It was Sunday morning on Aug. 1, 2021, precisely at sunrise, first day of harvest at Bradley Farms, when Don Bradley passed away in Cut Bank, Mont. He was surrounded by his puppy, Pepper, and his two kids holding his hands, as he said his final goodbye. Graveside services were Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Cut Bank.
But this is the end of the story, let’s start from the beginning.
Don started the life journey on April 28,1941 born in the old Cut Bank hospital. He grew up on the family farm and was surrounded by baby lambs running through the house, the smell of rain and a dose of hard work every day. As he once said, “Nobody ever died from a day of good honest hard work!”
He purchased the original homestead from his grandparents, Edwin and Ethel Warde. His grandpa always said a hand up is always better than a handout, a philosophy Don embraced for 80 years. It was on this piece of farmland that he began a family with the love of his life Marcia Brown. They built a house and then a home when they had two children Sonja and Keven (Vicki) Bradley. Keven continues to farm on this same land today.
Don’s hobbies were numerous and included his love of flying his Cessna 182, golfing, fishing, waterskiing, weekend poker get togethers, hunting with his friends and farming.
Don was blessed with the fabulous five grandkids of Camille, Canon, Jaxon, Jess and Josie. He loved them to the moon and the stars. He was their greatest fan in all their sports, hunting, golfing and graduations. Grandpa always had a word of advice and told the kids, “Do what you really love and do it twice as hard!”
Friends were many, strangers were few. Hot coffee with a splash of BV Caramel at his kitchen table, time around a campfire, and just spending time with family were his first priority. Dad said my life is made of two dates and a dash, and I had a long dash with no regrets!
He was preceded in death by his wife Marcia.
Don is survived by his favorite son Keven, wife Vicki and children Canon and Camille; his favorite daughter Sonja and her family, Josie, Jess and Jaxon; special extended family of Terri Hillius, Lisa Wyrick and Doug Ray; brothers Arne and Bruce (Kathy) Bradley family and his many friends. His puppy Pepper Dog will miss him the most.
Memorials may be made to the Cut Bank Education Foundation and Alumni Association, 101 3rd Ave. SE, Cut Bank, MT 59427, to benefit the Cut Bank Schools Art Department.
Remember our dad and his large smile, love for life and gift of friends. Your life is measured in the length of the dash!