In Memory

Bruce Eugene Del Mar - Class Of 1931

Bruce Eugene Del Mar, inventor and entrepreneur, passed away February 12, 2014 at the age of 100 in Newport Beach, California.

Long-time resident of Laguna Beach and an Irvine businessman of 62 years, Bruce Del Mar was most widely known for the introduction of the Holter Monitor in the field of cardiology in 1965. His company, Del Mar Engineering Laboratories, was the first to commercially produce both the recorder and the analysis system for recognizing arrhythmias. Bruce led the company, later known as Del Mar Avionics, to the forefront of innovation in this technology for many years.

Bruce was born July 19, 1913 in Pasadena to Algernon Del Mar and Belle Rogers, both members of early California pioneering families. Bruce graduated from South Pasadena High School before attending UCLA and later graduating from UC Berkeley in aeronautical engineering. He began his full time career at Douglas Aircraft and worked with such aviation notables as Bill Lear, Jack Northrop, Robert Stanley, Arthur Raymond, and Donald Douglas. His most significant contribution to the aircraft design industry was his patented method for pressurization of commercial aircraft cabins first introduced in the DC-4. Starting his own aviation and defense company in 1957, he developed aerial tow targets and scoring systems used in weapons training for the US Military and NATO. After being introduced to Jeff Holter, Bruce diverted his engineering efforts from aerospace and defense to the task of developing ambulatory heart monitoring. Del Mar Avionics, originally located at LAX moved to Irvine in 1975. The Del Mar Technology center in Irvine became the leading producer of Holter Monitoring and other medical devices world-wide and led the transition from hardware intensive analysis devices to sophisticate software based systems. In addition, Del Mar developed a compact disc mastering system and an industrial product, Hydra Set; used extensively in rocketry, the space program, and nuclear power as a precision load leveling device. Hydraset was used to carefully place the US Space Shuttles on top of the Boeing 747 for transport back to Kennedy Space Center after landing. Several of Bruce Del Mar's inventions are on display and in use at the Smithsonian Institute in both the National History and the Air and Space museums in Washington, DC, as well as the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.

Bruce Del Mar was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Van Ness Del Mar, whom he met while they both attended Cal Berkeley and married in 1938, and by his older brother, Roger (SPHS '23). Bruce is survived by his two daughters, Pat Parsons and Marna Schnabel, seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and his younger brother, Walter (SPHS '38).

Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2014