Nancy C. Bruce died Friday, Jan. 4 in her apartment at Goodwin House in Bailey’s Crossroads, Va. She was 90.
Nancy was born Feb. 25, 1922, in Jacksonville, Fla. Her father, Manly Allen Collins, was an attorney and real estate broker, and her mother, Lila Godfrey Collins, was a piano teacher. Nancy spent her youth in Jacksonville. She graduated from Vassar College in 1944, and earned a PhD from New York University in 1957 in bacteriology.
Nancy met her future husband, Victor Gardiner Bruce, at the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory in New York. Nancy was an instructor, and Victor was the brother in law of Max Delbruck, a leader of the phage group. Victor and Nancy were married in March of 1951. Nancy worked for many years alongside her husband in his laboratory at Princeton University researching circadian rhythms in biological clocks.
For 40 years, she spent summers on Wades Cove on Chilmark Pond, visiting with family and friends, tending her gardens and adoring her canine companions. Victor died in May of 2010. Nancy is survived by sons Peter, James and Andrew and their wives Liz, Kathleen and Andrew, and grandchildren Lisa, Emily, Allison, Martha, Sally, Aaron, Nicola and Ella.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Goodwin House Foundation, Goodwin House Alexandria, 4800 Fillmore Avenue, Alexandria, Va. 22311, and designated for the Friends Helping Friends fund in memory of Nancy C. Bruce.