COSTA MESA — Bruce Garlich had something in common with a famous cowboy.
"Will Rogers said, 'I never met a man I didn't like,'" said longtime friend Dave Wensley, of Costa Mesa. "That could have been something Bruce Garlich said."
Garlich, a former Costa Mesa planning commissioner, died March 22 of cancer. He was 74.
A private service was held for the community leader at the Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona del Mar on Friday. Afterward, family and friends met at the Costa Mesa Senior Center to snack on sandwiches, sip wine and laugh while telling old stories about Garlich, who served on the Costa Mesa Planning Commission for six years and ran for City Council twice.
Wensley was Garlich's friend of 50 years. The two met in the early 1960s at Douglas Corp. — later McDonnell Douglas Corp. — in Santa Monica. They lived in the same apartment building and both worked as electrical engineers.