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Welcome to the memorial page for

Ms. Malinda "Ollie" Elizabeth Bruce

March 12, 1956 ~ May 14, 2019 (age 63)

I, Malinda Elizabeth Oliver-Bruce, was born on March 12, 1956 in Galesburg, Illinois, to Serena D. Jiles Marchant and Otha Anderson Oliver.  I am the second born of five children.  

I was educated in the public schools of Galesburg, IL and graduated from Galesburg Senior High in 1974.  Upon graduation, my mom and I joined the US Army Reserves.  We were lauded as the first Mother/Daughter team in the state of Illinois to do this.   

After a year in the Reserves, I decided to join the US Army.  I was assigned to Fort Dix, NJ, where I met and married my lifelong love, Carlten R. Bruce, in October 1976.  Our union was blessed with my two greatest accomplishments, Carlten and Serena. 

I confessed my belief in God and was baptized at Second Baptist Church by Reverend Coleman at an early age.  After retirement, I attended Daniel Circle Chapel where I served on the Usher Board, Usher Board Choir, and Hospitality Ministry until health issues prevented me from serving.  Later, though not a member, I maintained contact with Christian Faith Fellowship Church since it’s conception.  

I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA Degree in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Social Work Service.  I began my career at the Strom Thurmond Building and Transition Point, Ft. Jackson. I remained employed there until I was hired by the United Postal Service.  I worked in the Combined Forwarding Section and Priority Section until health issues restricted me from working.   

As a lot of you know, I was all about FAMILY! I loved nothing better than being surrounded by family, relatives, and friends.  I loved all sports teams that came out of Illinois.  I also would run a mile or two to play a game of bid whist and was in the process of learning to play pinochle.  

During my 22 years, I served overseas in Germany (2 tours), Johnston Island Atoll, Hawaii, and Panama.  My stateside assignments included: Ft. Dix, New Jersey, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina (2 tours), Ft. McClellan, Alabama, Ft. Myers, Virginia (The Pentagon), Coco Beach Air Force Base, Florida, and Ft. Gordon, Georgia.  I served as a Military Police, Desk Sergeant, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, Team Leader Joint Chief of Staff Security (The Pentagon), and Equal Opportunity Advisor.  My awards and decorations included: Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Non-commissioned Officer’s Professional Development Ribbon (with #3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), Joint Chief of Staff Identification Badge, and Drill Sergeant Badge.

I feel that my most rewarding assignments included being DA selected for Drill SGT School and Equal Opportunity School. Through these assignments I gained lots of knowledge and experience. I was selected as one out of three people from Panama to appear on The Joan Rivers Show, a nationally syndicated television talk show. Last but certainly not least, every 4 to 5 years each branch of the service rotates on a yearly bases to provide in-house security for the Joint Chiefs of Staff while in the Pentagon.  I was selected to be over a 3-man team to provide in-house security for General Collin Powell and visiting dignitaries.  

Some may wonder why I chose to write my obituary in first person.  First, this is a very tough time for my children and I didn’t want them to have the burden of figuring out the ins and outs of my career. Secondly, and most importantly, this is my life and my story and no one can tell it better than I can.   

I leave to mourn my passing my son Carlten R. Bruce of Columbia, SC; daughter, Serena L. (Hector) Sanchez of Columbia, SC; two grandchildren, Jecenia and Janelle Sanchez of Columbia, SC; one sister, Donna (Doric) Smith of Ft. Stewart, GA; two brothers, William Jiles of Galesburg, IL and Royce (Sandy) Jiles of Kearney, NE; three aunts, Joyce Johnson and E. Moline of IL and Exzelma Howell of Quincey, IL;  The Bruce, Roach, Carson, White, Love, Rushin, Smith, Buntin and  Oliver Families, cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives, sisterhood, friends, and warriors.

 Service Information

Funeral Service
May 22, 2019

12:30 PM
Christian Faith Fellowship
2625 Alpine Road
Columbia, SC 29223


Ft. Jackson National Cemetery
4170 Percival Road
Columbia, SC 29229

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