Dad was born Bruce Frederick Deere on March 9, 1939 in Brownwood Texas, to B.F. & Mary Deere. He graduated from Brownwood High School with the class of 1957. Bruce enlisted in the United States Air Force after graduating to fly fighter jets. Because of a burn spot in his right eye, due to looking through a hole in a cup at a sun eclipse during his earlier years at school, the Air Force would not let him fly their jets. Bruce became an expert in the Russian language and traveled all over the world with the Air Force listening to the Russians over radio waves and interpreting their actions to the U.S. Air Force. Bruce taught the Russian language at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo to new recruits until his retirement after 20 years of serves as Master Sargent in 1978.
Bruce married Linda – Carole Clark on February 6, 1960. They were married for 54 years before his wife’s death on March 24, 2014. They lived in San Antonio, Texas where their first two kids were born, Biloxi Miss., Hoff Germany, where their last son was born, San Angelo Texas, Misawa Japan and finally back to San Angelo. Bruce served in several places overseas where his family was not allowed to travel with him.
After his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, Bruce went back to school at Angelo State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with his master’s degree in Agriculture and Range Management in 1982. Bruce researched the bitter weed problem for west Texas and wrote a book on his research for his thesis. This book is in the libraries of all the major universities in Texas for future students to reference it for their studies. Bruce hired on with the Soil Conservation Service in 1982 which later changed their name to the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Bruce and Linda-Carole moved to Eldorado, Texas that summer and he worked with most of the ranchers and farmers in Schleicher County until 1987. They then moved to Robert Lee, Texas where Bruce was the Director of Conservation with the NRCS for Coke County. He worked in Robert Lee until his retirement in 2002 making many friends and lasting relationships with co-workers and land owners.
Dad loved to hunt and fish all over the United States and the world when he was deployed. He taught us kids and grandkids how to hunt and fish at a young age and also the state laws and ethical laws of the land and waters. He was truly an outdoorsman. We will certainly miss that part of you dad.
Dad was a member of the Church of Christ and served as an Elder at one time. His love for God, Christ and his family were the backbones that kept his family together. He became known as Papa Deere to all his grandkids and family members. He showed his love and concern for his family when life for them was not going as planned. He will be missed greatly by everyone.
Bruce is preceded in death by his parents, B.F. & Mary Deere and his loving wife of 54 years Linda – Carole Deere.
Bruce is survived by his son Ben Deere, wife Kenda and their five kids Hunter Deere, Forest Deere and Chase Harris of Kuna Idaho, Jaime Weisweaver and husband Chuck and Leslie Harris of Seattle, Washington. Daughter Dana Cauley and husband Lynn of Bronte, Texas and their kids Amy Holifield and husband Cameron of San Angelo, Luke Cauley of San Antonio and Cadye McKinnon and husband Quaid of San Angelo. Son Todd Deere of San Angelo and his kids, Nicole Deere of Tucson Arizona, Brooke Deere of San Angelo and Trevor Deere of San Diego California. Also sharing our grief is his sister Becky Hayes and husband Mike of Lake Brownwood, brother Doug Deere and wife Ora Mae of Bedford along with all of their sweet daughters that knew dad as Uncle Bruce. Numerous great grandkids, nephews and nieces.
Our family would like to express our eternal gratitude to Dr. Stanley and the staff of Odyssey Hospice for caring for dad for the last year of his life. A very special Thank You to Meagan Vick, Odyssey Hospice nurse, who showed so much love and gave the best care for both Dad and Mom these last two years. Meagan, we cannot express our love for you enough. We are also thankful for Tracie Corley of the Robert Lee Care Center for the comfort she brought dad in his last moments of life. Tracie, you showed dad your love and care that you had for him and we know that was a blessing.
Funeral arrangements are through Johnson’s Funeral Home. Services are at 10 a.m. Friday June 13th 2014 at Southgate Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Lawnhaven Cemetery with a Military Service. Pallbearers will be the Military Honor Guard. The family will receive visitors from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at Johnson’s Funeral Home.
Family and friends can sign the online register book at johnsons-funeralhome.com.