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Former Navy mayor Bruce Boland dies

Retired Rear Adm. Bruce Boland

Retired Rear Adm. Bruce Boland, a 34-year veteran of the Navy who served as San Diego's Navy mayor in the mid-1980s, died Tuesday morning after a brave battle with prostate cancer.

He died at home, surrounded by family.

Boland commanded Fighter Squadron 24 during the Vietnam War and then served on the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in Casteau, Belgium, as a special assistant. Following that assignment, he was appointed deputy chief of staff and director of operations for U.S. Naval Forces Europe headquartered in London.

When Boland returned to San Diego in 1983, he took over the Navy’s amphibious group in the Pacific and oversaw more than 30 ships. His Navy career culminated in 1985 with his appointment as commander of the Navy's Southwest region, unofficially known as the Navy mayor of San Diego.

He retired in 1987, embarking on a distinguished career serving the San Diego community.

He was the director of the Department of Public Works for San Diego County and served for six years as United Way San Diego’s president and CEO.

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