Bruce’s father, Frank Judson Hildreth, left the family when Bruce was only about 18 months old. He went to live with his Aunt Jane Tobey Coon and her husband Charlie Coon since his mother had to go to work and couldn’t take care of her two small children. Bruce had many fond memories of Charlie and never forgot him. Charlie died when Bruce was about 8 years old so he went to live with his grandparents Charles and Theresa Tobey on their farm in Pony Hollow, New York. His brother Jerry already was living with them so at least the brothers were able to grow up together until they were in junior high when they went back to Elmira to live with their mother.
Bruce graduated from Southside High School in Elmira and from the University of Buffalo with a degree in physics and mechanical engineering. He worked in different industries, until retiring from Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan. His career moves took the family from Buffalo, New York, to Wallingford, Connecticut, Willingboro, New Jersey, and finally Livonia, Michigan. He retired to Simpsonvile, South Carolina where he died in 1990.