2011-07-28 / Editorial

Bruce Sundlun: An island character

EDITORIAL


Former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a World War II veteran, was the keynote speaker at the Jamestown Veterans Day observance in 2008. PHOTO BY JEFF MCDONOUGH Former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a World War II veteran, was the keynote speaker at the Jamestown Veterans Day observance in 2008. PHOTO BY JEFF MCDONOUGH In 2005, former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, an island resident, applied for the vacant Jamestown administrator’s post.

Sundlun, who had served two terms as the state’s governor, was not selected for the job by the Town Council, but he maintained an active interest in island issues. I wonder what it would have been like to have him running Town Hall. Sundlun was not one to mince words and always told you where he stood on whatever topic was at hand.

I know that Sundlun was a frequent reader of the Jamestown Press because he often commented on the latest news in the paper when I would see him. He also wrote several opinion pieces for the paper. Most often I would find Sundlun at the Slice of Heaven, although he would occasionally call the newspaper office. He had many story suggestions that he believed the Jamestown Press should be reporting on.

Sundlun, who died last week at the age of 91, could often be found at the Slice on Heaven enjoying a late morning breakfast. He liked to gather a crowd around himself and would share his views on local, state and national politics. He loved a good argument.

Sundlun was a member of our greatest generation. He would regale listeners with tales of his exploits in politics and in World War II. A B-17 bomber pilot, Sundlun was shot down behind enemy lines in Belgium while flying his 13th mission over Germany. He spent five months on the run before reaching safety.

A remarkable man, Sundlun was a true island character. He will be missed.

— Jeff McDonough

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