Baker City, Baker County, Oregon
Bruce Kirkpatrick, 84, a lifelong Baker City resident, died March 5, 2006, at his home.
His memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St. Pastor Susan Barnes will officiate.
Bruce was born at Baker City on Feb. 19, 1922, to Elizabeth and Chauncey Kirkpatrick and lived in Baker City all of his life. He was a 1940 Baker High School graduate.
His father had been the Chevrolet dealer in Baker City from 1926 until his death in 1940. Bruce worked in his dad’s Chevrolet dealership after school, weekends and summers.
In 1942, Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy V-12 Officers Training program to enter World War II. Bruce went to the University of Oregon at Eugene, University of California at Los Angeles and was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Navy at Columbia University in New York City in 1944.
In 1944 Bruce was assigned as the gunnery officer lieutenant junior grade on the Ship USS Ottawa (AKA 101). He was on the ship for 2 years and traveled more than 100,000 miles at sea during World War II in the Pacific Theater of War.
He was in the first convoy to go into Nagasaki, (where the atomic bomb was dropped) when the United States started to occupy the area). He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946.
After his discharge, Bruce returned to the University of Oregon where he finished his college education and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Bruce then returned to Baker in 1946 and went into his own used- car business at Second and Broadway streets called Bruce Kirkpatrick Used Car Center.
In 1949, Bruce married Anne Lumsden who was a registered dietitian from La Grande. Anne and Bruce had four children: Kathleen, Susan and twin boys, Bill and John.
Also in 1949, Bruce purchased the old-time Baker Studebaker Dealership from Miller & Miller at Fourth and Broadway streets. In 1958 Bruce built a new building next to the bowling alley in Baker for his Studebaker dealership.
He remained in the Studebaker automobile business until 1967 when Studebaker nationally went out of business. During the time Bruce was a Studebaker dealer he was selected to and served on the National Studebaker Dealers Council.
In 1950, Bruce became a director on the board of then Pioneer Federal Savings & Loan Association (now FirstBank). Bruce served more than 50 years as a director for the Pioneer Bank.
In 1968 Bruce became sales manager for Charles Haight Chevrolet in Baker City. He worked in this position until 1973 when he and Ken Dugan purchased the business from Charles Haight and named it B & K Chevrolet.
It remained B & K Chevrolet until Bruce bought out his partner Ken Dugan in 1979 and at that time he renamed it Kirkpatrick Chevrolet Co. His son, John, then joined him in the business. In 1986 Bruce and John sold the business to Bill Ellison and it became Ellison Motors. Bruce retired in 1986.
Bruce also built and owned Valley Ho Marina in 1959 at Richland on the backwaters of Brownlee Dam on the Snake River. Bruce owned and operated this marina until 1968 at which time he chose to closed it. He also promoted the building of the marina at Farewell Bend near Huntington and operated it for the state for several years.
Bruce also was asked to become the first economic director of Baker City which he volunteered his time and efforts to help Baker City. Bruce also served on the Baker Industrial Development Commission for six years.
Bruce was president of Kiwanis, president of Baker County New Car Dealers Association, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Eagles, the Elks, the Delta Upsilon College Fraternity and was a Life Boy Scout.
Survivors include his wife, Anne, of 56 years and his brother, Bill Kirkpatrick, of Baker City, Oregon; four children and seven grandchildren: Kathy Kirkpatrick, (registered nurse), and her daughter, Ruth, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Susan Lewis (registered dietitian) and her husband, Brent Lewis (certified public accountant) and their daughter, Nicole, of La Grande, John Kirkpatrick (owner of World Wide Abrasives) and his wife, Jeannie (project manager for Regence Blue Shield of Idaho), and their children Cara and Kevin of Clarkston, Wash., daughter in-law, Dana Kirkpatrick Kutsch, and her husband, Kim, and her children, Elizabeth, Ryan, and Adam of Jefferson.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Bill Kirkpatrick
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 10, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor