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 (208 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

    Presbyterian Church of Superior celebrates centennial

    May 19th, 2016
    by

      In one hundred years, there is no doubt that the community has changed, the world has changed.  From societal […]


    San Manuel seniors nab more than $1M in scholarships

    May 19th, 2016
    by

      This year, graduating students at San Manuel High School earned more than $1.3 million in scholarships to aid them […]


    Project Graduation set to kick off at the Elks tomorrow after graduation

    May 19th, 2016
    by

    The San Manuel Elks’ Project Graduation got a big boost from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu last week. Babeu (center) […]


    Mountain Vista School unveils new mural

    May 19th, 2016
    by

      On Thursday, May 12, 2016, a number of people gathered at Mt. Vista School in Oracle for the unveiling […]


  • Additional Stories

    Ray High School presents scholarships to seniors

    May 19th, 2016
    by

      Thousands of dollars in scholarships and awards were presented to Ray High School graduating seniors last week during the […]


    Twenty graduate from CAC-Aravaipa

    May 19th, 2016
    by

    Central Arizona College held its commencement ceremony for all of its campuses on Friday, May 13, 2016, on the green […]


    CopperTownNews.Com Sports Update

    May 19th, 2016
    by

    Miami’s Powell, San Carlos’ Antonio Named Coach and Player of the Year The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) released its baseball […]


    Superior in agreement with Auditor General for repaying road project funds used for other purposes; every dollar spent on roads and bridges over HURF funding will count toward reducing $2.8M deficit

    May 17th, 2016
    by

      Superior Town Government has come to an agreement with the Arizona Office of Auditor General (OAG) concerning charges that […]


  • Copperarea

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

  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather