Bruce Ransome McAllister

January 26, 1936September 1, 2018

Bruce R. McAllister, age 82, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 2, 2018 at Longmont United Hospital. Bruce was born on January 26, 1936 in San Francisco, CA to Decker and Martha McAllister.

After receiving a BA from Harvard University, he served in Berlin as a 1st Lieutenant with the 2nd Battle Group, Sixth Infantry. After the army, Bruce worked as a photojournalist for an array of publications, including Look and LIFE magazines. He also earned his commercial pilot’s license, becoming an aerial photographer. He ultimately logged 5,000-plus hours of flight time. Bruce settled in Denver with his first wife, Josephine Bonnyman, in 1962. They had Margot Berry McAllister in 1963. Bruce raised Margot as a bachelor. He remarried Claire Elizabeth Ruple in 1980. They raised two daughters, Jacqueline and Lucy.

Bruce’s photography took him around the world several times. He was the first photographer to reach the Prudhoe Bay Oil Rig No. 1. He was also known for his portraits, which included the likes of John F. Kennedy and Bradford Washburn. He additionally published more than a dozen photographic history books. In his Cessna 210, Bruce flew as far as the Arctic Circle, oftentimes carrying his daughters and many pets on board. He also scaled mountains both near and far from Colorado, including the Chillkoot Trail in Alaska and Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador. Bruce loved bodysurfing and swimming, skills he learned as a kid in Hana, Maui where he spent his summers. Wherever Bruce went, his friendly nature, energy, zest for life, and adventure earned him many friends. He was most proud of his three daughters.

Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Decker and Martha; brother, Decker Jr.; and wives, Josephine and Claire. He is survived by his daughters, Margot, Jacqueline, and Lucy; granddaughter, Amelia; sons-in-law, Jim, Siddharth, and Albert; as well as several cousins, a niece, and a nephew. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly suggests donations to Doctors Without Borders.


  • No services are scheduled at this time

Bruce Ransome McAllister

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Christy Barden

September 6, 2018

As president of the Antique Airplane Assoc. of Colorado in the 1990's, I had a constant working relationship with Bruce. I have written reviews for several of his aviation related books. These books were heavy on excellent photographs and light on written material. The point of all his books we to share his photographs with the world. He was fun to work with, for he loved to worry that everything will be correct. I would assure him the they would, and they always were.
He loved flying his Cessna 210. I do member Lucy when she was off to school. I didn't have the opportunity to meet all of his children. His presentation at the EAA national convention in Oshkosh were always well received.

I was saddened to hear of his passing. But let it be known that his heart was in the right place and always gave his best to the project at hand.

Christy Barden, Nevada City, California

Albert Chao

September 3, 2018

Bruce was a wonderful man who loved life and everyone around him. He welcomed me into the family with open arms, and I am so fortunate to have known him. He will be greatly missed.

Bruce with sons-in-law Sid (left) and Albert (right) in July 2017.