William Bruce Lindsay, 94, died Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Camarillo. "Bruce" was born in Ida Grove, Iowa, in 1919 and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. Before World War II he was a radio operator in the Iowa National Guard, while he attended East High School and Morningside College in Sioux City. Bruce met his wife-to-be, Ila Marie Eberly while there and they married in 1940. He graduated in 1941 and worked as a draftsman for the Sioux City Gas and Electric Co. In November 1942 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Army Signal Corps for training in radar maintenance. From the end of War in Europe until 1947, he was chief radar officer of a U.S. Air Force ground radar squadron in Darmstadt, Germany. After a year of similar duty in South Carolina, he taught officers of all services in the assembly and testing of the electrical parts of atomic weapons at the Armed Forces Special Weapons Agency school in Albuquerque, N.M. Upon receiving his commission in the regular Army, Capt. Lindsay studied electronic engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, earned his master's degree in 1953. After studying the effects of nuclear weapons tests at the Office of Special Weapons Developments think tank in El Paso, Texas, and a tour in Korea, Bruce studied at Stanford for three years and earned a degree of Engineer. He then became the project manager for the development of high power radar tubes and high power lasers in the Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 1963, Lt. Col. Lindsay attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., and was assigned to Germany, where he commanded the 25th Sig Bn (Construction) at Karlsruhe, and in 1965, the 26th Sig Bn (Combat Area Communications) at Heilbronn. Upon his return to the U.S., Col. Lindsay was head of electronics R&D for the Army in Washington until he retired in 1968. He then became an Associate Professor of Electronic Engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo until 1984. Mr. Lindsay had a long-time interest in the history of arctic exploration and was fortunate in 1984 to be one of the early tourists to visit the geographical and magnetic North Poles. He made six further trips to the high arctic that included a 75-mile dog sledding trip in Greenland. His long interest in model railroading kept him active from 1980 until 1995 in a home-based business of manufacturing model railroad electrical controls and signals. Bruce was a member of the Congregational Church of San Luis Obispo, the scientific research society Sigma Xi, Military Officers Association of America and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers. Bruce is survived by his sisters Jean Berkuta and Patricia Parsons; his dear companion of 15 years, Claire C. Lyon; and his five children and their spouses: Ron Lindsay (Nancy) of Camarillo, Calif.; Constance Anderson (Mike) of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Michael Lindsay (Kathy) of Tucson, Ariz.; Joan Allen (Dr. Robert Allen) of Omaha, Neb.; and Dr. LeAnn (John) of Sonoma. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Ila Marie Eberly. No memorial service will be held. Disposal of ashes is planned for the next annual family reunion.
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Apr. 27, 2014