Bruce B. Knutson
Bruce B. Knutson died January 22 in Tucson. Cause of death was pneumonia. Born February 23, 1920 in Douglas, Arizona, his father was a Swedish immigrant mining engineer and his mother was an immigrant from Sonora, Mexico.
An all-state football player at Douglas High School, he also played football at the University of Arizona. He was a student at the U of A when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred. Bruce was quickly commissioned through ROTC as a Second Lieutenant in US Army Calvary, but later trained as an Army Air Corps bombardier/navigator and began a 30-year career of service in the US Army Air Corps and US Air Force. Bruce flew 30 missions in B-24’s over Germany during World War II, several missions during the Korean War, and 27 missions in Vietnam. He rose to the rank of Colonel and was base commander at three bases (Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan; Ubon RTAFB, Thailand; and Bolling AFB, Washington D.C.). After retiring from the Air Force in 1971, he became the Director of the Chandler Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce. He then served as the Director of the Chandler Public Works Department and finally was appointed Chandler City Manager, a position held for 4 years.
Bruce was predeceased by his wife of 69 years Clara Jeanette (CJ) who was well known in the Arizona woman golf circles. Two daughters (Sharon A. Ferguson of Dallas, TX and Nancy R. Knutson of Fort Lauderdale, FL), two sons (Gen. Bruce B. Knutson, Jr. Ret. and Knute C. Knutson, both of Tucson), 9 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren survive him.
A man of unending good spirits and bottomless generosity to all, he was an avid hunter and angler who taught the joy of the Arizona outdoors to all generations. His habit of leading the whole family in celebration at outdoor get-togethers in cheers of “Hip, Hip, Hooray!” is now a family tradition that will live on in the Knutson family forever.