Bruce Francis Medler peacefully passed away of natural causes at his home in Tigard, Oregon. At 82 years of age, he lived a full and prosperous life.
Born during the depression it was the year 1932 and he was the youngest of three children of Fritz and Rachel (Deyo) Medler. He was preceded in death by his parents and oldest sister Rachael Gutzler. Bruce is survived by his sister Martha Stellmacher of Beaverton, Ore.
Bruce will be fondly remembered as an independent person who cherished his extended family and for his many talents and interests. As a young boy growing up in The Dalles and on the wheat fields of Wasco County Bruce had an obvious passion for aircraft and the mechanics of flight.
As a young, tall and skinny boy he was fascinated by the design and flight of paper air planes.
Soon after graduating from The Dalles High School in 1951 he enrolled at Oregon State College in Corvallis to study mechanical engineering.
During his college years he joined and was active in The Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Bruce later graduated on June 6th, 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Immediately following his graduation from college Bruce launched his career at Douglas Aircraft Company as a Mechanical Engineer in Southern California. This was a period of time when the “Space Race” was in full flight at the start of the Cold War. Starting his career as an apprentice Bruce soon became involved in many projects as a team leader in designing, engineering and innovating state of the art commercial aircraft, lunar landing space craft and other space vehicles. Bruce’s professional contributions to the aircraft industry during this period of time cannot be understated.
Bruce embraced the southern California lifestyle. He lived near the warm, sandy beaches and the inviting salt water of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica. Bruce loved motorcycles and snow skiing. He often spoke of the alpine country and his ski trips via train and automobile to destinations that included Sun Valley, Idaho and Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in the southern Sierra Mountains of California.
After a successful and fulfilling career with Douglas Aircraft Company he moved on to other professional engineering interests. His career shifted back to Oregon as he began working for Hoffman Construction Company in Portland before officially stepping out of the workforce into retirement.
In retirement, Bruce continued to exercise his creative and imaginative set of skills and talents. He loved photography, landscape painting, technical drafting, construction projects and drawing humorous cartoons once shared in his local Highlands residence community newsletter. Once again, his love and passion for mechanical engineering, design and construction was the foundation for his many interests throughout his life.
Bruce was a native son of the great Pacific Northwest. Bruce loved hiking and alpine skiing with his friends and family in places close to his heart like Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo Ski Bowl and Camp Sherman, Ore.
Additionally, you would find Bruce at the Oregon Coast on family outings and reunions. Bruce loved to ride his bike, golf at Black Butte Ranch, vacation with his family and attend numerous family celebrations with his siblings, friends, nieces, nephews and other extended family across the seasons in Oregon. A family event was not fully complete without the presence of “Uncle Bruce”.
Above all, Bruce will be deeply missed by those that he touched throughout his life. His spirit will always live on in our hearts.
Those that loved him dearly and for others he met along the way will miss Bruce’s joyous sense of humor and depth of conversation. One of Bruce’s best friends once said that they “broke the mold” when they made Bruce.
May you rest in peace as the wheat fields of Wasco County wave to you with a welcoming call as you return to your final resting place and cherished homeland deep in the heart of the Columbia Basin.
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