberger, 81, of Muhlenberg Township, passed away at his home on December 2, 2018, with his devoted wife Carol by his side. Born in Reading, on March 26, 1937, he was the son of the late Regina (Upczak) and George Hunsberger. He is survived by his wife, Carol (Bordnar) Hunsberger. Bruce spent his life in Reading, Kenhorst and Muhlenberg Township.
During his younger years in the 1950s, he was proud of his 1939 Ford hot rod, which he used to “race” with buddies on North Ninth Street. He was an avid weight lifter, active with the Reading Barbell Club at Coulson’s gym. A member of AAU (Amateur Athletic Union), he competed in meets in the mid-Atlantic division. He continued with this interest for many years at the Reading YMCA, working out with friends.
A 1955 graduate of Reading High, he worked at various laboring jobs before enrolling at Kutztown State College (University) in 1960 where he and Carol met in freshman English classes. He graduated in 1965 with a BA in Humanities with a major in English.
That same year on July 10th he and Carol were married. They celebrated their 53rd anniversary this year. He then worked as a furniture mover/truck driver at Brown’s Transfer, a job which allowed him to pursue his main interest – writing. In 1970 his first novel, Railroad Street, was published by Lyle Stuart, Inc. He continued with both careers over the years.
In 1974 he and a friend and co-worker, the late George Pasko, purchased Lausch Moving Service, a business partnership that continued until 1979 when he left the business to write full time.
During subsequent years his additional publishing achievements include the following:
Short stories in Redbook, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (reprinted in the paperback books Behind the Death Ball and Alive and Screaming), and in literary journals such as the John O’Hara Journal, Nantucket Review, and the Seattle Review. His non-fiction work included a weekly opinion column in the former Reading Record and featured articles in Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature and several regional magazines. In 2001 and 2005 he assisted his wife in editing two local history books, one on Muhlenberg Township and one on the Gruber Wagon Works.
In 1985 he returned to the moving business as owner/operator of Brown’s Transfer, which he ran in Reading until retiring in 1997.
His final writing project resulted in the autobiographical novel Honey, The Movers Are Here, which was published June 2018. The memoir focuses on his experiences running Brown’s Transfer in downtown Reading, including the many unconventional employees and customers the business attracted. Filled with irony, realism, humor, and a few insights into life, the book is available at Amazon.com.
Throughout the years before and after retiring, Bruce enjoyed spending summertimes in Cape May, traveling, reading, listening to jazz, watching British comedies and mysteries, driving through the countryside, visiting art museums and wineries, creating model train layouts and being with his wife, friends and other family members. His favorite song was Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
In addition to his wife, Bruce is survived by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Martha and Earl Schneider of Bath; niece Doris, wife of Jim Farley of Bath; nephew, Steven Schneider and companion Leslie Dennis of Easton; great nephews James Farley and fiancé Karlee Hantz of Cherryville; Matthew Farley and wife Alexis of Belcamp, MD; Michael Schneider and wife Nicole and sons of Danielsville, and Jason Schneider of Catasauqua.
He was predeceased by his two brothers, Richard and Bernard, in 1968.
Funeral Services will be held Friday December 7th at 11 a.m. at Stitzel Family Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc., 3300 Kutztown Road, Laureldale. A viewing will be held from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Graveside Services will be held Saturday December 8th at 11 a.m. at the Gnaden Huetten Cemetery, 440 South 4th, Street, Lehighton, PA 18235.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bruce’s memory can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 175 S. Third Street, Lehighton, PA 18235.
For online condolences, visit www.StitzelFuneralHomes.com