Bruce Willson Mayer was born on December 8, 1919, in Cleveland, Ohio to Karl and Dorothy (Dolly) Mayer. He was born premature, weighing only 4 pounds, and his incubator was on top of the radiator in the apartment that they lived and within the first year of his life he had pneumonia at least four times.
He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated in 1938 and he then went on to Cornell University to study Metallurgy. He married in August of 1944 and had four children and he got a job at Eaton Corporation. He was not drafted into the war due to his occupation but, after five deferments he signed up to fight. He went to Great Lakes Naval Academy and then served in the Navy, primarily aboard LCI 977, in the Pacific Theater. He made the initial landings on the Philippine Islands and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He returned to Cleveland and began working for a series of businesses, hoping to become a successful entrepreneur. During that time he and his wife had four children and be built his company, Electromark, into a successful operation. Unfortunately, he and his wife had problems and a bitter divorce ensued, the winner being the attorneys.
He finally found a job working as a Manufacturer’s Representative and in 1972 he married his second wife, Ann. In 1975, they moved to Texas during the beginning of the oil boom and I was born in 1976 in Dallas, Texas. Although he traveled for work, he lived in this house until his death in November of 2011.
He had a marvelous sense of humor and great comedic timing yet he couldn’t tell a joke to save his life. He disliked crowds and traveling, always saying that the best view of anywhere was right in front of the TV. He loved America, the English language (and had no problems correcting people’s English), watched or read History voraciously, and was extremely proud of his 5 children and 11 grandchildren. He and I had a “code” of 58 which meant love and 58 was the last thing that he said to me.
His favorite poems were “If” by Rudyard Kipling and “Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
He was a fighter and always on the side of the little guy. He had amazing stories that would entertain you for hours. One of his favorite quotes is from “Incredible Victory” by Walter Lord which reads in part:
By any ordinary standard, they were hopelessely outclassed… They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war, more than that, they added a new name – Midway – to that small list that inspires men by shining example. Like Marathon, the Armada, the Marne, a few others, Midway showed that every once in a while “what must be” need not be at all. Even against the greatest of allo ddds, there is something in the human spirit – a magic blend of skill, faith, and valor – that can lift men from certain defeat to Incredible Victory.
He fell on Flag Day 2011 and entered hospice on August 10, 2011. He remained on hospice, thanks to some incredible workers and the generosity of his son and daughter-in-law. He died at home from complications of pneumonia on November 25, 2011 – a black Friday indeed.