Bruce Steven Buel, who served as the manager of the McKinleyville Community Services District from 1990 to 1999, died Friday, May 28 after a long battle with cancer. A resident of Los Osos, he was 60 years old.
According to current MCSD Manager Norman Shopay, Buel’s family was in contact with MCSD staff and said that Bruce considered his time working for the MCSD as the best job of his career and had hoped to retire to McKinleyville.
Buel was the manager of the MCSD during a time of rapid growth, during which the town became known as “the fastest growing community on the North Coast.”
Buel oversaw a major expansion of the town’s sewer system and the creation of the McKinleyville Parks and Recreation Department. Pierson Park, Azalea Hall and the McKinleyville Recreation Center were all developed under Buel’s tenure.
Buel was also active in the Mad River Rotary and helped raise money for the construction of the Sheriff’s Office at Pierson Park.
Buel was born to the late Dr. Walter and Glada Buel in January 1950 in Big Bear, Calif.
He earned his BA in economics, his Masters of Ecology from UC Davis, and a Masters of Public Administration from Golden Gate University.
Bruce married Susan Elizabeth Greig in 1972 and they lived in McKinleyville before relocating to Los Osos in 1999.
He was public servant until he retired in January – he was passionate about improving peoples’ lives and will be remembered for his humor, optimism, and devotion to family and friends.
The family would like to thank everyone whose prayers and good wishes have supported them in this difficult time.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Susan; children James Gabriel and Sarah-Marie; and sister, Cathy. His ashes have been interred at a private ceremony in Plantation, Calif.