John B. Entrup, of Lanoka Harbor, NJ, known affectionately by friends and family as Bruce, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at the age of 83. The first of two sons, he was born in Maywood, NJ on March 10, 1937, to Louise and Albert J. Entrup.
A star athlete at Bogota High School, Bruce played football for the U.S. Army team. Following his military service and travels throughout the U.S. and Europe, Bruce worked as a scuba diving instructor at the esteemed Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, where he taught children and adults how to properly and safely dive in the Olympic sized swimming pool on the 12th floor. It was during his time there that Bruce was introduced to his future wife, Valerie (nee Ruch). Passionately in love, Bruce and Valerie eloped in Puerto Rico on March 5, 1970. Soon after, Bruce and Valerie moved from Bergen to Ocean County with Bob, Valerie’s son from her first marriage, and welcomed their beloved daughter, Jennifer Louise. Bruce and Valerie raised their family in Lanoka Harbor, spending summers in Long Island, NY with Valerie’s family. For 31 years, Bruce enjoyed a successful career as a steel salesman in northern NJ, while his wife, Valerie, operated the Forked River Gazette. Bruce was also a proud member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the State of NJ for over 50 years. Following his wife’s death in 2001 and subsequent retirement, Bruce kept himself busy by helping his daughter run the Gazette, socializing with friends and acquaintances about town, and caring for his beloved home on Easy Street.
Bruce is predeceased by his parents and the love of his life, Valerie Entrup. He is survived by his two children and their spouses, Bob and Heidi Gillispie of San Martin, CA, and Jennifer and John Grazioso of Manahawkin, NJ. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Bryan, Kerry, Braden, Allie, and Nick, as well as many cousins and dear friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him for his boisterous voice and laughter, generosity, friendly and lively spirit, and tenacity.
Burial at Good Luck Cemetery, Lanoka Harbor, NJ will be private. A memorial service will be held to honor and celebrate Bruce this summer. A date and time has yet to be determined due to the current quarantine and social distancing rules.
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