Father’s Day

I know. At the end of my previous post, I said medieval wine would be the next topic. But it’s Father’s Day, and my father passed away in March of this year.

I’ve done all kinds of writing, some more difficult than others. Technical writing, letters of condolence, letters of recommendation, aircraft mission reports, the standard array of college papers … Rarely have I done any collaborative writing. My dad’s obituary was an exception. My oldest brother wrote a first draft, I then worked on it, and our uncle polished it and prepped it for release. It was not necessarily cathartic; I think the family was a bit stunned by the suddenness of his passing. He had been home from the hospital for just over one week. He had sounded good, looked good. And then, he was gone …

So, here it is in full … Miss you, Dad. Rest in peace …

… Bruce Keith Hight, III of Colorado Springs, Colorado passed away peacefully on March 11, 2016 at Memorial Hospital.

Bruce was welcomed into this world by his parents, Bruce Keith Hight, II and Solvej Barbro Lunden Hight, in San Francisco, California. Known affectionately to his family as “Bear”, Bruce attended elementary school in San Francisco, before moving to Susanville, California. Following his graduation from Lassen High School in 1958, he enlisted in the US Army at age 17, underwent basic training at Fort Ord, CA and was selected for Military Police training at Fort Gordon, GA.

During his lengthy and successful military career spanning 25 years, Bruce progressed through the ranks from private to his ultimate rank of Chief Warrant Officer with the Criminal Investigation Division. He served at numerous duty stations around the world, including a tour in Vietnam (1970-71), two tours in Japan, two in Germany, and several in the US, ending his Army career at Fort Carson, CO in 1983. Bruce was a distinguished marksman and competitor, earning a place on the Sixth Army Rifle Team, where he won numerous trophies and medals for his shooting skills. His work experiences ranged from investigating major crimes to protecting foreign dignitaries. He participated in an investigator exchange program with Scotland Yard and received FBI investigative training. While in Germany he participated in the grueling Nijmegan March, a 26 mile per day, four day hike to commemorate Allied sacrifices in the Netherlands. Among the notable awards accorded to Bruce during his dedicated service are the Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and numerous other service awards and recognition.

Following his retirement from the US Army, Bruce served as the Safety Manager and Training Coordinator for AAFES at the Air Force Academy, retiring from there in 2000. Following that, and until his passing, he enjoyed working at the Air Force Academy commissary as a grocery bagger, where he made many friends among his fellow baggers and the commissary staff.

Bruce loved the Colorado outdoor and sports scene. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. In 1995 he started what turned to a bi-annual, traditional fishing trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, where he was joined by his brothers and several close friends in the quest for salmon and halibut. He was also an enthusiastic and supportive fan of Air Force Falcon and Denver Broncos football.

Bruce is survived by his former wife, Mary Elizabeth, and their four children, Michael, Robert, Christina, and Nickolas, and his wife of 26 years, Mari Louise, and her children, daughter Kim and son, Larry, for whom Bruce was father and mentor. He is also survived by his brothers, Arthur (Lexington, KY), Dennis (Lakewood, OR), and Michael (Chugiak, AK), grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Bruce was preceded in death by his parents and a younger brother, Donald.

All of Bruce’s children and two of his grandchildren served, or are currently serving in the US Armed Forces. He administered the oath of enlistment to all three of his sons, pinned the E-2 meritorious promotion on Christina in basic training, and administered the oath of commissioning to his youngest son Nick. 

Bruce was loved, respected, and admired for his humor, strength, and life-long courage. Along with his patriotism, sense of duty, and strong work ethic, he instilled in his family a great love and respect for the outdoors. He loved life and laughter, and will be sorely and deeply missed.

Bruce requested that no service be held and the family will honor his request. In lieu of a funeral, the family will hold a private gathering to celebrate his life and love …

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