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Bruce B. Halstead

Company K-1

20 Jun 1938 - 21 Nov 2020

Place of Death: Frontenac, MN

Interment: Arlington National Cemetery

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 thirteen grandchildren.

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.

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages/K-1 Bruce Halstead.pdf

Obituaries:

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: https://stmarysandstpatricksmn.org/

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.

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

BRUCE B. HALSTEAD  1961

Cullum No. 23348-1961 November 21, 2020
Died in Frontenac, MN
Cremated. Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, VA

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 Terrorism.

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.

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

 floral store.