Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bruce Garlich - 8/25/36 - 3/22/11

PASSING OF A GREAT MANAt the end of a week filled with sadness in Costa Mesa, today I must add to it by reporting that my friend, Bruce Garlich, passed away this evening after a brief stay in hospice care.

As many readers here will know, Bruce was a pillar of our community. At the time of his passing he was the President of the Costa Mesa Senior Corporation Board of Directors. He has also been involved in many other community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, Lions Club and was a volunteer reader in Costa Mesa elementary schools.

Bruce was a member of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission for six years, including a tour as Chairman. During that time he used his finely-honed executive skills to keep the commission focused and productive. He ran for Costa Mesa City Council twice unsuccessfully, but never flinched at those defeats and continued to serve the city that had been his home for more than three decades and was a mentor to many.

He retired as an executive
after a long and illustrious career with McDonnell Douglas Corporation He managed billions of dollars in cutting edge projects.

He was a proud Missouri native and a graduate from the University of Missouri in 1959. Those of us who called him a friend could see that ster
eotypical Missouri stubbornness peek out from time to time.

In recent years Bruce had been slowed by his battle with cancer. During that time he tended to his wife, Marietta, as she also wrestled with a particularly nasty form of that disease. She passed away almost exactly two years ago, on March 17, 2009. (HERE) Bruce "managed" his illness with the skill and tenacity borne of a lifetime of "managing" things. Even in his final weeks he was firm and decisive about how his days would be managed.


Bruce is survived by his son, Gregory G
arlich, his former wife, Barbara, both of Huntington Beach; his brother Roger Garlich of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; nieces Carla Lett of Vallejo, CA and Dawn Lett of Los Angeles and nephews Kevin White and Gary Bowles, both of Los Angeles.

I will miss my friend, Bruce Garlich. I'll miss his frank and caring friendship, his wise counsel, his clear vision and his terrific sense of humor. He was a true Gentleman of Costa Mesa.


Services are pending for my friend and I'll post another entry when they are established.



Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

Geoff...Bruce was such a wonderful man, a smart and instinctive leader and also a humanitarian. I could never bring myself to visit him during his illness. Wanted to remember him as the pillar you so eloquently memorialize in your post. Thanks for the great picture of Bruce and me at the Fish Fry...I remember that day with fondness.

3/22/2011 09:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike Scheafer said...

A truly sad day in this world. I know Bruce is now with his beloved Marietta. I will miss my good friend. RIP buddy.

3/22/2011 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Bruce's passing is a real loss to Costa Mesa, and Tom and I have lost a good friend.

Bruce was the epitome of the "reasonable man." When I served with him on the Planning Commission he approached problems with a calm assurance -- but he was fierce in defending what he cared about.

He seemed to be doing well when we last saw him at Hoag Hospital, and then he went downhill quite rapidly, too tired for us to visit.

Goodbye, Bruce, rest in peace.

3/22/2011 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very sad. Love that you included Mizzou. I'm sure he'd have approved.

3/22/2011 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Amy, Oh, yeah... he loved "your" Tigers.... :-) We talked about it all the time. We speculated about them getting into the hoops playoffs when I last spoke with him. I don't think he knew they were bounced early. I'll miss my friend.

3/22/2011 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous jim fisler said...

When I was first on the planning commission Bruce was very helpful to me in getting up to speed. Just a couple days ago I thought about him not posting on facebook recently and wondered how he was doing. This is a great loss to the city family, a great man. I will never forget him. This also makes me remember Donn Hall who I was honored to serve with, another great loss for the city a couple years ago. Rest in peace Bruce.

3/22/2011 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

I'm so sorry to hear of Bruce's passing. He was a force for good in the community; a selfless contributor of his time and energy to numerous good causes; and a wonderful man. Thank you, Bruce, for being a part of our community and our lives.

This news, and the news of last Thursday, should serve as reminders for all of us to to remain in touch with those we love and to let them know how much we truly appreciate them.

3/22/2011 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Sissy Casper said...

Geoff- I loved Bruce. He was a kind man. He and I walked the annual Costa Mesa 5K Pancake walk. I thought I was fast and all of a sudden.. Bruce whizzed by me with nary a thought. I am at least 40 years younger.. and I was slower.. Ha-Ha. Bruce laughed and waved and never looked back. He will be missed as a great leader. I worked with him on many projects and his attitude will never be replicated. God Bless you Bruce. RIP!

