Bruce Allen Hannaford, Oak Ridge

Bruce Allen Hannaford passed away surrounded by loved ones and caregivers on Christmas Day, 2017, from complications of dementia. He was 88 years old.

Bruce was born at the family home in Medford, Oklahoma on January 30, 1929, the last of the “Lucky 13” children of Robert “Guthrie” Hannaford and Emma Merritt Hannaford. During elementary school a playground structure fell on his right leg and he spent six months receiving orthopedic treatment at a facility distant from his home. He learned to make the best of the situation by passing the time reading books from the hospital’s library. He missed the entirety of his sixth grade academic year, and graduated from High School with the class behind his original one.

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in chemical engineering, Bruce moved to east Tennessee in 1953, where he began his career spanning four decades at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. That same year, while working as an engineer at the Lab’s Y-12 pilot plant, he met the love of his life, Josephine “Jo” Cox, who was employed at the Lab as a laboratory analyst. He wooed her with his characteristic soft-spoken wit and cheer, as well as with weekly deliveries of fresh roses (a practice he continued for the rest of his life). They married on February 18, 1954, and he fathered two children: A daughter, Pamela Carol Hannaford (Billings), in 1956, and a son, Bruce “Allen” Hannaford Jr. in 1958. Pam presently resides in Greer, South Carolina with her husband Michael Billings, and is mother to two children, Carolyn Billings Tapie of Tampa, Florida and Lee Billings of Astoria, New York. Allen preceded Bruce in death in 2008. He was survived by his wife, Paula Couture Hannaford, and two children, Ryan Michael Hannaford and Erin Marie Hannaford, all of Terre Haute, Indiana.

In addition to his beloved Jo, his daughter Pam, and his grandchildren, Bruce is survived by a niece & childhood playmate, Marilyn Misak of Caldwell, Kansas and numerous other relations west of the Mississippi. He extends his legacy of love to two great-grandchildren whom he adored: Diana Michal Tapie of Tampa, Florida and Shepard Kuiper Billings of Astoria, New York.

During his time at the Oak Ridge National Lab, Bruce worked with pride on numerous civil engineering and Department of Defense nuclear projects, including ones related to the separation of lithium isotopes, the preparation of plutonium fuel, and the operational safety of on-site reactors. He was a lover of reading, photography, classical music, travel, and tennis, and excelled at each of these passions with carefully analytic ardor throughout his life. Bruce was a long term member of the New York Avenue Church of Christ in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and embodied Christ’s teachings of kindness, compassion, grace, and humility in all that he did.

Services will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the New York Avenue Church of God, 219 New York Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tn 37830 beginning at 1:00 pm.

The cremation services are provided by Jackson Funeral Services in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. An online guestbook is available at: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (, the Pat Summitt Foundation (, or another charity of the donor’s choosing.

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