Bruce and Carolyn Ganoe
Bruce and Carolyn have spent much of their 60 years of married life gathering skills and experiences that now they are using to care for and restore the Society’s two unique historical buildings. Here is their story and the reasons for being named Members of the Year.
Carolyn Frey and Bruce Ganoe met as juniors at Oceanside Carlsbad Union High School because they sat next to each other in Miss Bradley’s English class. They dated briefly through high school but after graduation Bruce attended Rice University in Houston, Texas and Carolyn attended San Diego State. Carolyn later moved to Virginia where she worked at the Pentagon. They visited when they could and the day after Bruce graduated and received his commission as an Ensign in the Navy they were married in Carolyn’s home town, Fort Worth, Texas. Bruce served as Engineering Officer on a small ship home ported in San Diego and later as Aide to The Commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Public Information Officer for the Shipyard and The Naval Base at Bremerton, Washington.
After his release from the Navy the family moved to Glendora, Ca. where Bruce worked for a small manufacturing firm. Carolyn was kept busy with their four children Allyson, Julie, Phillip and Melissa born in Coronado, Bremerton and Glendora. The family moved to San Diego where Bruce joined General Dynamics Astronautics working on the Atlas and Centaur space launch programs and later on the Tomahawk Cruise Missile program. Carolyn was engaged in a number of volunteer organizations including Children’s Hospital Aux, Scouts, Woman’s Club and their local church and school. After many years in San Diego with the children grown, the Ganoe’s moved to Tucson where Bruce was a Vice President in charge of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program. Carolyn was again engaged as a volunteer with The Assistance League and the Arizona Opera Guild.
Upon retirement the Ganoe’s wanted to return to the West Coast and found Fallbrook to be an attractive place to call home. In Fallbrook, Carolyn became active with the Live Oak Chapter of the Questers and was active as a member and then chairman of the Preservation and Restoration Committee. The first project she was involved with was the restoration of the Pittenger House kitchen, built originally by Civil War Medal of Honor recipient William Pittenger in 1895. Bruce “volunteered” to put up bead board in the kitchen. “As we worked on the kitchen and saw the results, I was motivated to move on to the rest of the house” said Carolyn. They joined the Historical Society and have spent the last 11 years renovating and furnishing the house. When a grant for painting the exterior of the house fell short the couple guaranteed that the work would be completed. “Doing the Pittenger House has been true labor of love,” Carolyn said. “I enjoyed every minute of it.”
When the Historical Society acquired ownership of the 1886 Fall Brook Reche School, Bruce wrote a grant request for renovating, painting and new lighting. He managed the refurbishment project and budget every day through completion. He is continuing to work on additional restoration and improvements including ADA compliant restrooms and air conditioning. Carolyn created a class room vignette at the schoolhouse prior to the grand opening to the public last September. “Preserving history adds to the fabric of a place and to the people,” Bruce explained. “It enriches us all’. The Ganoe’s volunteer as Docents at the Museum where Carolyn is Curator of the Pittenger House and Bruce is a member of the Board of Directors as Funds Chairman.