Bruce W. Ellard, age 85, of Joplin, passed away on Friday May 11, 2018, at Mercy Hospital, following an illness.
Bruce William Ellard was born on May 20, 1932 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Lewis and Gloria Ellard. He graduated from Flathead County High School in Kalispell, Montana in 1950. Bruce received his Associate degree from Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut, California. He then joined the United States Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Captain. He served as a fighter pilot during the years 1953-1957 and flew prop and jet aircraft and became carrier qualified. He had the opportunity to go through the sound barrier in 1955 diving straight down to break the barrier.
After leaving the Marine Corps, he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona, California. He worked as a Contract Administrator for North American Aviation and McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in Southern California. After moving to Joplin, Missouri in 1970, he worked as a Regional Consultant for the Missouri Heart Association in Southwest Missouri. He then worked for Eagle Picher Precision Products and then as a Quality Control Manager for the Couples Division. After leaving Eagle Picher, he worked as a Contract Administrator for Teledyne Neosho and Day & Zimmerman at the Parsons Munition Plant. After retirement he worked part time at the Joplin Police Department in Technical services.
Bruce married Judith Ann Hunter on December 20, 1955. They had two daughters, Cynthia Ann Goff and Linda Louise Brown. Bruce was a Deacon at Calvary Baptist Church and Fellowship Baptist Church of Joplin, Missouri. He was a Sunday School teacher for more than 40 years.
He is survived by two brothers, Garth Ellard and Tony Ellard, along with their families. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Zachary Hunter Goff, Reid William Brown and Becca Grace Brown and a great granddaughter Cali Ann Goff.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Bruce’s good friend and physician, Dr. Tom Moore.
A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at Fellowship Baptist Church. Reverend Rex Wakefield will officiate. The visitation will be 6-7 p.m. Monday at Mason-Woodard Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship Baptist Church or Calvary Baptist Church of Joplin, Missouri.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory