Back in the summer of 1987 Bruce Markielewski, Mike Hellmund, Tim Horner, Kevin Kuczek and a couple of other Model Rocket Hobbyist in the Denver Metro Area, by fate, found each other. They put out a notice in NAR’s Space Modeler’s Magazine and distributed flyers to local hobby shops that a group of Rocketeers were getting together to form a Model Rocket Club once again in the Denver Area. The Old Mile High Rocket Club Section #482 had then resurrected and Bruce came up with the name C.R.A.S.H. an acronym that many names were suggested and everyone agreed on “Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyists” as the new name for NAR Section #482. This all happened in the Basement of Bruce’s House located in Englewood, where many Section Meetings and Build Sessions occurred. Thus Bruce is one of CRASH’s founding fathers. Shortly then after CRASH’s first launches were held out near Parker, CO at the Challenger Park off of Lincoln and Parker Road. As one member described Bruce, “He is the glue that held our club together”.
As the group grew they had many sport launches and sanctioned contests both in the spring and fall such as GrandMa Goodard’s , CARCIS and a Chile Cook-off & Launch, where Bruce won a unscheduled event of Spot Landing in a pot of chile cooking on a camp stove.
Bruce was always very quiet but very competitive. When he wasn’t helping others with technical advice to build and fly rockets, he was building very technical and precise models that achieved many championship awards. As of today Bruce still holds 13 National Records in the “NAR C Division”, such as, Streamer Altitude (from 1/2A to E thrust), Helicopter Duration, Boost Glider and Egg Lofting Events.
Bruce’s interests in model rocketry was “Nationwide” his knowledge and willingness to share his ideas added to the growth of not only model rocketry but space exploration in general. Bruce served many official positions in the CRASH group and was respected by many members of the National Association of Rocketry. Bruce wrote many articles for publications and was an active participant, official and judge at many local, regional and national NARAM contests.
Bruce will be missed and all Model Rocketry Hobbyists will benefit in some way or another from the accomplishments Mr. Bruce Markielewski gave to us!
To Honor Bruce and his devotion to our hobby, we dedicate all fights launched at the upcoming “2014 Bruce Markielewski Memorial Rocket Contest”.
Submitted by Tim Horner, March 7, 2014