James B. Gardner
January 27, 1936 – January 9, 2017
James B. Gardner, aka Brucella, departed the planet January 9, 2017 at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco, where he was treated with dignity and respect until the very end.
Brucella was born in upstate New York January 27, 1936. Most of his youth was spent as a ward in the child welfare system in the state of New York. Unlike many children in similar circumstances he looked back on his childhood with fond memories. He was one of "the lucky ones" that found the love and support in the institutions that would give him the sunny disposition that would serve him so well in life.
After a stint in the U.S. Navy, Brucella would travel the country before settling in his beloved San Francisco in 1961. His already colorful life flourished during his early years in San Francisco, where he embraced the communal lifestyle.
His over-the-top demeanor would be a huge asset in his career choices, which consisted of lots of "people oriented" positions that included waiting tables at Neros and several years working in the city's infamous bathhouses. Brucella found his true calling as a caretaker for a historic co-op on Washington Street. His love of all things sparkly meant that he was truly at home caring for the beautiful building and its fascinating tenants.
Brucella continued to work until age 80. His final job was on the Presidio working with Swords to Plowshares assisting veterans.
It has been said that Brucella could bedazzle and add polish to any situation. For those lucky enough to know and love him, we know this to be true as it was witnessed first hand during his many performances as a founding member of "The Blaster Sisters," a campy group of guys that performed in Tenderloin bars raising lots of money for a variety of charities.
A party to celebrate the fabulous life of Brucella will be held at the Gangway, 841 Larkin Street, Sunday, February 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Donations can be made to Coming Home Hospice, http://www.cpmc.org/services/chh/.
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