It is with great regret and sorrow that
we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Bruce Halstead, on 21 November
2020 in Frontenac, MN from ailments associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Joanne;
their son, John (USMA ’86) and his wife Melanie; their daughter, Kathryn; their
son, William and his wife Nancy; their son, Robert and his wife Sara; and
Funeral services will be at 11 am,
Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Saint Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church, 419 W
Lyon Avenue, Lake City, MN 55041.
Burial will be at Arlington National
Cemetery at a date and time to be determined.
Condolences may be sent to Joanne at 28790
Wood Avenue, Frontenac, MN 55026-1023.
In lieu of flowers, donation in Bruce’s
memory may be sent to Disabled American Veterans Department of Minnesota, State
Veterans Service Building, Floor 3, 20 West 12 Street, St. Paul, MN 55155
or the Mayo Clinic - Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester,
MN 55905 (designate the gift to Alzheimer’s Disease Research).
Well done, Bruce. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages/K-1 Bruce Halstead.pdf
Bruce Brantley Halstead
June 20, 1938 ~ November 21, 2020
Halstead, Bruce Brantley age 82 of Frontenac, passed away peacefully at home on
November 21, 2020 from ailments associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was
surrounded by his loving family. Bruce is united with his parents Elva and Jack
Halstead of Aurora Colorado. Bruce is survived by his loving wife of 57 years,
Joanne; brother Gary (Patti); children John (Melanie), Katie, Will (Nancy), Rob
(Sara); grandchildren Autumn, Patrick (Rebecca), Brandon, Jennifer, John Jr.,
Bridgette, Tay, Iliana, Luke, Colman, Kat, Kailyn, and Isabella; great grandson
Rory Patrick; and hundreds of loving nieces and nephews. A private memorial mass
is scheduled for 11am Saturday December 5, 2020 at Saint Mary’s of the Lake
Catholic Church, Lake City Minnesota. A live stream of the service will be
available on the church's website:
Bruce will be interned at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the
family requests donations to the
Disabled American Veterans or the
Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer Research .
wish to read more about Bruce's life, as it will appear in the West Point
Memorial Article, please continue below:
Bruce Brantley Halstead was born
in Denver, Colorado the son of Wilma Elva Amos from San Diego, California and
Jack Brantley Halstead from Monroe, Louisiana. Prior to attending West Point,
Bruce graduated from Aurora High School and attended one year at the Colorado
School of Mines.
At the Academy, neither the tactical nor
academic departments troubled him as it did the rest of the family who later
attended. Bruce excelled in both, striving for and achieving honors. In addition
to beating the Dean, Bruce was active in the Ordnance Club, the Debate Council
and Forum, Spanish Club, and the Ski Club.
His Howitzer entry was
prophetic, “His humor, personality, and leadership are going to carry him far in
the Army.” Bruce served in the Armor and Ordnance branches. His commands were
the 188th Ordnance Company in the Republic of Vietnam, the Kansas Army
Ammunition Plant, and the Miesau Depot in the Federal Republic of Germany. In
1986, he culminated a twenty-five years of military service as Chairman of the
Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board. Despite these impactful commands,
his most remarkable Army achievement was graduating from Ranger school without
knowing how to swim.
While assigned to his first duty station at
Fort Lewis, Washington, an attractive auburn caught his eye. Like any good
Academy graduate, Bruce focused on the primary task and gathered his tactical
team. His team was small and effective, comprising of his ranger school buddy
and classmate, Will Doherty. Joanne wouldn’t date Bruce without double dating,
so Will volunteered to accompany Jane. Bruce was accustomed to this. His mom
always insisted he take his little brother, Gary, on his high school dates.
After proving himself or from sheer exhaustion, Joanne Irene Lee accepted
Bruce’s marriage proposal. Ironically and surprisingly, Jane said yes to Will.
This began Bruce’s greater achievements. He was a family man who
cherished his loving wife, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchild.
His humor and wit carried the family through many military transitions. Few
could achieve his balance of service to country and time devotion to family. He
enjoyed his time golfing, fishing, camping, and field hunting with his children.
Bruce took active coaching and referee roles in his children’s sports, namely
baseball, football, and basketball.
When he had the good fortune
to return to the Academy as an engineering “P”, he balanced instruction with
family and the woman’s basketball team. His Colorado roots took hold again,
supporting all four of his children’s skiing addictions. He also developed a
close relationship with the woman’s basketball team manager and managed to help
Rebecca Halstead, USMA ’81, graduate. Becky would later become the Academy’s
first woman brigadier general, despite her reckless habit of leaving her uniform
shoes in the family quarters.
Upon retiring from the Army, he
promised Joanne that he would spend the remaining years wherever she decided
since she had followed him across the globe for twenty-five years. They settled
in the quaint and historical village of Old Frontenac Minnesota where bald
eagles rule the sky above the bluffs along Lake Pepin. There he continued his
service to the community, serving in many charitable organizations: Knights of
Columbus, Rotary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
In Frontenac, Bruce was instrumental in influencing nuclear waste
disposal policy. His nuclear ordnance experiences, research, and testimony
prevented a nearby nuclear power plant from transporting and storing spent
nuclear fuel rods in pristine land used for farming and recreation around
Frontenac. His advice changed how spent nuclear fuel are transported and stored.
Frontenac Minnesota became the family sanctuary. Adult children and
grandchildren spent their summers and winters there, engaged in lake activities,
golf, and skiing. Extended family and friends would often visit to share
memories around the outdoor firepit and expansive deck, enjoying each other’s
company and the peace Lake Pepin extends.
Bruce’s uncle Junie, a
WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veteran, instilled Bruce with a devotion of military
service to county. In turn, Bruce imbued service to country throughout the
family. His little brother, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Gary Halstead, USMA ’68
served over twenty years in the Infantry. His son, Colonel (Retired) John
Halstead, USMA ’86 served twenty-five years in Armor. His nephew, Colonel Scott
Halstead, USMA ’91 continues to serve in Infantry. Of his thirteen
grandchildren, three currently serve the country. Captain Patrick Hart, USMA
’14, is an Armor company commander at Fort Lewis. Captain Autumn Halstead serves
in an Army Reserve Military Police Battalion. Ensign John Halstead, Jr. is a
reserve Navy Logistics Officer and is the family’s black sheep (Beat Navy). Both
Patrick and Autumn returned from deployments supporting the Global War on
Bruce passed away peacefully at home on November 21,
2020 from ailments associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was surrounded by his
loving family. Bruce is united with his parents Elva and Jack Halstead. Bruce is
survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Joanne; brother Gary (Patti); children
John (Melanie), Katie, Will (Nancy), Rob (Sara); grandchildren Patrick
(Rebecca), Autumn, Brandon, Jennifer, John Jr., Bridgette, Tay, Iliana, Luke,
Colman, Kat, Kailyn, and Isabella; great grandson Rory Patrick; and hundreds of
loving nieces and nephews.
His family and many classmates viewed
Bruce larger than life. He was a legend, the premier living example. The
abundance of his heart gave without hesitation. His life was marked by countless
acts of selfless service and giving. One always felt comfortable and protected
in his presence. And that sense of humor, quick Irish wit, and loving smirk kept
all cheery. “Be thou at peace.” Well done, Bruce.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bruce Brantley
Halstead, please visit our