Bruce C. Conger died Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. He had suffered from a seizure disorder for four years, but died within a month of being diagnosed with cancer. He managed to vacation this past July on the Vineyard, as he had done for more than 30 years, always renting the Polsby house on Lighthouse Road in Aquinnah. Bruce especially loved its view of the Vineyard Sound and the constant breeze that blew through the house, making even the hottest days bearable.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lucinda Dickinson Conger. Lucinda’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Meredith Dickinson; brother, Dr. Phil Dickinson and his wife Ellen; and sister, Molly Dickinson, often stayed with them. Lucinda is a first cousin to the Williamson sisters (Phyllis, Gwynneth (Baba), Sharon, Cynthia, and Sonny), who share the family compound in Edgartown. There were always visits back and forth in the summer.
Bruce was born in Minnesota and grew up in Westchester County, N.Y. and Princeton, N.J. He was a graduate of Princeton High School and the University of Virginia, where he studied English. In his senior year there, he took a course with Robert (Bobby) Ganz, who was in his first year of teaching. Much later in life they re-connected in Washington and on the Island. Bruce received a master’s degree from Rutgers and taught there and at Albion College in Michigan for several years. After moving to Washington in 1974, he changed careers and worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where his writing skills were valued. He retired in 1998. In retirement, he volunteered at the Washington National Cathedral, Sibley Memorial Hospital and the Kreeger Museum.
He was a longtime subscriber to the Vineyard Gazette and also to the New Yorker, piles of which he brought with him to read while on vacation. A memorial service was held at the Washington National Cathedral on Monday, Nov. 19 in the Bethlehem Chapel. Donations may be made to the Vineyard Conservation Society, P. O. Box 2189, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.