Meet the 2014 Apache Leap Mining Festival Parade Grand Marshal, Bruce Wittig

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Bruce Wittig is the 2014 Apache Leap Mining Festival Grand Marshal.
Mila Besich Lira | Superior Sun

Superior Sun

The 2014 Apache Leap Mining Festival is set to celebrate the contributions of the Magma Arizona Rail Road Company (MARRCo) and the event would not be complete without a Grand Marshal to lead that celebration, Bruce Wittig a former employee of the MARRCo is the honoree.

Bruce worked for the MARRCo from 1971 to 1995 when the MARRCo stopped running. Following his work on the MARRCo he went to work for the Magma Rail Road in San Manuel and then Arizona Eastern Rail Road in Miami. Bruce worked as a brakeman and engineer for MARRCo, he was the yard master in San Manuel and worked as a conductor and relief engineer while employed in Miami. He decided to work for the rail road because he liked working outside and each day the job was different. “My job changed every day and I was never confined,” he said.

Some of his favorite jobs on the MARRCo were assisting when movies and commercials were filmed on the railroad. Interestingly many commercials have been filmed on the MARRCo for companies such as NesCafe, Taco Bell, and French Blue Jeans where they brought in models from New York City. Bruce explained that one of the best times working for the film industry was during the filming of the movie Gauntlet when they were working with Clint Eastwood. “He (Clint Eastwood) really didn’t realize that he was the star of the movie. Every day he would come down to Queen Station and make sure that our crew had breakfast and refreshments throughout the day,” Bruce remembered.

Some of the challenges that Bruce and his co-workers faced while working on the MARRCo were working with the older engines. When he began working for the railroad they still had an operating steam engine which was used for the movie, Great White Hope, and three Baldwin Diesel engines which were all built in the 1950s. Bruce attributed his enjoyment of his job to working with great crews including Morris Mannheimer, Gilbert Garvin, Ray Medlock, Angel Porras and Ruben Castro. “The railroad also provided a great retirement,” he said. “It would be nice to see the MARRCo running to Superior once again.”

Bruce is a lifelong native of Superior; his family came to Superior in October of 1957 and they opened the Dairy Queen, a famous stop along Highway 60. His parents ran the Dairy Queen for 35 years before they sold it to another owner. Bruce graduated from Superior High School in 1965. Currently, Bruce resides in Queen Valley with his wife, Lonna. His children, Ryan and Raegan, were also graduates of Superior and he has seven grandchildren.

Bruce enjoys many hobbies including rebuilding antique gas pumps and working on hot rod cars. He is also a member of the Resolution Copper Community Working Group.

Mila Besich-Lira (299 Posts)

Mila Besich-Lira is a resident of Superior with two children. She volunteers for many local organizations. She is an experienced fundraiser and event planner for Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. She covers some of the area town councils and schools.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Miners’ Renteria ends remarkable career as State Champion

    February 16th, 2017
    by

      Four years ago, at the year-end wrestling banquet, now San Manuel senior Franky Renteria stood among a few legends in […]


    Year of the Rooster, Chinese New Year in the Copper Corridor

    February 16th, 2017
    by

     Happy Chinese New Year! The Chinese New Year began Jan. 28 and will last until February, 2018. It is the […]


    No new information released in Mammoth double homicide; possible motive, investigative leads considered

    February 16th, 2017
    by

      Pinal County Homicide Detectives continue to investigate the double homicide that occurred in Mammoth on Jan. 31, 2017, but have […]


    San Manuel Copper Classic returning March 4

    February 8th, 2017
    by

      The Trail Riders of Southern Arizona (TRS) will be hosting the San Manuel Copper Classic Qualifier off-road motorcycle race on […]


  • Additional Stories

    Assessor’s Office will be in Mammoth to accept initial exemption applications

    February 8th, 2017
    by

    FLORENCE, AZ — The Pinal County Assessor’s Office will have a representative in the Town of Mammoth -Pinal County Complex; 118 […]


    LOST Trails Fest set for Saturday – Discover Superior Adventures

    February 8th, 2017
    by

      The Legends of Superior Trails Inc. will be hosting its annual Trail Fest on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 from 9 […]


    Pinal County Sheriff’s Office investigating double homicide in Mammoth

    February 8th, 2017
    by

      On Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, shortly after noon, Mammoth Police, responding to a call of “shots fired” in the 400 […]


    Central Arizona College-Aravaipa library is the busiest place on campus

    February 8th, 2017
    by

      Did you know that you don’t have to be a CAC student to use the library? It’s open to the […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger