Bruce Bragdon Chick
Bruce Bragdon Chick, 91 of Rumford and West Dennis, died on Friday, March 9 at his home after a lengthy battle with cancer. Born in Providence, Bruce was the son of the late Alton Charles Chick, Sr. and Sylvia Jones Chick. Bruce is survived by the love of his life, Caroline Decatur Chick and his adoring family including two daughters, Deborah Burke (Francis) from West Barnstable, MA and Nancy Hyde (Douglas) from Westwood MA and his grandchildren, Melissa Burke, Kelly Burke, Stephen Burke, Carrie Hyde, Nathan Hyde and Sara Hyde. He was predeceased by his brother, Alton Charles Chick, Jr. He also leaves trusted colleagues at his former business, RITEC.
In addition to loving his family and spending time with them, especially summers on Cape Cod, he enjoyed his working in the field of electronics through his eighties. He was an avid gardener and handyman around his homes. He also enjoyed special vacations on Nantucket and Bermuda.
Bruce graduated from Classical High School where he was Summa Cum Laude. He served in the US Navy for two years during WWII where he attended the Navy’s Electronics Technician Program in the first year. He served the second year in the South Pacific including approximately eight months on the Island of Peleliu. Following military service, Bruce attended Brown University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1950 and his Master of Science degree in Engineering in 1953.
While working toward his Masters, Bruce worked in the Metals Research Laboratory which fell under the auspices of the Applied Mathematics Department at Brown University. He became Assistant Director of that Laboratory in 1953 and a few years later he became Associate Director. His two principal responsibilities were the development of advanced instrumentation for the ultrasonic study of solid state materials and to assist graduate students in utilizing several types of electronics equipment. This lead to a lifelong career in the field of ultrasonic testing and the formation of two successful companies. The first, MATEC, Inc. where Bruce was President, was sold in 1983 and the second, RITEC, Inc. where he was Chairman, was started in 1986. He was active in the design and development of ever evolving instrumentation until his death. His specialty was in the analog portion of the circuitry with emphasis on high power RF pulse amplifiers that have been key to sales both nationally and internationally at his companies. Bruce was also co-author of many papers in the specialized field of ultrasonic measurements. Best known is the text book “Ultrasonic Methods in Solid State Physics” by Truell, Elbaum and Chick. He received two patents for ultrasonic instruments.
Bruce was a member of Sigma Xi, IEEE Ultrasonics and Ferro-electrics Society, the American Society of Non-Destructive Testing, the East Providence Waterfront Commission, the East Providence Development Commission, the East Providence Historical Society, the East Providence Land Trust and the Brown Club of Cape Cod. He and his wife, Caroline, were elected in 2015 co-presidents of the Brown Class of 1950. Additionally, he served as Junior Warden and Senior Warden at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Rumford and was instrumental in the campaign to build a new Parish House and Narthex. He also helped to build the church organ with fellow parishioners.
While at Brown as an undergraduate, Bruce was an announcer for four years on the campus radio station WBRU. He was also Chief Engineer for his last two years and was President for his last semester. After graduation in 1950 he became faculty advisor for the station. When the station obtained a commercial FM license he became president of the advisory board until 1983.
A memorial service will be held at the Historic Chapel at Swan Point Cemetery, 585 Blackstone Blvd, Providence, RI on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 11am. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 5-8 PM in the Perry-McStay Funeral Home, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, 1085 N Main St, Providence, RI 02904.