Robert Bruce Pollard, Sr., Seanchaí, groundskeeper, roofer, chimney sweep, lumberjack, antique aficionado, sportsman, and beloved brother, father and grandfather, passed in his home in Lee on February 20, 2021.
Bruce, also known as RB to his friends, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 29, 1946, and raised in Lee, Massachusetts. He is predeceased by his parents James B. Pollard, Jr., and his mother Pauline E. Ashley, better known as Bobbie Pollard. Bruce attended St. Mary's School and the Lee Public Schools, graduating from Lee High School in 1964. He was a member of the Wildcat 1963 championship golf team. Bruce was an accomplished golfer in his youth. As a teenager, he spent summers as a caddy at the Greenock Country Club and the Stockbridge Golf Club.
He loved fast cars and enjoyed time spent at the Lebanon Valley Speedway. Bruce graduated from the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture in 1967 with an Associate's Degree in turf management. He worked for the Morris estate in Lenox, Massachusetts, the Deely Estate in Glendale, Massachusetts, and the Lipman estate in Copake, New York. Bruce had a mercurial disposition, and although fierce and rough at times, he was a well-spoken man of belles-lettres, often writing letters to his loved ones. He was an avid gardener, tending robust and diffuse gardens that adhered to no method, yet produced exceptional harvests nonetheless. He could often be seen walking in the Town of Lee with his rifle or cross bow on his way to his favorite hunting haunts, or carrying his fishing pole to Laurel Lake in search of the big one. He was a keen hunter, harvesting some of the famous rackers of Tyringham valley, where he learned to hunt with his father and grandfather, James B. Pollard, Sr.
Bruce also frequented tag sales, antique shops, and estate sales, collecting gobs, wads, heaps, loads, oodles, piles, slews, scores, and scads of treasures with an eye towards trading them in the palm with his fellow antique colleagues and collectors. In his younger days, he could be found almost anywhere in the Berkshires where lumber was to be had. He never saw a pile of firewood that failed to appeal to him. The sound of a chainsaw was music to his ears. His contagious laugh will be missed sorely by friends and family alike.
Bruce adored his children and grandchildren. He held all of their accomplishments near to his heart, beaming with pride as they went on to become adults with their various accomplishments. A brilliant conversationalist, Bruce would often revel in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He retained all of their keepsakes, from honor roll announcements to Christmas cards. Bruce is survived by his brother, Barry Pollard, his sisters Kate Plaquet and Kris Pollard, his daughter, Jessica Pollard, his sons, James, Jeremia and Robert Pollard, Jr. His grandchildren, Isley Gagnon, Ashley Pollard, Caleb Pollard, Juliette Gagnon, Natalie Pollard, and Shannon Pollard. He also leaves his ex-wives Julie Judd and Nancy Morandi, as well as a tribe of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of Bruce's life will be held in the Spring on a date to be announced in the future. Donations in Bruce's name may be made to the Lee Sportsmen's Association, P.O. Box 175, Lee, MA 01238.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 24, 2021.