Lois (Luette) Bruce: One of Bloomington’s First Female Police Officers

Lois Luette, a native of Monroe County and a daughter of Arthur Nelson and Lois (Freeman) Luette, graduated from Bloomington High School.  On June 4, 1948, not long after her graduation, she married Max H. Bruce who was also a Monroe County native.

Like most young couples, they set up housekeeping, and it wasn’t long before the family included two children, Cheryl and Marc.  For a while Bruce worked at RCA, and Lois took some part-time jobs with flexible hours in order to provide for the children while supplementing the family’s income. 

About 1960, when the children were both in school, Bruce became a fireman and Lois took a full-time job as a dispatcher at the Bloomington Police Department.  Six years later, in 1966, Lois was given a new job title and responsibilities along with her co-worker, Barbara Webb.  Both women were appointed as Bloomington’s very first female police officers.  

By the late 1970s, Cheryl and Marc were young adults living on their own.  Cheryl moved to Arizona with her husband.  Because Lois and Max wanted to be near Cheryl, they also moved to Arizona. 

It was there that Max passed away in 1996, Lois in 2011.  Both were subsequently returned to their native home for burial in Valhalla Memory Gardens on the west side of Bloomington.

Sources:
Bloomington Herald Telephone, January 6th 1972
– 1948 Bloomington High School Gothic
Monroe County (In.) Marriage Records

Post Submitted by Randi Richardson (Research Library Volunteer)

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