Crime

Former Blaine council member killed by car while walking dog

Bruce Wolf and his wife Sandy were in charge of the fundraising that brought the “Vigil” sculpture to G Street Plaza in downtown Blaine. The sculpture was paid for almost entirely by private donations.
Bruce Wolf and his wife Sandy were in charge of the fundraising that brought the “Vigil” sculpture to G Street Plaza in downtown Blaine. The sculpture was paid for almost entirely by private donations. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

A former Blaine City Council member who helped develop the town’s music festival and improve its waterfront was hit and killed by a car while walking his dog Sunday evening, Dec. 21.

Bruce Wolf, 73, was walking his dog on Semiahmoo Parkway near Drayton Harbor Road with his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter shortly before 5 p.m., according to the Washington State Patrol. When the dog got loose and ran into the road, Wolf ran after the dog and was struck by a Lexus RX heading northbound.

Bruce’s widow, Sandy Wolf, said Bruce was hit so hard that he flew into the air and landed on his head. His daughter and son-in-law performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. The paramedics brought him to St. Joseph hospital where he was stabilized, but he died shortly after from his head injury, Sandy Wolf said.

Jeanne L. Roussellot, the 86-year-old woman driving the Lexus, did not see Wolf prior to striking him, said Washington State Patrol spokesman Travis Shearer. She told troopers that she was on her way to Semiahmoo Resort to get a newspaper, Shearer said. She was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The dog was not hurt.

Bruce Wolf had been an ophthalmologist in Alaska for 30 years, Sandy Wolf said. The couple met at the University of Washington, when Bruce was in medical school and Sandy was an undergraduate working toward a degree in medical technology. They began building their house in Blaine during the mid-’90s, and he retired from his practice in Alaska in 2000. A year later, he ran for a Blaine City Council position and won.

During his time on City Council, he and Sandy worked on making Blaine a more vibrant community. The couple helped start the Blaine Jazz Festival, now called the Drayton Harbor Music Festival, and they were heavily involved in the Pacific Arts Association.

The landscape that surrounds the Blaine welcoming sign also was his work, said Blaine City Manager Gary Tomsic. Even after Bruce Wolf left the council, Tomsic said he would often see Bruce pulling weeds around the sign.

“It was not so much the great things that I remembered that Bruce was involved in, but it was the small things,” Tomsic said. “He was a very modest man, and there was no job that was too small for Bruce.”

Bruce and Sandy also led a campaign to raise $190,000 for “Vigil,” a life-size bronze sculpture in downtown Blaine depicting two women and a young boy. It pays homage to Blaine’s fishing heritage.

Bob Mcdermott, who sculpted the piece, said Bruce was able to raise so much money because he was trusted.

Mcdermott called Bruce’s death a tragedy.

“A town only needs a couple of people like Bruce Wolf to do a lot of good things,” Mcdermott said.

In 2007, Bruce was diagnosed with prostate cancer and resigned from his council position. Sandy Wolf said there were times when it looked like he wouldn’t survive, but eventually he was able to beat the disease. While away from the council, he enjoyed gardening and spending time with family.

Bruce and Sandy Wolf had been married 49 years. He is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. One of his grandchildren, Logan Scott, died over one year ago in Texas at the age of 20. Scott’s ashes had been spread out near the spot where Bruce was killed on Sunday.

“There wasn’t anything he loved more than to do stuff with his grandkids,” Sandy Wolf said. “That’s the way he would choose to die.”

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