Thomas E. Bruyere
Captain Thomas E. Bruyere USN, (Ret), 75, died peacefully on January 4, 2009, in San Diego, CA, from complications associated with Parkinson's disease which he endured for 15 years.
Tom was born to Bolton and Annette Bruyere on January 15, 1933, in Waco, TX. He grew up in east Texas, graduated from Longview High School in 1951, and attended Kilgore College until his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1956.
Captain Bruyere had a distinguished 28-year career as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot where he flew 4200 hours in jet aircraft, 371 combat missions in Southeast Asia, and over 800 carrier arrested landings. Tom's career highlights included command of Fighter Squadron 142 "Ghostriders," navigator of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, and command of Navy Recruiting District, New York.
After retirement from the Navy, he began TNT Hydrolines Inc., building and operating high-speed catamarans to carry commuters from New Jersey to the Wall Street Pier.
His major philanthropic activities included the establishment of Fleet Week in New York City; directing the San Francisco Air Show featuring the Navy's Blue Angels; serving as President of the Navy League Council in New York City, and active in the Navy League Councils of San Francisco and Baltimore.
Tom's hobbies, besides flying fast, were people and laughter. He had the great gifts of charm and clever humor. People were drawn to him not only because of his great character but his special ability to put everyone at ease.
Tom is survived by Kathy Bruyere, his wife, and selfless caregiver for the last 20 years; three sons from his marriage to Joan Bruyere; Brett Bruyere and wife Mandi of Boise, ID, Major Trent Bruyere, U.S. Army and wife Valeria of Coral Gables, FL, and T.J. Bruyere and wife Blanca of Coronado, CA; sister, Marilyn Brunkhorst and husband Robert of Dallas, TX; brothers, Bolton Bruyere of Snyder, TX, Robert Bruyere and wife Blanche of Longview, TX, Milton Bruyere and wife Kristin of Shreveport, LA, and Helen Bruyere his sister-in-law and wife of brother David Bruyere who recently preceded him in death of Longview, TX; ten grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends.
His body will be cremated and buried at a National veteran's cemetery to be announced at a later date.
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