Bruce F. Lawhead

December 9, 1939November 12, 2020

Bruce F. Lawhead - Age 80, born in Iowa City, Iowa on December 9th,1939 - passed away peacefully on November 12, 2020. One of six children, he attended West Valley High School in Spokane, WA, and graduated in 1958. He then attended Eastern Washington University (EWU) and earned a degree in Accounting. Bruce served as an accountant in the National Guard during the Vietnam war. He then went on to serve in the same capacity in the Peace Corps and traveled extensively throughout Korea and Africa. During his time in Korea, Bruce learned pottery and became a master potter, a skill he would eventually be invited to teach at EWU. After his time in the Peace Corps, Bruce spent two years working with the Amnesty Program in the White House under President Gerald Ford and maintained a passion for politics throughout his life. Bruce then moved to L.A., turned his attention to Hollywood, and became a location manager for many major films and television series. At the top of his profession, he was asked to teach a class on location management at U.C.L.A. along with his lifelong friend, Mr. Bill Bowling. Bruce was also instrumental in bringing the film Benny & Joon to Spokane and acted as location manager during the shoot. You can search for his name on for a partial list of his many accomplishments in the film industry. Upon retirement, Bruce moved back to Spokane where he enjoyed many artistic pursuits (including teaching pottery), spending time with his friends, and supporting various charities. A free spirit and independent thinker, Bruce was a kind, generous, thoughtful, laughter-loving man who told great stories and had many lifelong friends. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Freda Lawhead, and his siblings Marilyn Kennedy (Bob), Donna Derosa, Claire Jenkins, and Gary Lawhead (Bobbie). He is survived by his sisters Nora Maier (Glenn), Helen Reynolds, and several loving nieces and nephews who will remember their visits with their Uncle Bruce as always being full of adventure and Twinkie Flambe'. The family would like to acknowledge and thank, Marilee Hudon, who has done so much for Bruce over the last several years, for which we are most grateful.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, May 15, 2021


Bruce F. Lawhead

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William Bowling

December 13, 2020

Reading words from Bruce's friends is heart opening. Bruce was one of my closest friends since the 1970s. It is hard to find words that more than give a small hint of Bruce's magic. He was full of Life, humor, joy, and comradeship. The parties! The twinkie flambe! Living the Life!
Our world seems a bit flatter without his lively wit. We scouted, taught, and loved life together. He will always be dancing in my heart!

Sanford Gaines

December 12, 2020

I knew Bruce in Korea, where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1968-69. Bruce's apartment in Seoul became a regular gathering place for volunteers like myself who were stationed in villages but had to come to Seoul from time to time. Bruce was a welcoming host, no matter how many of us came to party and then crash in his living room. Stayed in touch during the years from then to now. I will miss his warm and generous spirit.

Bill Bowling

November 24, 2020

Bruce Lawhead was one of the top Location Managers through 1970s, 1980s, 1990s.
His specialty was Television series and much of his work was pre-IMDB listings. He was always alive with Life and Adventure. Bruce is missed.

Ola Adewale

November 23, 2020

It was with honor to have had the privilege to take care of Mr. Bruce as we call him for a very short period. He was a man full of humor that you easily fall in love with his stories. Vividly he recollects his stay in Nigeria and we will talk about issues over there every time. He was a man that also appreciates a-lot always saying thank you when ever you do something for him. Bruce you will surely be missed.
The entire staff at A Blissful Haven AFH.
Continue to sleep in the bosom of your maker

Ed Meyers

November 20, 2020

Bruce to me was some combo of close friend, confidant, big brother, and go-to hedonist. I always respected, admired, and loved him, though he treated me as an equal in every way. We had so many laughs together, and he would toss in astounding insights when you least expected them. Bruce was creative in everything he did; I'm gazing now at one of his pots. Bruce treated each moment in life as a creative opportunity. As a location manager, he did not just find suitable locations; they added meaning to his films. I saw how movie stars and directors interacted in appreciation with Bruce. I still replay his advice to me, from our many phone conversations, especially in our more youthful, formative days together. Yes, this is a loss, but more so, Bruce was a gain for all those lucky to be around him.


