Clarence Wallace "Wally" Bruce
Retired US Army, Major
January 11, 1917 ~ December 31, 2012
Seaside - Born in 1917 on his family farm in Moorefield, Arkansas, Wally Bruce passed away peacefully of natural causes.
Wally worked on his family farm until he joined the U.S. Army in 1937, where his tenure led him to serve in both World War II and the Korean War. After retiring in 1960, Wally decided to settle in Seaside, having grown fond of the area after previously being stationed at nearby Fort Ord.
He met his wife, Victorine "Vicki" (Firpo) at an officer's dance in San Jose and the two quickly developed a connection. A consummate gentleman, Vicki married Wally for his kind heart and gentle spirit, knowing that he would be a great father to their children, which he was.
As a young man, Wally won many medals for his marksmanship. After serving in the U.S. Army, he proudly received his AA from MPC, during that time remaining an avid swimmer and tennis player. Fond of his Arkansas roots, farming was in his blood and he took pride in his garden. Most visitors left his house with a brown bag full of fruits and vegetables.
Despite his many passions, Wally's true calling was for beekeeping. He loved taking care of his bees and was very proud of his honey. He loved educating people about his hobby and was an active participant at the Monterey County Fair and Farm Day. Later in life, his passion for cards really came to life. A respectable card player, Wally remained active in two local bridge clubs until just a few months ago. He credited his longevity to being a beekeeper and staying active. Proud of his age, Wally was just shy of his 96th birthday.
Wally is survived by his wife of nearly 69 years, with their anniversary on January 8, 2013. His three surviving daughters, Rosanne (Frank) Pettas of Monterey, Susan (Bob) Riegel of Fairfax, VA, Carole (Gene) Wagner of Seaside and son-in-law, Joe Lee Frank III of Roundhill, VA; grandchildren, Cherdeen, Joe, Brian, Kaylin and Rob; and great grandchildren, Nick, Shannon, Nathaniel and Dylan. He is also survived by three of his eight siblings, Alice Foley, Calvin Bruce and Harold Bruce. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Frank and grandson, Jeremy Pettas.
Memorial Services will be held on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 1:00pm at Mission Memorial Park/Seaside Funeral Home, 1915 Ord Grove Ave., Seaside.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Jan. 5, 2013