|Birth: ||Mar. 29, 1926|
|Death: ||May 27, 2010|
Bruce L. Fly, 84, of San Angelo, took the welcome ride to his heavenly home in the late morning of Thursday, May 27, 2010. After a courageous battle with cancer, he drifted away in the company of his loving family. Bruce was born March 29, 1926, on a farm in Hugo, Okla. to Fritz and Gladys Fly, the fourth of five children. Although he was born north of the Red River, he was always proud to tell folks that the Fly family quickly packed up and headed to Texas shortly thereafter. Bruce spent most of his boyhood years working on the family farm in and around the north Texas communities of Cotton Center, Hale Center and Justiceburg (commonly referred to in his stories as "up on the plains"). With World War II raging, his patriotism compelled him to enlist in the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday. He served his time in the "dog-faced" Infantry (as he always called it), mostly in the jungles of the Philippine Islands, after disappointingly washing out of paratrooper school due to colorblindness (a malady he didn't even know he had at the time). The war being over, he returned to Texas in April 1946 to do what men do ? WORK ? and work he did! While running a dozer on a highway construction job in Coke County, he met a sweet young lady named Joy L. Martin in Robert Lee in the cafe where she worked. On Dec. 21, 1947, Bruce and Joy married in Robert Lee and took a honeymoon trip to a faraway place Joy had never been ? San Antonio. Always keepin' an eye out for a better job opportunity, Bruce jumped into the oilfield shortly after getting married, where he spent the rest of his prime workin' years. After a short stint roughnecking for another company, he wound up in the employ of Walter F. Tucker, founder/owner of Tucker Drilling Company, Inc. in San Angelo. He worked "in the field" for many years and in 1960, very reluctantly accepted a position "in the office" at Mr. Tucker's strong urging. Having developed a profound, treasured relationship with Mr. Tucker, he fortunately never had to look for work again! Bruce later served as president of the company for 5 years, CEO from May 1982 to February 1986 and Chairman of the Board of Directors from December 1981 until his retirement in May 1988. Saying that Bruce "retired" is actually a serious misstatement ? he simply became a full time farmer/rancher. From early childhood he was always close to the dirt and admired what it could provide and support with the right care. From the mid-?60s he and his longtime partner, James A. Crimm, raised cattle, sheep & goats part-time on several small ranches around San Angelo. Shortly after leaving Tucker, they formed Fly-N-C Custom Farming, a successful contract farm operation specializing in custom haywork. With much disgust, they finally parked the tractors in the winter of this year!
Bruce is survived by his devoted wife and best friend, Joy; his children Lyndon B. Fly and wife Alice of Plano, Texas and Dianna P. Fly of San Angelo; his sister Elida Jo Mitchell of Nampa, Idaho; and daughter-in-law Jody Fly. Also surviving is Bradford L. Fly of San Angelo, Bruce's single grandchild and one of the greatest joys of his life. Brad and his wife Mercyla provided Bruce with much pleasure and happiness with great-grandchildren Abigayle, Amory and Kemper.
He was preceded in death by his youngest son and cowboy compadre, Gene E. Fly; his parents; his only brother, Bill Fly; and his sisters Linda Parker and Alta Plemmons.
Bruce's long, fruitful life was be celebrated a graveside service was at 10 a.m. today in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens with Dr. George Cooper presiding. Pallbearers will be Jimmy Belcher, Don Cheaney, Gary Halfmann, Marion Sparks, Jim Thomas, Larry Tucker and Bud Upton. Honorary pallbearers will be James, Butch, Jim and Shane Crimm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Grace Temple Baptist Church Building Fund, Hospice of San Angelo or a favorite charity. The family thanks everyone for their support during this difficult time.
Gene Edward Fly (1950 - 2003)*
Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens
Tom Green County
Created by: Carolyn Mackey-Byrum
Record added: May 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53007358