Bruce Irwin Anderson, 92, of Stroud Township, an 18-year-operative for the Central Intelligence Agency, died February 12, 2020.
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Born in Villanova, PA, Bruce grew up there, Locust Point, NJ, and ultimately the Pocono Mountains of PA, where he graduated from East Stroudsburg High School.
Bruce began his career in government intelligence service during World War II as a 17-year-old intern at the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. At age 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and served in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war.
Upon return to the U.S., Bruce began studying at George Washington University. He interrupted his education to join the newly-formed CIA. Bruce was assigned to one of the CIA’s first overseas teams, and was posted to blockaded Berlin, Germany during the Cold War. Bruce thereafter completed tours of duty behind the Iron Curtain in Warsaw, Prague and Budapest. After returning again to the U.S., Bruce was assigned to the highly successful CIA program operating the U-2 spy plane conducting operations over Soviet-bloc countries.
Bruce transitioned into the private sector in the late 1950s in Washington, D.C. to work as a public relations representative for Northwest Orient Airlines, and later Air France. Bruce maintained ad hoc ties with the CIA until he married Charlotte Milarcik and began a family.
An opportunity to be the director of advertising and public relations for the Alpha Portland Cement Company in Easton, PA brought his new family back to the Poconos. In 1967, Bruce accepted a position as special assistant to the Secretary of Highways (now PennDOT). Continuing in that field, he became a lobbyist for the Highway Users Federation. In that role he was awarded the Governor’s Award for Traffic Safety.
His family was the center of Bruce’s life. His lobbying job kept him away from home too much, so Bruce and Charlotte opened Anderson Travel Service in Stroudsburg in 1972. They grew Anderson Travel into an iconic and respected local business.
Surviving are his four children: Bernard Ashley “Barney” Anderson of Stroudsburg, Mia Anderson Megliola and her husband Ralph of Canadensis, Amy Anderson Matinho and her husband Paul of Bedminster, NJ, and James Boys Anderson and his wife Sonja, of Stroudsburg.
Also surviving are his five sisters: Virginia Buchan of Melbourne, Australia, Joan Ryan of Terre-Bonne, OR, Ruth Coggeshall of Annapolis, MD, Eugenia Anderson-Ellis of Richmond, VA, and Carole Anderson of Washington, D.C.
Bruce has nine grandchildren: Mallory, Emily, Owen, Pasquale, Anderson, Jameson, Juliet, Taylor and Emma.
Bruce is pre-deceased by his older brother Bernard Ashley “Barney” Anderson, who was killed in air combat over France on April 20, 1944.
Bruce served his community as an active parishioner of St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in Stroudsburg. For many years he was a volunteer for the American Red Cross. Bruce also served as a member of the Stroud Township Planning Commission.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 6-8pm at the Joseph J. Pula Funeral Home, Inc. 23 N 9th Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360. There will be a second viewing from 9-10am at Saint Luke’s Catholic Church, 818 Main Street, Stroudsburg on Wednesday, February 19, with a Mass of Christian Burial. Burial will follow in Stroudsburg Cemetery.
Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Notre Dame Jr. Sr. High School, 60 Spangenburg Avenue, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.