November 19, 2020

2020 ended many dreams and lives and Bruce's was among them, but he had such a full life and wonderful friends and adventures, that I know that he was satisfied with his accomplishments and all those who he associated with, pets included.
I was in the Peace Corps from 1967-1969 in a medical program in villages in rural S. Korea. I didn't know Bruce outside of his role as Peace Corps bursar but later knew him by his pottery and potter friends, namely Doug Lawrie who was in Seoul teaching Korean potters about Japan's market demands. They became close friends and ran around Seoul totally addicted to the challenges and delights of life there. I've kept in touch with Bruce for decades, enjoying his quirky humor and political postings. He was the ultimate party man, in love with life and all its far-flung settings. I guess the most prominent anecdote is the oil painting of himself he commissioned in the Philippines, a kind of chubby despot -- just for the fun of it and perhaps to attract some lovely woman's eye.

James Mahathey

November 18, 2020

This makes me so sad. Back in 1998 Bruce came to Pittsburgh to Location Manage THE TEMPTATIONS Mini Series. I was hired on to scout and eventually Assistant Manage. I was only in the business just a few short years at this point and was learning so much about locations. Even though Bruce was only on the show a short period of time I learned so much from him. He always gave me great advise and that continued even up to just a few years ago. A few years back I had got a call about teaching a locations class at the community College of Allegheny County. When I first got the call about it I sent Bruce a message and asked him a bunch of questions about how to teach the class. Again giving me some great advise. One of his pieces of advise was "try and keep the class entertained or they will fall asleep." Oh how right he was, my first class a student came in late and slept the entire class. hahah. Bruce knew. Little did I know that soon after was spoke that he would eventual be told he had Alzheimer's. Little did I know that soon after we spoke that he would eventual be told he had Alzheimer's. He was always willing to give and was always jovial. I remember we would be driving around scouting locations and he would be the one driving. He didn't like being driven around, he liked to be the one behind the wheel. So I would co-pilot and give him directions. We would get to a stop sign and he would ask me "which way are we going now?" I would then reply, 90% of the time, "we need to go right." Bruce would then turn to me and say "Then we go left, never go right. Always remember never vote for the right. never jim, NEVER!" hahahah

I will miss you Bruce. Rest in peace my friend.


November 18, 2020

Bruce was my neighbor who became a friend and then a family member.
We first met over the fence in the front yard. I was raking leaves and he was coming back from the grocery store. He had his hands full so I offered to help him and a friendship was born. Over the years he spent some Thanksgivings with us, exchanged Christmas gifts, enjoyed BBQ's in our backyard, and an occasional movie night.
I remember the first gifts we ever exchanged. My husband and I were having a rough year so we didn't have much but we were able to afford a Christmas tree. I made a small wreath from the trimmings and gave him a bag of homemade potpourri. I felt so silly offering them up, but Bruce was graciously grateful and kindly hung the wreath on his front door. The next day I found a card in my mailbox with 2 Sees gift certificates in it. The perfect gift for a young family with growing kids and stockings to stuff! :)
As the years passed we maintained a friendship with Bruce, who many times hired our kids to do small chores in his yard or around his house. Once the kids were older and not as available, I stepped in to help where I could. We always had interesting conversations and he told me quite a few stories of his time in Hollywood and abroad. I wish now that I had the foresight to record them all.
Nearing Thanksgiving 2018 Bruce emailed me saying, "I've been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. If you see me running naked through the neighborhood with a turkey on my head, be sure to chase me down with some gravy!" He always had the most surprising and hilarious sense of humor.
Shortly after his diagnosis, Bruce asked if I'd be willing to attend an Alzheimer's class with him. So 2x/week for 6 weeks we went to class and Bruce took all the steps he could to insure he would be taken care of. He made me a part of his plan and it was my honor to carry out his wishes. Bruce will be missed by myself and my family. Godspeed to you, Overlord!

Sheila Andrus(Maier)

November 18, 2020

Uncle Bruce was favorite to me. He was a teen when I was a toddler. He always had time to be a pony or let me ride on his shoulders. I loved going to the airport with my mom to pick him because he would come off the plane as a character. One time he was a German yodeler. Dressed in green velvet shorts long red knee socks and a little hat with a feather sticking up. My favorite was when we went to pick him up and he never got off the plane. We waited and waited trying to figure out what to do. However we did notice a monk hovering around us. He had a long brown robe on with a heavy cross as a belt. Eventually he lifted the hood and their he was. I always knew that if uncle Bruce was there it would be fun. I can still hear his giggle and I will miss that

Tim Lawhead

November 15, 2020

I attended EWU following in Bruce’s footsteps. Although, he was about a decade before me, many people at the university remembered Bruce fondly. I also remember when I was in the 8th grade, Bruce was working in the Peace Corp in Nigeria. He sent our family an audio tape about his experiences there. We thought his life was so exotic. I shared the tape with my history class and it was a big hit, especially the part about eating termites.