Lt. Colonel Bruce A. Ellis
1924 - 2020
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Lt. Colonel Bruce A Ellis
February 15, 1924 - August 30, 2020
San Diego
Lt. Colonel Bruce A. EllisFebruary 15, 1924 - August 30, 2020 USAF Retired
"Boys had boats their favored toy. Not I, when I was just a boy I dreamt of wings for soaring highand cutting wakes in yonder sky. And where my Father's footsteps went I'd follow. In the firmament" - Gayla Weidenheft.
Bruce's undying passion for aviation and airplanes are reflected beautifully in this poem.
Bruce A. Ellis was born on February 15, 1924 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He earned his pilot's license by the age of 16 and enjoyed flying until he was drafted into the Army in 1943. He then worked his way into the 13th Airborne Division as a paratrooper during WWII. At Perrin Air Force base he graduated from cadets in 1950, won his wings and became a 2nd Lt. on the same day. On October 14, 1955 he married his beloved, Gloria M. Ellis. They were married nearly sixty five loving years until Bruce peacefully passed in his sleep on August 30, 2020. At the pinnacle of his Air Force career he was transferred to the B-58 Hustler program where he flew at Mach 2, cutting wakes in the sky at 1534.54 mph!
Upon retirement from the Air Force he moved to San Diego, CA in 1967 to join PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) where he flew the 727 as captain until retirement at age 60.
Bruce enjoyed spending quality time with family, keeping guests in stitches as his sense of humor was unrivaled, or building and restoring airplanes. First a Biplane, then the epic WWII warbird P-51 D Mustang, a Piper cub, and finally an F-1 Rocket. He lived his dream and his passion while providing for his loved ones, and all who knew him were blessed and inspired.
He was preceded in death by his father Donald, his mother Alice, and his brother Grant.
He is survived by his wife Gloria, his two sons Bruce Jr. and Brett, as well as four grandsons, four granddaughters, and one great granddaughter.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Lt. Colonel Bruce A. Ellis you are cleared for take off and we salute you, Sir.

A Poem for Fallen Comrades

"High Flight" By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or ever eagle flew And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 6, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
September 12, 2020
We loved spending time with Bruce and Gloria. We especially liked that they lived near us. Bruce was such a special person, always upbeat and happy. We have known them for at least 45 years and it was always a pleasure to be with them. He was kind, funny, interesting and such a good husband and father. We will miss his presence so much. Many loving condolences to Glo and family.
Kenny and Cathy Jones,
Del Cerro
September 8, 2020
I was so very sorry to hear of Bruce's passing.
I was Bruce's banker at California First Bank in Kearny Mesa in the early 1980's. Bruce would come to the bank with some other airline pilots, Jim Lewis of PSA, Chuck Hall of Japan Airlines, and occasionally with his lovely wife, Gloria. All of us boring bankers always enjoyed these visits. Bruce was just such an easygoing person to be around. But beneath that easygoing style you knew there was an extremely competent, totally professional individual who you could trust with your life. As a pilot myself with a few hundred hours I was fascinated with Bruce's lifelong aviation career in the Air Force, the B-58 bomber, and as a PSA Senior Captain. He was one of my heroes and just a heck of a nice guy.
John Munch
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