Maurice Bruce Lawler
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April 1, 1920-May 24, 2013
Resident of Berkeley, California
M. Bruce Lawler was born in West Lafayette, Indiana on April 1st, 1920 to his beloved parents Pauline and Glenn Lawler. He was very fortunate to have lived in this beautiful region of Indiana as a child. He enjoyed city and rural life on the family farms and homesteads during his childhood, along with his brothers Jack and Rex.
He attended Purdue University in his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana and earned a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1942. This profession was to prove to be very profitable in subsequent years. After graduation from Purdue, he was employed by General Motors Corporation in Anderson, Indiana.
He enlisted in the Navy for the following 2 years, in order to serve his country during the World War II period. He was assigned radar operator duties and served on many missions during the War.
While he was stationed in Treasure Island Naval Facility in the beautiful San Francisco Bay region, he met a lovely young college lady, while playing a tennis match between the U.S. Navy and Mills College in Oakland, California. This young lady, Katherine Marshall, was destined to be his wonderful, loving wife for the next 67 years. The happy couple were married in Modesto, California on August 23, 1947. During the next several decades, he and his wife Katherine raised three boys (Richard, David, and Roger) from childhood to adulthood in the El Cerrito and Berkeley Hills.
He continued on his career development path as a chemical engineer at Standard Oil Company of California in the Chevron Research division starting in 1947. He attained the position of Senior Research Engineer and specialized in petrochemical processing and product blending at the Richmond Refinery facility in Point Richmond California. In addition, he devoted time to the development of process plans for the installation of new refining facilities. His last years of work were spent doing research on development of a cheaper, more environmentally friendly, unleaded gasoline blend. He retired from Chevron Research in 1985 after 35 years of exemplary petroleum industry service. He also was the past president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE).
Bruce was an avid outdoorsman throughout his life in the Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region and in northern California. He became deeply involved in the Sierra Club and was renown as a trip leader for the Sierra Club - San Francisco Bay Chapter - Backpack and Snow Camping Section outings in the northern and central Sierra Nevada region, during the summer and winter seasons, respectively.
Bruce and his wife Katie also loved to travel internationally and did so for many decades, visiting Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and many other destinations. . He was also so lucky to have been well liked and loved by so many people all over the world during his 93 years of life. His adventurous spirit and love of international travel was also shared by his sons Richard and David, who traveled extensively throughout the world.
Bruce had a wonderful sense of humor and loved telling jokes and interesting stories to all his friends and family. Bruce is survived by his wife Katherine, and his sons David and Roger of Berkeley, California. He will be greatly missed by all his family and close friends.
McNary Williams-Morgan Mortuary
Published in Inside Bay Area on Aug. 18, 2013