3/23/2011 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Brumbaugh said...

Bruce was a good man and a friend. He was always willing to help in any way he could. This is truely sad news. May the good Lord bless him and your family.

3/23/2011 06:07:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

Return to Reason... too bad that didn't work. We could use a few Bruces now.

3/23/2011 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous john hawley said...

A true gentleman to all that had the honor to know him.

3/23/2011 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave Snowden said...

Bruce was a true gentleman and a man of distinction in our community. I often wonder what direction the City would have taken had Bruce been elected to City Council. I choose to believe that he would have provided leadership and wisdom to any decisions made. I can remember the negative comments said about him during his most recent campaign. He took them in stride and did not believe in retaliation. He ran his campaign with the dignity one came to expect from him.
What a loss. I will miss him.

3/23/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck Cassity said...

Geoff, I got to know Bruce well through the Lions Club. He was unfailingly polite, kind, generous and helpful, and always had a contagiously uplifting attitude. It seems we're losing far too many of the folks who made this town so great. I will miss him as well...

3/23/2011 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Allan Roeder said...

Bruce was one in a million - no, make that one in five million. He truly made all of us who had the wonderful opportunity to associate with him better people for having had that experience. Thoughtful, engaging, caring, self-effacing, one who could see both the "big picture" as well as understand the "detail" - Bruce embodied all of these qualities and many, many more. His contributions to Costa Mesa are as much about how he lived his life as what he accomplished.

3/23/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Valerie Starn said...

Nothing in the Daily Pilot, so glad I checked BC and FB otherwise I wouldn't have known. Something Costa Mesa can agree on, our city has lost a great man.

3/23/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodbye Bruce, you whom we loved so much, you left for a better world. We cry and shall miss you for a long time and your souvenirs will be in our hearts.

3/23/2011 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Kathy Du Vernet said...

I am so sorry to hear of Bruce's passing. I met Bruce when we were both part of the Leadership Tomorrow class of 2006. During that 9 months together, I was always impressed with Bruce's kindness and his quiet leadership. He was the real deal and will be sorely missed by our community.

3/23/2011 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Tony D. said...

Bruce Garlich was a true gentleman and he cared dearly about Costa Mesa. I am proud that I knew him and the last time I saw him, he was getting ready to tee it up at Costa Mesa Country Club, playing the gentlemen's game that I know he loved. When he was well, Bruce could always be found donating his time by working as a volunteer for the Toshiba Classic, which benefits Hoag. I wish his family peace through this trying time. Newport- Mesa lost a good man. Great job on this blog post Geoff and sorry to hear of your lost friendship.

Tony D.

3/23/2011 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Humberto said...

I met Bruce during his campaign for a council seat. He was an incredible and honorable man. Que En Paz Descanse (QEPD)

3/23/2011 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bruce's passion for giving back to the community will be truly missed among all of us at Costa Mesa United. As a board member and community activist, Bruce was a man of honor and it was my honor to have served with him.

3/23/2011 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Wendy Leece said...

I really got to know Bruce in the last few years as president of the Costa Mesa Senior Center. I appreciate all that he gave to make our city great. He will be missed and we will have to think about ways we can honor him in to remind us of the things he accomplished.

3/23/2011 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Huffman said...

I serve on Costa Mesa United with Bruce and can honestly say - he will be missed. His humor, advice, wisdom, and smile were welcome additions to our committee meetings. I always admired his honesty and servants heart. He is truley an ambassador of Costa Mesa - it will serve as a challenge to us all to step up to fill the void he has left in our city and our lives.
Rest in peace my friend.

3/23/2011 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Robert C. Hawkins said...

Geoff, Thanks for this. Bruce was as you say the reasonable man. I met Bruce at Leadership Tomorrow and continued through my appearances and representation before the Planning Commission. Always reasonable but firm. Bruce also brought calm to all decisions and groups. Too bad: the City needs him now more than ever.

3/24/2011 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks to you Geoff for you support and tireless friendship to the Garlich family. Thanks to all of you who have written such kind words on behalf of your friend Bruce.
He is my uncle and he will be missed. Not only will the family miss him but certainly by the comments posted here so to will the City of Costa Mesa. Not only Costa Mesa but the world at large has lost a GIANT!
If we carry anything away from this loss which we all will, it should be to continue as he did, DOING GOOD TO ALL. Much love to you all.
Gary A. Bowles

4/01/2011 08:26:00 AM  

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