Bruce Frederick Ingoldt, loving husband and father, unexpectedly went to be with the Lord on Friday, December 29, 2017, due to septic shock contracted from influenza.
Bruce was born on May 11, 1953, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the third of five children to Robert and Lois Ingoldt. Shortly thereafter, his father’s work moved the family to Wisconsin. As a young boy, he was active in the Boy Scouts, and one of his favorite memories was a canoeing trip to Canada with his father and brother. Eventually the family moved to Milwaukee, where he attended Nicollet High School for his freshman year. Years later he found out that Oprah Winfrey was in his freshman class.
His father‘s untimely passing in 1968 led the family to San Diego’s warmer climate. His mother bought a house in Clairemont, and Bruce began attending James Madison High School. An excellent athlete, he lettered in diving, track and field and gymnastics, for which he received a CIF gold medal in vaulting. He also sang in the school choir, and that was where his love of music began. It was in that chorus that he met his future wife, Ida, in the second half of their senior year. She caught that amazing smile of his and fell for him right then and there.
After graduation, they both decided to attend San Diego Mesa College where they auditioned and were accepted into the Olympic singers. In the summer of 1973, while touring in Europe with the choir, Bruce proposed to Ida in Heidelberg, Germany, and soon after the couple got nicknamed the “Heidelberg Honeys.” They married on June 21, 1975, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Diego, and were blessed with 42 1/2 years of marriage, three beautiful and accomplished daughters and eight amazing grandchildren.
After they married, Bruce attended San Diego State University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering while both he and Ida worked part-time at Robinson’s department store in Fashion Valley. In 1977, they moved to Solana Beach, where Ida became licensed in real estate and Bruce continued his schooling. In 1978, Bruce was led toward a different career path in firefighting after volunteering for the Solana Beach Fire Department. At the same time, he earned his fire science degree at Miramar College. He worked as a firefighter cadet for the Rancho Santa Fe FD, then on May 10, 1979, he was hired by the Escondido FD, where he served loyally for 30 1/2 years. It quickly became evident that he was meticulous in caring for his fire engine, and his work ethic was unsurpassed. On his days off, since he was always a willing volunteer, you would most likely find him driving students on a field trip, teaching safety in his children’s classrooms or just helping wherever he was needed. He truly had a servant’s heart. He retired from EFD in December 2009 as a firefighter/engineer and pre-incident plan coordinator. He was passionate about the mapping of the pre-incident plans, and he continued to work in that capacity for several years after retiring from the FD. Bruce was also a consummate handyman and innovative problem solver—he could fix most anything, whether it be a broken washing machine or a malfunctioning air conditioner. He loved the challenge!
He also found great purpose and fulfillment in volunteering at his church, The Father’s House, wearing many hats in the service of the Lord.
Naturally introspective, he loved listening to books on tape and all kinds of music. He loved to travel and see new places, especially Europe, and always had his camera ready. He was fortunate enough to visit there several times, and especially loved Germany and its culture. He loved history and all things World War II–related.
His greatest love was his family, and a more devoted husband, father and grandfather couldn’t be found. Bruce was a humble, loyal, dependable, honorable man with impeccable integrity and deep faith. He was greatly loved and respected by all who knew him. The world was a better place for him being in it!