Bruce C. Johnson 1959

Cullum No. 22282 • May 13, 1985 • Died in Dallas, TX Interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY

THE WORLD WAS a wonderful place to Bruce. Every day brought him new challenges, interests and joys to savor. No matter how difficult the task at hand, the twinkle in Bruce's eye always let you know he loved life with a passion. Bruce's father, Edwin L., graduated from West Point, as did his older brother Douglas S.; thus, structure and discipline were second nature to him. At West Point, academics gave Bruce little trouble, and the tactical department even less. He therefore was able to devote most of his energy to the interesting happenings around him...or to making things happen. Bruce managed the track team, sang in the Cadet Choir, participated in the Debate Council and Forum, discussed philosophy in the Newman Club and was a spark plug in the German Club. As an acolyte of the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, Bruce spent many cold and dark mornings slogging through the snow, right after reveille, to assist Monsignor Moore and Father McCormick at morning Mass. It was an opportunity that brought Bruce great satisfaction—perhaps because he was born to serve. To serve God brought him obvious contentment and zest.

Bruce applied his zest to all the world around him. He was best noted for his superb management of the cadet radio station, KDET. He started as a plebe engineer and ended as station manager. Under his direction, The Voice of the Corps grew and developed, providing uninterrupted evening music, play-by-play coverage of Army games (home and away), world and local news and special events. Bruce was able to build a magnificent record library by smooth-talking, and sometimes badgering, New York radio stations. He ran the station as he would conduct the rest of his professional life—with efficiency, thoroughness and grace.

Bruce attained the rank of regimental sergeant major and had color guard responsibilities for all First Regiment parades. It was quite natural to see Bruce attending to the details necessary for keeping the nation’s flag flying proudly.

Bruce became a Redleg upon graduation and attended the Artillery Basic Officer Course at Fort Sill. While stationed there he met Elaine. They soon were married and raised three wonderful children: Mark, Jennifer and Carolyn. The family enjoyed traveling, skiing and opera.

Bruce’s Army career was characterized by hard work in varied assignments. His first tactical unit was the 2d Artillery in Germany. After graduate school in Michigan, Bruce became a USMA instructor and member of the Dean’s staff. He spent 1968-69 in Vietnam. Bruce’s organizational capabilities were put to good use in staff positions at Army headquarters in USAREUR, SETAF and CENTAG. Wherever he served, he was one who could be counted on always to apply not just his intellect but also his sweat to get tasks accomplished. His last military assignment was with the Reserves at Fort Snelling.

Bruce left the Army after 20 years with a good feeling that he had done his part. In fact, he wrote his own epitaph when he concluded one farewell address to a unit with the following quote from the Bible: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4). That verse is written on his headstone in the West Point Cemetery, where he rests in the shade of a large tree, beside Sylvanus Thayer, a fellow explorer and educator.

Education played center stage in Bruce's life. He had an insatiable appetite for learning and a gift for teaching. Bruce graduated high in his West Point class and went on to earn an MSE from the University of Michigan, an MBA from Boston University and an MS in international management from the University of Texas. He was well on his way to a Ph.D. at the time of his death. His search to learn went far beyond formal education. Most people who met Bruce were fascinated by his ability to converse on any subject imaginable. He truly was fun to have along on a date or around a campfire, but he was at his best teaching. Bruce had the knack of making complex concepts easy to comprehend. As an officer, he taught cadets the science of mechanics, but he will be remembered best by those he tutored, as a cadet, in the sinks in the evening or by the hall light after taps. Unselfishness and unwavering patience were his personal contributions to the growth of others.

After leaving the Army, he became a systems engineer withTexas Instruments Corporation. Bruce later became an international economist for the company. He thrived in this position and found an exciting new niche for his energy.

Bruce loved history, music, museums, plays, lectures, movies and people. Always exploring. Always learning. His eagerness to learn was surpassed only by his desire to share what he knew. He shared great happiness with Joyce, whom he married in 1979 in Oklahoma. He was positive about living and always gave people the benefit of the doubt.

Bruce's heart gave out on 13 May 1985,after almost 48 years. He was a dedicated, loyal and effective soldier. He was a kind, gentle and interesting man. He was our friend.