Bruce Dillman 1934 - 2006
Posted September 27, 2006
Bruce Dillman, long time Gene Autry Friends Fan Club member, died at his home on August 18, 2006 at the age of 71. Bruce was a dear and treasured friend of the Gene Autry Entertainment staff. With his ready wit, his knowledge of cowboy lore, and his tremendous loyalty he helped keep the cowboy spirit alive. Born Dec. 3, 1934, at Kansas City, Kansas to Lucius M. and Lucile Dobbs Dillman, Bruce acquired a cowboy outfit at an early age and was a cowboy-at-heart ever since. He figured out lots of ways to play cowboy. Some of them involved real cows, real horses, real guns and guitars. After two seasons wrangling and singing cowboy songs on a Colorado dude ranch, he put in five seasons performing in gun fights and other entertainment at Dodge City's Replica.
Through the years he also accumulated a long list of job titles in broadcasting, college teaching, sales, communication training and publishing. Bruce wrote two books. The more popular of the two is The Cowboy Handbook, endorsed by a number of prominent people from Gene Autry to Johnny Western and referenced by prominent authors such as Holly George-Warren and Douglas Green.
Recently he was in charge of Web page design and other computer artistry and was involved with the Gene Autry Museum in Gene Autry, Oklahoma. For several years he served as Producer Extraordinaire for the annual Gene Autry Oklahoma Festival pulling off feats of magic and daring do.
Bruce lived in cow country communities in Kansas, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and California. He had a great regard for all aspects of cowboy life, lore, literature, lyric and legend and he felt like they were much too important to be taken seriously.
Bruce Dillman and Elvin Sweeten
The girls at Gene Autry Entertainment salute this wonderful gentleman who was indeed a cowboy hero in his own right.