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Allan R. Bruce, 49, a national desk editor of United Press International who formerly headed UPI's Buffalo bureau, died Thursday (June 21, 1990) in his home in Alexandria, Va.

The Buffalo native was a longtime leader in the Wire Service Guild, following in the footsteps of his late father, Julian, who was an international representative with the AFL-CIO.

He served as a union negotiator five times during UPI's stormy years and was a member of the team that recently reached a tentative contract agreement with the ailing wire service.

A graduate of St. Martin's School in South Buffalo and Bishop Timon High School, Bruce joined UPI in 1963 after graduating from St. Bonaventure University, where he majored in journalism and was editor of the campus weekly, the Bona Venture.

His career was interrupted after five months when he was drafted into the Army. He served most of his two years at Fort Lewis, Wash.

After working in UPI's Albany bureau, Bruce was named Buffalo bureau manager in 1966. He left for Boston in 1972 to become UPI's New England sportswriter. After moving to New York City, he was named city editor in 1973 and a general desk editor in 1977.

He was promoted to Eastern Division news editor and moved to Pittsburgh in 1983. The following year he was assigned to Florida as state editor. Since 1986, he had been a national desk editor in Washington, D.C.

Bruce had held various union positions since 1966.

"We're heartbroken," said Kevin Keane, Wire Service Guild president. "He was one of the finest, most courageous, most selfless Guild leaders I have ever met."

Others recalled Bruce as a mentor and a sympathetic champion of employees who needed help.

"He was very good at negotiating and got some things for workers that nobody thought the company would ever agree to," said Dale Dugger, a longtime friend.

"He was an outstanding reporter and editor," said UPI Executive Editor Al Rossiter Jr. "Bruce could handle any kind of news event, and you knew he would produce a smooth, accurate story that answered all the questions. He will be missed."

Survivors include three sisters, Gail Leavitt of Silver Creek, Joan Hughes of West Seneca, and Linda R. of Beaumont, Texas.

A memorial service will be conducted at 4 p.m. July 1 in the Metropolitan Community Church, Washington, D.C.

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