Bruce used the GI Bill to pay for his education and worked on campus over the summer painting fences to help cover expenses. He also worked on campus at night answering phone calls and keeping track of tuition payments. After graduating from Ranken, Bruce and his classmate, Terry Chance, took jobs in Baton Rouge, Louisiana working for JF Nailer. He was there for less than a year when they went on strike, so he moved back home to Quincy, IL. There he worked as a maintenance man for Motorola for six months and then for Meyer Heating and AC where he worked for two and a half years. Bruce then decided to open his own business.  Bruening Heating and Air Conditioning has been in business for 46 years and has two locations. Bruce has been joined in the business by Sandra, his wife of 50 years, and all three of his children. Chad, 44, learned the trade on the job and was later joined by his wife who is now the secretary. Mary, 42, went to college and then decided to learn the trade and join the family business. Kelly, 36, started out as a secretary and then moved into sales and now heads up the fireplace and grill side of the business. Bruce’s favorite memories are his classmates and teachers, “Mr. Groves was a character and told us how it was.” He remembers. Bruce also remembers his classmate Paul Mueller who became a Ranken teacher, “One day while Paul was teaching, I snuck into his class while he was writing on the board. When he turned around and saw me, we both had a good laugh.”