First Responders 04

Bruce W. Hisley

April 12, 1939 ~ August 25, 2019 (age 80)

Obituary Image


Bruce W. Hisley  died peacefully, with family by his side, on August 25, 2019 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Bruce was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 12, 1939. 

Bruce began his life long career of serving others as a young man. In his teen years, when he was not exploring the Maryland shores, he was volunteering at the local fire department in Pasadena,  Maryland. Bruce’s experience as a volunteer compelled him to earn a degree from Catonsville Community College in June, 1973. Patriotic and civil minded, Bruce joined the United States Air Force where he became a member of the Civil Engineer Squadron where he specialized in Firefighter Aircraft Rescue and was later named US Airforce Protection Specialist. His training and experiences  in the service led him to a lifelong career as a firefighter, educator and training specialist in the National Fire Academy and later an expert consultant in fire prevention. In the midst of his career, it was said that, “Bruce’s firefighting tool was his pencil”because fire prevention and education were how he saved lives. Bruce worked closely with the National Fire Protection Agency to formulate legislature to aid in saving lives through fire safety and prevention.  In his many roles including Fire Chief, Marshal, and instructor, he was recognized with multiple awards for his service to community and country. 

In 2004, Bruce and his wife, Sandra moved from Gettysburg,  Pennsylvania to Carteret County. “Paradise” was the term that Bruce termed his home in Straits. Even though Bruce was technically retired upon making the move to NC, he was not idle. He was welcomed by the Masons as a member, grew an annual vegetable garden, tended the needs of his neighborhood, volunteered at the Core Sound Decoy Museum, taught fire safety to elementary students, and enjoyed being a member of a community much like the one in which he was raised. A lover of seafood, fishing, crabbing, and clamming remained a favorite pastime for Bruce. He often shared his history of growing up in the Chesapeake Bay area with others. He  emphasized how important tending to our environment is essential to our heritage and longevity. 

Not only was Bruce a trusted firefighter, he was a dependable friend and family man.  He was one that could be called upon for any undertaking. Bruce was always content to stop his own task and turn his attention to someone else’s need.  Whether one’s need was large or small, Bruce took pride in spending his time helping others. Bruce’s generosity and fondness for friends and family led he and his wife, Sandra,  to host an annual Fourth of July party. A fireworks fanatic, Bruce relished in lighting up the night sky to celebrate our country’s freedom and community.  

Although Bruce and his wife often went on trips to visit their former colleagues, classmates, friends and family, he always breathed a sigh of relief when he would return home to Straits. His happiest moments were the times when he and Sandra would sit peacefully on their upper deck admiring his natural surroundings and the beauty of our community.  

With a mindset of seeing the good in our world  and a loving attitude, Bruce took risks for things that mattered, helped those in need and  loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends. The earth is a much better place because of Bruce Walter Hisley. 

Bruce is survived by his wife of 30  years, Sandra L. Hisley; stepdaughter Joyce Vogely; stepson David Straight and his wife Gayle; granddaughter Erin L. Hartz and her husband Jon Hartz;  grandson Dylan T. Currie; many close friends across the country; and Annie the cat.  

On Saturday, September 21st, from 2 -4 pm friends and family are invited to A Celebration of Life at Harkers Island Fire and Rescue; 1219 Island Rd. Harkers Island, NC 28531. Light refreshments will be served after family and friends share their fondest memories. 

In lieu of flowers,  donations can be made to Hope Mission 1410 Bridges Street Morehead City, NC 28557

Electronic condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.

To send flowers to Bruce's family, please visit our floral section.


Celebration of Life
September 21, 2019

2:00 PM
Harkers Island Fire and Rescue Station
1219 Island Rd
Harkers Island, NC 28531

© 2020 Noe Funeral Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS