Bruce Gordon Byerly passed away peacefully the night of Monday, May 13, 2013, in La Jolla, Calif., with his family by his side.
Bruce was born in Owosso, Mich., on Oct. 4, 1956. His schooling was in California at La Jolla Country Day and La Jolla High School, where he excelled in track and field. He graduated from La Jolla High in 1975. Bruce attended Fort Lewis College in Colorado and NAU, in Flagstaff, Ariz.
After college, Bruce began a sailing voyage on the Wichcraft, a 38-foot sailboat with one other crew member and their captain. They reached Raratonga in the mid-Pacific when the captain became very ill and the other crewman “jumped ship.” Bruce navigated the ship alone to Penrhyn Island and eventually to Kauai, Hawaii, where he quickly made a living singing and cooking until his family came to visit. He and his brother Tom continued the cooking and singing until they sailed the boat back to California. After that adventure in seamanship, he offed to Europe to model in Milan, Italy; St. Moritz, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain; and Hamburg, Germany.
After his modeling in Europe, he moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where he started a successful marble, tile and stone business. Upon selling his business, he realized his dream and bought a 48-foot McKinna. He brought the boat from Seattle to San Diego and eventually to La Paz, Mexico, where he enjoyed the great life on the sea he loved. This included visits from his legion of friends whom he adored. Bruce was a joy to know and a pied piper who gathered a jolly crowd wherever he went. He carried his harmonica with him, easily picking up a song with any band.
Bruce is survived by his father and mother; his siblings Jim, Tom and Amy; his nephews Evan, Jake, Stewart and Nickolas; his niece Bridget; and his stepsons Matthew and James Hansen.
My Candle burns at both ends.
It will not last the night.
But ah my foes.
And oh my friends.
It gives a lovely light. —Edna St. Vincent Millay
Donations can be sent in Bruce’s honor to Silverado Hospice, 3750 Convoy St., Suite 200, San Diego, Calif. 92111.