HomeAlumni NewsMarch 8, 2013

March 8, 2013

Bruce Laverty (DS ’43) passed away at home in Pasadena CA on February 2nd, 2013. He was 86. Bruce was born December 7, 1926, in Alameda, California, the second child born to Laurence and Winifred Laverty. From a very young age and living not far from the shores of San Francisco Bay, Bruce developed a love of water and the nautical world that stayed with him throughout his life. Following the early passing of both of his parents and stints living in Oakland, California and on a ranch in Wyoming, he spent the remainder of his childhood raised by his uncle, Arthur A. ‘Cy’ Ross, a friend of the Nunn Brothers, in Burlingame, California. Here, he enjoyed outings on his tiny boat, The Sinkwell, traveling the state of California with his brother Gordon and Uncle Cy on the latter’s business trips, and attending Burlingame High School.

At the age of 17 he enrolled as a student at Deep Springs College, and would remain active as part of the school’s community throughout his lifetime. By the time he reached Deep Springs, Bruce already had significant labor experience under his belt, having worked on cattle ranch in Wyoming, a farm in Idaho, and a tungsten ore mine in California. He devoted much of his time at Deep Springs to an intensive curriculum designed to prepare him for further study in engineering. Despite his practical focus, he spoke of his courses with E.M. Johnson, a professor of etymology and literature, as one of the highlights of his experience in the Valley, and he attributed to Johnson’s teaching a lifelong love of reading.

Bruce left Deep Springs in 1944 to enter a Naval ROTC training program at the University of Washington. After completing his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering there and with the help of his old professor E.M. Johnson, Bruce moved to Cornell University, where he obtained his Master’s in Civil Engineering and subsequently taught in that department. From 1949 to 1989 he worked with Southern California Edison Co. as a field construction engineer and manager of hydroelectric projects in the Sierra, as well as fossil fuel and nuclear power stations around the southwest. He served on the Business Round Table and participated in corporate efforts to support the charitable work of the United Way of Los Angeles.

Bruce enjoyed numerous lifelong friendships with other accomplished people including highly respected Los Angeles attorney Earl Woolverton. He loved traveling to Europe and enjoyed a number of memorable ski vacations in the Alps. He also made annual pilgrimages to the family farm in Idaho, keeping in close contact with his Uncle Cy until Cy passed away. Bruce was an avid reader and enjoyed walking, art, and staying informed on world news.

Bruce was deeply involved in the Deep Springs community throughout his life. In addition to his steadfast support as a member of the alumni community, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1983-1991, during which time he was a key participant in the construction Deep Springs’ own hydroelectric plant. Deep Springs will deeply miss his presence.

Bruce is survived by his brothers Gordon Laverty and Ross M. Laverty, their wives Marjorie Laverty and Doree Laverty respectively, nephews Larry, Ross, and Robert Laverty, nieces Annette Laverty and Helen Laverty McPeak, and dedicated friends Lori and Ernie Lateer.

Bruce will be laid to rest next to his Uncle Cy in Kuna, Idaho.