Bruce Monkman, 96, of Reseda, CA, passed away at home on Monday morning, 12/18/2017. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Chatsworth. A celebration of his life will be held on March 3, 2018.
Bruce was born in Winnett, Montana, to Thomas and Henrietta Monkman in March of 1921. He graduated from Chaffey High School in Ontario, CA. He worked for the California Conservation Corps in Sequoia and Kings Canyon before joining the army in World War II where he served in the 9th Field Artillery Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division. His four-year WWII service took him to Europe and North Africa.
On Thursday January 30th 2014, the Consul General of France in Los Angeles bestowed the Legion of Honor of the rank "Chevalier" (Knight) on Bruce Monkman. His significant decorations include the EAME Campaign Medal with 10 battle stars, the Presidential Unit Citation, the French fourragère of the Croix de Guerre, and various other campaign medals.
After the war he worked for Pacific Electric Railway (the “red cars” in Los Angeles), where he met his spouse of 70 years, Nancy. Union Pacific was his next and long-lived employer, where, as district director of real estate for the western US region he oversaw land management and rights-of-way for the railroad.
He was an avid gardener whose green thumb brought forth many a beautiful plant and blossom. Bruce and Nancy were members of the San Fernando Valley Gem and Mineral Society for many years, and for whom he served as President. Bruce was also an active member of several World War II reunion groups. He enjoyed travel, from fishing in the Sierras (in his younger years), camping at many of the state and national parks in the western US with his family, trips to Washington DC, Mexico and Canada, and post-retirement trips to Egypt, Spain and Morocco.
Bruce is survived by his spouse, Nancy, daughters (and their partners) Karen (Jim), and Sally (Richard), grandchildren Gaelin (Chen), Leyna (Rory), Jennifer (Jasan), Kevin (Kim), and four great-grandchildren Atlas, Venice, Sophia, and Alex. At 96 years old, Bruce was as sharp as ever, and a role model for many who knew him.
Memorial donations may be made in his honor to:
Honor Flights - https://www.honorflight.org/donate-now/– provides flights for WWII veterans to Washington DC to see the WWII memorial (and soon, they will send veterans who came after WWII). Bruce was interested in this organization but was not able to take a flight with them. He supported the building of the WWII memorial in DC.
People for the American Way Foundation - https://act.pfaw.org/donate/tax-deductible-gifts/– does research on the Radical Right and educate the public and the press about the right-wing agenda. Bruce fought for democracy in WWII and was concerned at how it is being undermined currently.
The Arboretum - http://www.arboretum.org/support/donate/ – is LA County’s botanical garden and historical site. Bruce loved visiting the Arboretum, got landscaping ideas there, and took home many plants that found a home in his yard.