2011-06-09 / Obituaries

Harter Bruch

Harter Bruch, a former Stanislaus County planning director and assistant director of public works, died on Friday, May 27, at a Modesto hospital. He was 82.

Harter was born in Sacramento on Dec. 22, 1928, the son of Fred and Bernice Bruch. After graduating from the University of Nevada in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree, he was employed as a civil engineer by Caltrans, initially working on bridge projects in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and later on the Embarcadero Freeway project in San Francisco.

In 1956 he moved to Modesto and joined the Stanislaus County Public Works Department, becoming assistant director in the early 1970s. During the 1980s, he served first as Stanislaus County Planning Director, then as a contracted planning director for the cities of Waterford, Newman and Patterson.

In 1989 Harter and his wife Virginia moved to Coulterville where he served for several years as a consultant on solid waste issues for the County of Mariposa. He also was a member of the Mariposa County Economic Development and Water committees. For more than 15 years he worked as a volunteer preparing taxes for the elderly in both Mariposa County and Tuolumne County. He was an active member of the Northern Mariposa County History Center.

Harter was an excellent cook and adroit at pairing wines and food. He and Virginia enjoyed plays and other cultural events in San Francisco and worked together to create beautiful weavings. They especially enjoyed hiking in Yosemite National Park and the surrounding Sierra and chose Coulterville for their retirement home in part to be closer to trailheads.

In addition to Virginia, his wife of 42 years, Harter leaves his children Laura Bruch and Howell Margolit of Glendale, Douglas Schweiker of San Francisco, Andrea Schweiker and Don Sawtelle of Sonora, Jeff Schweiker and Robert Rudholm of Stanislaus County, and grandchildren Alden, Evelyn, and Lelan Sawtelle. His son Dale Bruch of Sacramento predeceased him.

No services are planned as per Harter's request.

Remembrances may be made to the Northern Mariposa County History Center (10301 Highway 49, Coulterville, CA 95311) or the University of Nevada Reno, College of Engineering (University of Nevada, Reno, Mall Stop 0256, Reno, NV 89557).

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