Major Bruce Reis-El Bara, USAF, Ret., died peacefully Monday, April 1, at Holmes Regional Medical Center.
Bruce, the son of Brig. General Henry J. Reis-El Bara, USAF, Ret., and Helen Reis-El Bara, was born June 5, 1928, in New Haven, Conn.
He began his long military career in 1945, as a member of the Marine Corps military police, transitioning to the United States Air Force where he graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1953, and later earned his navigator wings. From 1956-1959 he was operations officer and squadron commander of the 1607th Air Police Squadron at Dover AFB, Del., then served as security officer and flight navigator with the 7459th Support Squadron, headquarters, USAF, Wiesbaden, Germany. He received the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in 285 aerial flights of international significance.
In 1962, Bruce became commander of the 6551st Air Police Squadron, Patrick AFB, during which time he became a charter member of the Brevard County Assoc. of Chiefs of Police. He left Patrick for an assignment at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, then became Air Force security liaison to the U.S. Marine Corps, Da Nang, Vietnam. He returned to Patrick where he retired January 1, 1968.
In civilian life, Bruce became director of security for USBI at its facilities in California at Vandenberg, AFB, returning to Brevard County where he began a career as a Realtor and commercial property appraiser. He remained active with many police organizations and the Military Officers Association Cape Canaveral Chapter.
He was predeceased by his parents, and first wife, Brenda. He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lee Reis-El Bara of Melbourne; sons, Bruce James Reis-El Bara of Orlando and Brian Reis-El Bara of Hilo, Hawaii; daughter, Beth Romans of Ocoee; brother, Henry P. Reis-El Bara of Melbourne; sister, Margot Erickson Stiff of Palm Bay; three grandsons, one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 4, at the South Patrick Chapel, 854 Harrier Ave., Satellite Beach.
Donations in lieu of flowers, may be made to the MOACC Scholarship Fund or Special Olympics of Florida.
God speed, Bruce: husband, father, grandfather, brother. Once again, you have the wind beneath your wings.