Memorial Services for 102-year old Bruce Binger of Hay Springs, NE, will be Friday, May 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the United Methodist Church in Hay Springs.
Private burial will be at the Hay Springs City Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, a memorial can be made to the American Legion and/or the Hay Springs Fire Department. Donations can be sent to Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary, PO Box 443, Hay Springs, NE 69347.
Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary in Hay Springs is in Charge of arrangements.
Bruce L. Binger was born on Jan 26, 1919, south of Hay Springs to Bill and Edna Binger. He went home to be with his Heavenly Father on May 7, 2021, at the Pioneer Manor Nursing Home in Hay Springs
Bruce lost his mother to Tuberculosis when he was only 13 years old. At that time, Bruce, his father, and older sister Francis, left Denver and moved back to Hay Springs to live on the Kutschara farm.
As a young boy, Bruce had many interesting jobs, one being running a trap line before going to high school in the morning. Only once was he nearly sent home from school with the strong scent of skunk following him. He also worked in a Wisconsin paper mill and helped build Highway 20 road east of Hay Springs by running a horse team dirt scraper.
Bruce graduated from Hay Springs High School in 1937. One of his classmates, a pretty dark-haired girl named Betty Hunter, was a friend but they did not develop a serious romance until several years later.
After graduation, Bruce and his best friend, Ross McGowan, rode their Indian motorcycles to California, where they worked in the hay fields for the summer.
Bruce started his military service in February 1942. After a start in the army, he was fortunate enough to transfer to the Air Corps Cadet Training program, where he would learn to fly. After only 8 hours of training, he soloed in the Stearman PT 17. Many flight hours later, he was fully qualified on the B-17 Flying Fortress.
On one cross country training flight from Kansas to Rapid City, he got permission to break away from his group and fly over his home town and. Boy. did he ever! Can you imagine a B-17 with four 1,200 horsepower engines roaring up Main Street so low that Bruce recognized people running out of buildings?
Bruce flew 31 missions out of England over Germany and never lost a crew member. However, on his 3rd mission over Berlin, his plane was shot up so badly with flak that he never saw it again. Bruce said, “The good Lord was watching over us.”
Bruce was still in the Air Force when he Betty were married in Hay Springs on Sept 23, 1944, after he returned from England. In August 1945, Gary was born in Clovis, NM, and Monte followed in Hay Springs in 1947. Bruce and Betty had 5 grandsons, 10 great grandsons, and yes, ONE great-granddaughter.
After the service, they settled in Hay Springs and Brue began the farming/ranching business that would last nearly 65 years. Bruce worked with Gary and grandson, Brant, doing a job he loved.
He never complained about bad crops, bad weather, or low prices. He always had a positive attitude, never had an unkind word to say about anyone, and was a wonderful role model for all.
Retirement years were spent in Hay Springs with Bruce still helping on the farm. He and Betty enjoyed traveling, friends, and family.