• Gabriel Donio

Longtime jeweler David Bruno dies


David Charles Bruno Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—David Charles Bruno Sr., the longtime owner and jeweler of David Charles Ltd., a and family man who always remembered to give back to his hometown, died peacefully on October 10, with his loving family by his side. Bruno was 62.


Bruno was born and raised in Hammonton and was the proud owner and jeweler of David Charles Ltd located on 12th Street for 36 years. He loved his family, golfing, music and annual trips to the Bahamas. He attended St. Joseph Elementary School, High School at St. Augustine Prep, and he graduated from St. Joseph University. David was a longtime member of the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce, his obituary said. 


Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Runfolo commented on Bruno’s impact on the Chamber.


“David was a respected Hammonton businessman and faithful member of the Chamber, who always supported our goals. He was a talented artisan whose reputation as a meticulous craftsman was well-known. My condolences to his family,” Runfolo said.


Bruno is predeceased by his parents, Charles and Kathryn Bruno and his mother in-law, Salma Radosti, his obituary said. 


According to his obituary, he is survived by his loving wife Jacqueline Bruno of 43 years; his children, David C. Bruno Jr. and Brandon Bruno; loving sisters-in-law, Francine Yotsko, Tina Radosti, Angela Fichetola and ToniAnne Perry; his brothers, Michael Yotsko and Kyle Perry; his favorite uncle and aunt, Jack and Carol Jiampetti; nieces and nephews, Nicholas (Jacy), Michelle (Sal), Joseph, Vinny, Ava, Taylor and Kristen and his great-nieces, Kinsley and Remi; and his best fur friend, Razor the Boston Terrier.


“David was loved by many and will be missed by all,” his obituary said. 


Family and friends attended his Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, October 15 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish - St. Joseph Church, located at Third and French Streets. Entombment was private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hammonton Revitalization Corporation (the parent organization of MainStreet Hammonton) at 10 S. Egg Harbor Road, Hammonton NJ, 08037 or www.downtownhammonton.com.


To share a condolence, please visit marinellafuneralhome.com. Arrangements were by the Marinella Funeral Home.


The Gazette spoke with Bruno’s wife and sons on October 14. They recalled Bruno as an artist, a businessman, a man who loved his hometown of Hammonton and most importantly, a family man.


“He took a business that was a very little operation, a one-man show, and he put his heart and soul in it. He took a business that he knew nothing about and educated himself about it. He loved bright things and was musical. He could create things and make it look beautiful,” his wife Jacqueline Bruno said.


“He took a business that was a very little operation, a one-man show, and he put his heart and soul in it,” Jacqueline Bruno said.

The business started small, she recalled.


“He purchased the business from Pete Pistoia in 1983. We were married in 1985 and that’s when we officially started David Charles Ltd.,” Jacqueline Bruno recalled.


The decades passed quickly as the couple worked together and had two children.


“Throughout our whole business careers, we worked all the time. When you have a business like that, where you put your blood, sweat and tears into it, it becomes a lifestyle. My sister ToniAnne worked there since she was 12 years old. Both our sons worked there,” Jacqueline Bruno said.


Their son David Bruno Jr. apprenticed as a jeweler and became a barber, with a shop located on the property behind the family’s jewelry store. Brandon Bruno also apprenticed at the store, and became a jeweler as his father was before him, working with the family at David Charles Ltd.


“Both of my children are extremely creative. Brandon is taking over. Like David, he was an apprentice. He decided that he wanted to be there [at the store]. He has done things with technology my husband would never have done. My husband was so proud of both of them because they are both doing what they love. And they are doing it the right way,” Jacqueline Bruno said.


She recalled Bruno as a person of honor.


“My husband was a man that if he told you he was going to do something, he did it. He was an honorable man. That’s why we had the reputation that we’ve had and kept the customers we’ve had because we’re not perfect, but we’re honorable. We called him ‘The Legend’ and he was the legend,” Jacqueline Bruno said.


“We called him ‘The Legend’ and he was the legend,” Jacqueline Bruno said.

Now the time has come for the next generation to carry the business David Bruno left as a legacy into the future.


“David was the business, and now I’m seeing that recreated in my son, Brandon. They ask for him like they asked for David. We started as two young people—my husband was 25 and I was 23—In a business we had no business being in. And the community supported us. My husband grew up there and went to school there. We’ve always had customers countrywide, but it was the people from Hammonton who always supported us. They were always there for us,” Jacqueline Bruno said.


She added that her husband believed if you keep doing what you’re doing right, you will have customers for life.


“And he was right. We have customers we have serviced from the days when we did it out of our house,” Jacqueline Bruno said.


David Bruno Sr. believed in giving back to Hammonton and its organizations, she added.


“If somebody came in for a donation for an organization, we never refused anybody. We supported the people who supported us. When my husband was sick, Kessler was the hospital, and we always supported them. He was an appreciative person, so if someone was there for him, he always made sure they knew how important they were. He was always respectful and happy,” Jacqueline Bruno said. 


David Bruno Sr.’s two sons spoke of their father’s influence on them, on how he impacted both their lives.


“Just being a hard worker. Nobody’s going to do it for you. You have to be a hustler and do the right thing. As long as you do the right thing, you’ll be successful in business,” David Bruno Jr. said.


Brandon Bruno talked about what his father told him about business—and life.


“The biggest thing in our business is honesty. When people walk in the store, it’s all about honesty. The biggest thing is being honorable to what you say and do and giving the best product you can according to your own skill set. If you give people a product that they love, they’ll never go anywhere else,” Brandon Bruno said.