C. Bruce Bartels


C. Bruce Bartels, 73, of Chilmark, husband of Vickery (Spencer) Bartels, died on August 2, 2011, at his home.

He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 3, 1938, son of Millard Bartels and Eulalia Stevens Bartels.

He graduated from Taft school in Watertown, Conn., where he captained three varsity athletic teams and was active in student government. After graduation he was selected to serve that summer with the Church of England’s Wynant Volunteer Program in London, England, assisting children in need of a “big brother or sister.”

He attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and then served two years on active duty with the U.S. Navy’s sixth fleet.

He graduated with honors from the University of Colorado’s school of Journalism and Mass Communications and was accepted to Cornell University’s graduate program, but instead entered Eastman Kodak Company’s International Marketing Department in 1963 as a copywriter. He won the U.S. Direct Mail Association’s Leadership Award and the Readers Digest Global Award. Four years later he was assigned to Kodak Mexicana in Mexico City as the manager of Marketing Communications & Public Relations during the construction and start-up of Kodak’s first film factory in Latin America.

In 1975 he was appointed Manager, Advertising and Sales Promotion, International Photographic Division, and during the period of rapidly emerging Kodak marketing companies overseas, he initiated a common actionable advertising practice among them. For eight years he consulted international management and conducted programs to establish such Kodak practices and values overseas.

Later he served in Kodak’s corporate communications group as worldwide Director, Marketing Communications Practices, also known as “Copy Chief.”

As a result he became not only a student of effective communications in multicultural situations but also of effective communications in education. This interest sparked his authorship of the book, “Advertising for the non-Advertising Executive,” and upon retirement he founded Good Thinking Unlimited, an enterprise that was devoted to educating, in a concise manner, those who are not trained in advertising but must contribute to its development. He has had his views on advertising published in the Boston Business Journal and Advertising Age.

He had a lifelong interest in agriculture and for 25 years raised beef cattle, sheep, chickens and all varieties fruits and vegetables on his farm in East Bloomfield, N.Y., all in pursuit of how the small farmer can make a better livelihood.

He served as supervisor of the Planning Board in East Bloomfield, N.Y. He also served on the board of directors of the Allendale Columbia School in Pittsford, N.Y., the Nathan Mayhew Institute in Vineyard Haven, and the Genesee Valley Club in Rochester, N.Y. He was president of the Tunxis Club in Tolland, and the First/Third Men’s Club of Martha’s Vineyard. He was chairman of the trustees of the West Tisbury First Congregational Church.

In community affairs, Mr. Bartels served as a member of the Chilmark Conservation Commission and the Chilmark Preservation Committee.

He leaves his wife, Vickery, and three sons, Gregory of Guilford, Conn., Spencer of Stony Creek, Conn., and Chester of Annapolis, Md., their wives and grandchildren, Ashton, Lauren, Skylar, and Wiley. He also leaves a brother, Steve, of Tolland and a sister, Jane, of Madison, Wisconsin.

A memorial service will be held on September 24 at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Hospice Care in the Berkshires, Inc., 877 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201, or to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard Inc., PO Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.