Landscapes 07

W. Bruce Allen

July 9, 1943 ~ May 17, 2022 (age 78)


CORVALLIS - William Bruce Allen, 78, died peacefully in his sleep after a short illness on May 17, 2022, at his home in Corvallis, Montana. He was born on July 9, 1943, to William Burgess and Joyce Eileen (Melander) Allen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and also lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio before the family moved permanently to Dallas, Texas in 1954.

Bruce enjoyed playing baseball and also became a ham radio operator when he was 16. He graduated from Bryan Adams H.S. in 1962 and took a year off to work in Aspen, Colorado before going to Texas Tech University, majoring in electrical engineering though later switching to geology. He paid his way through college so had to take time off to work and his various jobs took him to Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, among other places.

Bruce graduated with a degree in geology/geophysics in 1970 and went to work for Cities Service Oil Company in Thousand Oaks, California as a geophysicist in oil and gas exploration. He bought a 30' cabin cruiser which he lived on and enjoyed taking friends out on to the Channel Islands for fishing and scuba diving. He loved this lifestyle and his job, but unfortunately that office was closed, and he was transferred to Tulsa, Oklahoma and then to Houston, Texas. He took his boat with him and bought a home on a canal in Rockport near Corpus Christi so he could dock it there and have access to the Gulf. He didn't like living in Houston, so opened a consulting business in Corpus Christi and then lived full time in his new home in Rockport. He enjoyed this life until he didn't, when the heat and humidity on the Texas coast became too much for him.

During these years Bruce made frequent trips to Montana to visit his sister Barb and her family and although he loved the boating lifestyle, his heart was really in the mountains, and he had always had a dream of someday building a cabin there. He bought 40 acres in the Sapphire mountains on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley in 1982 and in 1984 he pulled a travel trailer up to his property to live in while he started working on his cabin. He tried to make a living by doing computer programming and consulting, but eventually he had to go back to Texas to work as a geophysicist for several years in the late 90s before he was able to retire and move permanently to his property.

It is absolutely amazing to see the massive 2 story A-frame cabin Bruce built almost entirely by himself and a lot of it without power tools. With no power or water on the property, he was eventually able to rig up systems to supply the cabin with hot and cold running water (he collected rainwater off the roof which was stored in tanks, then pumped into the cabin), power to run the lights, water heater, washer/dryer, internet, etc. (generators and batteries), and heat (from wood burning stoves and propane gas heaters). With help through the years from his brother Tom and friends Tony and Keith Sisson, he was able to complete the cabin enough to move in full time in 2012.

Bruce called his place "The Hermitage" and was proud to consider himself a hermit. He never married or had children, but enjoyed watching his nieces and nephews grow up, and spending time with family and friends including neighbors Paul and Kathy. Tony and Keith welcomed Bruce into their families which meant so much to him. When Bruce became unable to do some of the chores that needed to be done, they stepped in and started helping him, which allowed him to remain on his property during the last 5 years of his life. And for this and the companionship that they have provided for him, Bruce's family is forever grateful. Tony and Keith plan eventually to live on the property and Bruce's legacy will live on.

Bruce was so many things: he was intelligent, creative, kind, generous, and industrious, but also very opinionated and incredibly stubborn. Once his mind was made up, there was NO changing it! He was a hermit who loved people - just didn't want them around all the time. He was loved and will be missed so much. He did not want a service and his ashes will be scattered on his property. All his siblings will be at a family reunion in June and will celebrate his life then.

Bruce is survived by his siblings: Barb Schumaker, Hamilton MT, Debby Keel (John}, Gilmer TX, Marjie Burnett (Kevin), Brownsboro TX, Rocky Freund (Tom), Corpus Christi TX, Tom Allen (Deborah), San Diego CA, nieces and nephews Amy, Brad, Brett, Kim, Catherine, Megan, Lindsay, Jesse, and Hunter, and their children. Condolences may be left for the family at

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