Bruce D. Pardue passed away Saturday, June 9, 2012 at the family home in Carlsbad at the age of 89.
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Bruce was born February 17, 1923 to C.P. and Mattie Pardue in Loving, New Mexico. He graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1940 then attended Hardin Simmons University, Bethany-Peniel College and Pasadena College. He married Hazel Stockton 69 years ago on February 4, 1943 in Pasadena, California. Bruce had enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942. He flew 35 missions over Germany and France in B17s as a first lieutenant bombardier with the 324th Bomb Squadron based in Bassingbourne, England. The 324th, was an elite squadron that used advanced technology H2X ground mapping radar and was the lead squadron on many major missions. Bruce received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and a Distinguished Flying Cross. His last assignment was with the 2619th AAF Base Unit at the Carlsbad Army Air Field as a ground school instructor teaching U.S. and Chinese cadets and officers navigation and bombing techniques. During his time at the Carlsbad base, Bruce witnessed the flash from the first atomic bomb test while commuting to the base from Loving. Following his military service Bruce joined his father in the family business, C. P. Pardue and Sons, located in Loving, NM. C. P. Pardue and Sons was involved in farming, ranching, ginning and the mercantile business. Bruce was a highly respected businessman. He enjoyed his work managing the family business, Pardue Limited Company, and continued going to the office into his 89th year.
His faith in God, his church and his family were the most important aspects of his life. He was a faithful member of the Carlsbad First Church of the Nazarene for almost 71 years. He held many positions of leadership in the local church as well as the New Mexico District of the Church of the Nazarene.
Bruce and Hazel were long time residents of Loving. After raising their children there, they moved to Carlsbad in 1981. Bruce was a devoted family man who loved his college sweetheart, Hazel, and cherished his five children. He delighted in his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and relished all their accomplishments. They, in turn, adored their Papa and Papa Great. Each new family member did face a rite-of-passage. They needed to learn how to play the domino game "42." Playing this game with family and friends was his favorite past time. Bruce also enjoyed traveling; not only the travel itself but the learning about the places to be visited and the geography. He held dear his many long time friends and loved to make new acquaintances.
Bruce was involved in many community activities and served on several boards of directors, including The Carlsbad Foundation, Pasadena College and Western Commerce Bank. He very much enjoyed socializing at Rotary Club in Loving and Carlsbad. He first joined Rotary in 1947 and was president of the Loving Rotary Club in 1949-50. He joined the Carlsbad club in 1984 where he was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Bruce is survived by his wife Hazel; son, Jerald Pardue and wife, Debby of Artesia; daughter, Kathryn Van Soest and husband, Marvin of Carlsbad; son, Larry Pardue of Carlsbad; daughter, Suzanne Boerio and husband, Edward of Roswell; son-in-law, Howard Ours of Angus; three brothers-in-law; many nieces and nephews; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, C. P. and Mattie Pardue; brother, Maurice Pardue; sister, Margaret Pardue and daughter, Patricia Ours.
The family would like to express gratitude to the excellent caregivers of Landsun Homes Hospice.
Services will held be at First United Methodist Church of Carlsbad, 10:00 AM, June 18, 2012. Officiating will be Rev. Dean Coonradt and Dr. Fred Huff. Interment will follow in Sunset Gardens Memorial Park, Carlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad Veteran's Honor Guard will provide military honors. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Bruce's grandsons will serve as pallbearers: Gregory Van Soest, Douglas Van Soest, Chad Van Soest, Charlie Lyons-Pardue, Jeffrey Ours and William Pardue.
Visitation will be at Denton-Wood Funeral Home June 17, 2012 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Family members will receive friends from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be made to Caring Hands Fund of Landsun Homes, 2002 Westridge, Carlsbad, NM 88220, the Maurice P. Pardue Scholarship Fund at the Carlsbad Foundation, 114 South Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, or Bonita Park Camp and Conference Center, Bonita Park HC 71 Box 1159 Capitan, NM 88316.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com.
Denton-Wood Funeral Home
1001 North Canal Street
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Published in Carlsbad Current-Argus from June 14 to June 18, 2012