Cover photo for Betty Louise “Old Bones” Bruce's Obituary
Betty Louise “Old Bones” Bruce Profile Photo

Betty Louise “Old Bones” Bruce

Betty Louise “Old Bones” Bruce, 73, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 20, 2023.
Betty was born on July 3, 1949 to Melissa Baine McKinney and Clarence “Riley” McKinney in Tyronza, Arkansas. She was the beloved baby sister to Johnny, Hubert, and Carter until Betty’s baby sister, Brenda came along when Betty was 9. Brenda was Betty’s first baby.

In 1965, Betty met James at an assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Birmingham, AL. Her first impression of him was that he was a juvenile delinquent because he had Elvis hair. After 5 years of a long distance relationship filled with many letters, phone calls, and visits to Arkansas, James bought a Maverick and drove to Arkansas to propose. They got married on August 8, 1970. In 1973, they welcomed their only son, Nelson, followed by their beautiful daughters, Brandy in 1980, Sheila in 1982 and Carrie in 1990.

Betty was known by many names Betty Lou, Mom, Mama, Maw Maw, James would call her My baby, and she loved them all, but Old Bones was her favorite. Betty loved to fish and read but her favorite thing to do was spend time with her family, whether blood related or adopted. Betty loved being a grandma and adopted everyone. No one was a stranger. It was said that she “always adopted strays whether they were animals or people.” She would give her shirt off her back, to her detriment, if she knew it would help someone else. She would drop everything to take care of others and was a long time caretaker for many people including her daughter-in-law, Lisa Bruce, her mother-in-law, Victoria Bruce, and her dear friend, Geraldine Corne. She was a mom to everyone and always made sure her grandbabies had a sweater on. She loved her cats and taking care of “her pig” Bae.

Betty was predeceased by her daughter Sheila Corne, her parents, Melissa and Clarence McKinney, her newborn sister Ora Ida, her brother Hubert McKinney, Nephew Leonard McKinney, daughter-in-law Lisa Bruce.

Betty is survived by her husband, James, her children, Nelson and wife Laurie, Brandy, Carrie, and son-in-law FJ. Also, grandchildren, Crystal, Richard (Elizabeth), Harley, Jules, Ryleigh and Brynn, Great-Grandchildren, Calem, Liam, Leila, and Violet. Brothers Johnny, Carter and wife Peggy, and Sister Brenda and husband William. Also, so many nieces, nephews, cousins, all of James’ family, and many others, too many to mention.


  • Betty was so loved she will have 2 services. The first one will be held at the Kingdom Hall in Marked Tree, AR on April 1, 2023 at 1:00 pm.


  • The 2nd will be held at the Kingdom Hall in New Orleans, LA on April 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm. For more details or zoom information, please contact the family.




    Professional Services entrusted to Heritage Funeral Services located at 4101 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117.

    To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Louise “Old Bones” Bruce, please visit our flower store.


    Visits: 0

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
    Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Send Flowers

    Send Flowers

    Plant A Tree

    Plant A Tree