Bruce William Liedstrand
Aug. 11, 1933-Dec. 1, 2017
Mountain View, California
Bruce William Liedstrand passed away on December 1, 2017, at the age of 84.
Bruce was born on August 11, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest child of Roy Marvin and Alice Dorothy (Sandin) Liedstrand. His father was a co-founder of the Dearborn Stove Company in Chicago and Dallas.
Bruce attended public schools in Chicago and Dallas, where the family moved in 1945. After the family moved back to Chicago in 1949, he attended high school at North Park Academy, from which he graduated in 1951. After one year at Michigan State College, he came to California to attend Stanford University and then Stanford Law School. Bruce graduated from Stanford Law in 1956 and passed the bar exam that fall. The U.S. Army immediately drafted him, and he was posted to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) office in Frankfurt, Germany. His wife, the former Lois Peterson, whom he married in 1954, joined him in Frankfurt and their first son, John, was born there.
When Bruce was discharged from the Army, the family moved to Turlock where he was a principal of the law firm Coffin and Liedstrand and where he served on the Turlock City Council from 1964 until 1968. He and his growing family then relocated to Modesto where he was assistant city attorney.
In 1973, Bruce was offered the position of city attorney of Mountain View, which he subsequently held for three years. He became the city manager of Mountain View in 1976 and served in that position for 12 years. During those years, his vision for Mountain View was the primary force in the development of Shoreline Park, Shoreline Amphitheater, the redesign of Castro Street, and the design and establishment of the City Hall and Performing Arts complex.
After taking an early retirement and establishing Liedstrand Associates, a consulting and educational firm, he continued to be interested in city government and urban design. In 1991, Cathedral City in Riverside County selected him to be its city manager, and he spent three years in that desert city helping establish a lively downtown. His heart, however, was always in the Bay Area, and through Liedstrand Associates, Bruce continued to provide educational seminars and consulting advice on city design -- especially in making cities more livable environments.
Recognizing his remarkable talents, Redwood City in 2001 selected him to be its community development director, and he worked to reestablish its downtown as a vibrant destination until he retired again in 2006. At that point, he established Common Sense Community Design and was active writing and sharing creative ideas on how to make the best cities possible until his death.
Bruce was a long-time member of Palo Alto Rotary and was a highly respected mentor to and devoted friend of staff and government officials in the cities where he worked and consulted. His first marriage ended in 1981. In 1982, he married the former Susan Laird. Bruce was preceded in death by his brother John Roger Liedstrand and his sister Dorothy Liedstrand Jones. He is survived by his current wife, Susan, and his children John, Mark, Linda, Ann, and Chelsea; his grandchildren Paul, Ben, Brittany, Jessica, Yusuf, Jeremiah, Anitra, Devin, and Clare; and his great grand-daughters Eden and Emily Elizabeth.
During his retirement years, Bruce and Susan enjoyed dividing their time between their homes in Mountain View and Paris, France.
Tags: veteran, public service