Bruce D. Hynes: The Man, The Myth, The Legacy
The heat-treating machinery and sales industry lost one of the great ones on June 29, 2019. Bruce Hynes, whom contributed much to the society of Heat Treating & Heat-Treating Equipment sales throughout his lifetime, will be missed and his impact and influence felt for generations. Bruce D. Hynes, founder of Furnaces, Oven, and Baths, was born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan. He was raised by the strongest of women, his mother and grandmother, after the passing of his father at a young age. His mother for 40 years, worked at the Pontiac Motors Foundry to support her two small children. Her dedication to supporting her young family, as a single mother, is where Bruce’s key foundations of work ethics and morals were engrained.
After graduating from Pontiac Northern High School in 1959, he first attended junior college then shortly after attended the Detroit Barber School, before enlisting in the United States Navy. Bruce was then assigned as a barber abroad the U.S.S. Randolph CVS-15 aircraft carrier. After serving overseas in the Navy he returned home to Pontiac, MI. He then began his career as a civilian barber working in various barber shops including The Kingsley Inn and Pontiac Mall Barber Shop. In 1968 after marrying his wife Karen, whom he would have 2 children with Jeffrey and Jennifer; they opened a very successful full service men’s barber shop at the 300 Bowl, The Continental Barber Salon. This business would be his training ground for sales. Never one to be quiet, the barber shop is where Bruce could share stories, develop relationships, and network. The birth of a true salesman was in those early beginnings and they would lead him to further successes.
In 1975 he co-founded, Heat Treating Equipment Company in Pontiac, MI with his brother Dennis R. Hynes. Bruce and Dennis were always ones to look for the next thing to be involved in with that would bring them greater opportunities and this seemed like a good one. Heat Treating Equipment Company quickly grew from buying and selling equipment to installing furnaces and ovens, to heat treating parts. This would eventually lead his brother and family to develop a larger organization Heat Treating Services, which today is one of the leading heat-treating service providers in the industry to this day. Never one to be idle, in 1980, Bruce along with his wife Karen decided to start his own company; Furnaces, Ovens & Baths, Inc. At the time the name seemed like a logical choice for the industry, however, it continues to be a misnomer for individuals looking to do home improvements. Despite the confusion in the name F.O.B as it is often known became a successful thriving business which was located in Clarkston, Michigan, until 2018, moving its headquarters to their River Rouge location, celebrating its 39th year in 2019. F.O.B was Bruce’s most rewarding business venture, in part due to his ability to welcome his children Jeffrey and Jennifer into the business. Being able to do the work he loved while enjoying his family as part of his business was a reward far beyond financial for Bruce.
Bruce thrived in the heat-treating industry, a natural salesman, a larger than life personality, and a gift for gab made Bruce the ideal candidate to travel the country seeking equipment, consulting on any number of issues, to assisting in making plants successful. Bruce would grab a beer and a burger and talk to people all over the country, it didn’t matter if you were the CEO of a company or working on the floor, he had time and wanted to talk to everyone.
Bruce’s profession in the heat-treating industry was definitely his passion, but his legacy, well that we are certain he would want to be of a larger than life persona, a family man, and a lover of life and adventure. He spent many years enjoying the waterways of Michigan and boating; from his Donzi’s to his Pontoon boats, he loved being on the water. In his later years he took pride in his small hobby farm in Davisburg, Michigan. Over the years he added ponds, restored his historic barn, and rode around his Kubota with his wife and loyal dogs. Always a family man Bruce enjoyed his family immensely, he rarely missed the opportunity to cheer on his children and later his grandchildren. He took great pride in going to their events and celebrating their interests and successes.
Bruce was extremely dedicated to his country, his business, and his family. He served the country he loved, he became a successful business owner, and he had the love of family and friends. Bruce’s shoes will never be filled but we cherish what he created; and what he added to the world. Bruce’s professional legacy continues as F.O.B. is in the capable hands of his two children Jeffrey Hynes and Jennifer Calhoun having a combined total of 65 years of industry knowledge. Bruce may be gone but he will never be forgotten.