My friend Bruce Martin died last week. His funeral is in Apache, OK on Monday, May 21, 2012. He wasn’t a close friend but I was fond of him. He was your quintessential redneck farmer who played Starfleet Battles. I knew him from my gaming days back in the mid-80’s to early 90’s. And occasionally hung out with him when I lived in Stillwater going to school. I hadn’t seen him in person in over ten years, but did exchange the occasional email with him up until Christmas. He briefly had a Facebook account and decided it was a waste of time. He’d worked at Oklahoma State for a long time but after his parents died he went back to Apache and take up farming full time again.

Early this year his former girlfriend Jackie Molloy and renter died. She’d had an aversion to doctors. Left work not feeling well. Next day they found her on the couch. I don’t know the cause of death, but I suspect it was untreated high blood pressure. My friend Sean who’d Bruce had been a second father too, went back to Stillwater to help clean up the house. It was a mess and in bad repair. Sean would relay to me how depressed Bruce had been even before Jackie’s death. On top of this Bruce’s friend Darwin Todd was dying of cancer. Sean also forwarded Bruce’s emails from Darwin’s wife on his condition.

I knew Darwin, but not that well. He died last week. I knew he didn’t have much time left, so it wasn’t a shock when I’d heard he passed. At least his suffering was over. Then I got a call from Sean that Bruce had died too. His friends had dropped him off the day Darwin died. They found him in the clothes they left him in and on the same couch Jackie died on. I suspect suicide but haven’t gotten the details. He’d been in poor health, a heavy smoker and very depressed, so I suppose it’s possible he died of a broken heart. Darwin was one of his closest friends.

Here is the last email forwarded to me from Sean:

From: Bruce Martin
Sent: Sat, May 5, 2012 15:59:26 GMT+00:00
Subject: Fwd: Dar

Hi Guys,

The latest unhappiness.

Unless Bobbi can achieve even a meager attempt out of the surgeon, then this is it.

Perhaps John Mantooth and I can find a final rabbit in the world in the form of some type of research doctor who is willing to tangle with Darwin’s vertebra as a type of experimental/charity case.

In the meantime, I’m going to dust off the saddle, strap it on real tight, and get ready to ride the bomb down.


R.I.P. Bruce.

Update. Another friend of Bruce posted a picture of him on their Facebook page. It was taken at a wedding within the last few years.

Bruce Martin