Dolores Fay Bruce
Published: January 13, 2013
DOLORES FAY BRUCE, 83, of Little Rock died Jan. 11, 2013. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18, in the Lucy Lockett Festival Theatre at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, Little Rock.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Everett F. and Sally F. Montgomery of Port Arthur, Texas, and she is survived by her husband Dr. Thomas A. Bruce; by two children, Thomas Karr Montgomery Bruce of Niles, Mich., and Dana Fee Thomas of Little Rock; by four grandchildren, Bruce Allen Thomas, Annah Wendy Thomas, Christopher Andrew Thomas, and Amy Irene Bruce; and by her sister, Anita Higginbotham of Columbus, Ohio. She was born in Merryville, La., but grew up in Port Arthur, Texas where she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School. She attended Lamar Junior College, North Texas State University, and was certified in medical technology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. For two years she worked in the clinical laboratories there before moving to employment in the University of Oklahoma Hospital and later to the Texas Children's Hospital clinical lab in Houston. In 1955 she moved to Dallas to work at Parkland Memorial Hospital and was serving as research technologist in the Department of Obstetrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, when she met her future husband who was a cardiopulmonary fellow there. After marriage in 1960 the couple moved for a year to London, England, where she served as a research technician at the Central Middlesex Hospital while Dr. Bruce trained as a cardiac research fellow at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. On return to America they lived for seven years in Detroit where her husband was on the faculty of Wayne State University. Their two children were born there, and Mrs. Bruce worked in the Detroit Blood Bank. In 1968 the family moved to Oklahoma City where Dr. Bruce became the Head of Cardiology at the University of Oklahoma and Mrs. Bruce because a licensed real estate agent. In 1974 she moved to Little Rock when Dr. Bruce became the dean of the University of Arkansas Medical School. Mrs. Bruce became deeply involved in the Faculty Wives Cub, the Winfield Methodist Chancel Choir, and the Arkansas Opera Theatre. She immersed herself in support for the public schools and was president of the Hall High School PTA. When in 1985 Dr. Bruce was appointed the Program Director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in recognition of his national leadership in rural health, the family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. During their 10 years there, Mrs. Bruce served on the Community Hospital Auxiliary and on the Battle Creek Symphony Board where she was president of the Symphony Guild. After returning to Little Rock in 2005, Ms. Bruce served for three years on the Little Rock Arts and Culture Commission and has been continuously on the Board of Directors of Wildwood Parks for the Arts where the ‘Dodi Tea House' is named in her honor. She is a member of the St. James United Methodist Church. Over the past few years she has received a number of honors and awards: the Special Appreciation Award and the Janet Pearcy Ambassador Award from Wildwood Park, the Double Helix Award from UAMS, the Spirit of Central High Award from Little Rock Central High School Museum, the Giving Tree Society award of the Arkansas Community Foundation, Care Link's David Pryor Award for Community Service, and the President's Award as Philanthropist of the Year by the Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Professional Fundraisers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Dolores Bruce Memorial Fund at the Arkansas Community Foundation, 1400 W. Markham St., Little Rock 72201. Arrangements made by Roller Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, Ark. 72211. (501) 224-8300 Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal.