Groton - W. Bruce Lockwood, 90, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.|
Born in Boston, on May 14, 1922, to W. Bruce and Mary Lockwood, Bruce grew up in Ohio and in his early years spent summers on the North Fork of Long Island. A consummate sailor, Bruce was a positive-thinking man who was loved by many people and who made friends wherever he went. His passion for life touched many and those who knew him were richer for his friendship.
He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for a short time before enlisting in the Navy at the beginning of World War II. He spent five years in the Navy primarily in the Pacific theater. Bruce's leadership skills earned him challenging assignments; at age 21 he was the captain of a sub-chaser. After the war, he returned to school at the University of Michigan where he captained the sailing team, presided over Theta Xi fraternity, and earned a degree in Naval architecture. Over the years, Bruce was employed as an engineer at Electric Boat and Hamilton Standard, and as vice president of sales/marketing at Wasley Products.
Community involvement was important to Bruce. He served as commodore of the Shennecossett Yacht Club; was on the Board of Directors of the Walton Co., Ram Island Yacht Club and Off Soundings Yacht Club; was president of the Woodridge Association three times over three decades; and presided over the Okemo Mountain Board of Directors during a period of transition in the 1980s, overseeing the sale of the ski area which brought new life to the resort. His leadership of the ski area was a reflection of his love of skiing. He spent many decades skiing in Vermont, recently donning skis and riding the chairlift at the age of 89.
Bruce was a talented sailor who was widely known in southeastern Connecticut as an enthusiastic and avid competitor. Growing up on Long Island Sound, his passion for sailing began at the age of four. As teenagers, several times Bruce and his brother John rescued a capsized neighbor of theirs who was not as talented as they were with sailboats: Albert Einstein. In 1938, he and his brother founded the Old Cove Yacht Club in New Suffolk, Long Island, still going strong today. Throughout his life, Bruce belonged to many sailing organizations: Woodridge Association, Ram Island Yacht Club, Shennecossett Yacht Club, Baldwin Yacht Club, Off Soundings Club, Storm Trysail Club, Palo Alto Yacht Club, and the Mystic River Mudheads. In 2007, Bruce wrote the book "Reflections-Off Soundings Since 1933" which was published and sold to sailors and non-sailors alike.
Bruce raced penguins in midwinter in Connecticut, snipes in San Francisco Bay, dinghies in the Phillipines, knockabouts on Peconic Bay, J-29s in Key West, and all types of sailboats on Long Island Sound. Among other things, he won three Block Island Race Weeks, Key West Race Week, the Mumm 30 Northeast Championship, was an eight time champion of the Mystic River Mudhead fleet, and won too many Off Soundings Series to count, the most recent win being the 2012 Off Soundings Series, four weeks before his death. He navigated and raced his sailboat to Bermuda many times (before GPS), and sailed across the pond in the 2005 Transatlantic Challenge at the age of 83. Bruce estimated he'd sailed in almost 7,000 races over the course of his life. Everywhere he sailed, he knew nearly everyone.
Not only did Bruce race sailboats, he restored and built them as well. He cherished his extensive collection of tools and woodworking equipment and spent many hours building penguin and el toro-class boats, which he then won races with. From his workshop he also turned out beautiful handcrafted furniture: tables, chests, stools, chairs, all of which grace his families' houses today.
Bruce is survived by Linda (Blair) Lockwood, his wife of 15 years; four daughters and their families, Molly and George Dominello, Alan, William and his wife Stephanie, and Beth; Sally Lockwood and Lee Davis, Lindy and her husband Steve, Bruce, Julie, and Michael; Emily and Wayne Tuan, Susanna, and Carla; Lucy and Mike Lockwood, Alex, Sarah, and William. Also surviving him are his two stepsons and their families, Peter and Meg Bergendahl, Tyler, Brooke, and Spencer; Woody and Ann Bergendahl, Ella and Charlie; Bruce's two brothers, John and Ned Lockwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bruce was predeceased by Nancy H. Lockwood, his first wife of 44 years; and his sister, Mary Oakes.
Bruce's zest for life was contagious, and he had a unique way of seeing the best in everything. Friends are invited to join the family at a celebration of Bruce's life at noon Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Shennecossett Yacht Club.
In order to keep Bruce's passion for sailing alive, donations may be made to the Mystic Seaport Youth Training Program to purchase and name a Dyer Dow in his honor. Please send donations to: Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT 06355.
The Dinoto Funeral Home, 17 Pearl St., historic downtown Mystic, is assisting he family.
To share a note of remembrance/condolence, please visit www.dinotofuneral.com
Published in The Day on Oct. 14, 2012