Bruce Newell Bradley, 70, of Idaho Falls, ID, started his eternal whitewater rafting trip August 21, 2017. Bruce passed away at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center of injuries from an accident that occurred while working in his yard at his home early Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
Bruce was born April 10, 1947, in Shelley Idaho to Newell Melvin Bradley and Marvel Elsa Anderson Bradley and was the oldest of the five siblings. Bruce, Cheryl, Kathey, Russ, and Lori all grew up in the red brick family home on the corner of West Oak Street and Quigg Avenue. He was a very active kid and gave his mother grief as he wandered around the neighborhood in the cowboy boots his grandpa bought him, racing on his tricycle. He jumped off of roofs, ran with friends, and was a very active kid.
When Bruce was 16, he met a cute, blond haired 14-year-old gal named Nancy Lee Cannon when they were biology lab partners and decided to continue with that biology experiment and partnership being married September 15, 1967, in the Idaho Falls Temple. THE ONLY REASON she was allowed to date him was that he drove a Willy’s Gladiator as Nancy’s father, Leland Cannon, was a fanatic when it came to Willy’s and Jeeps and would not own another type of vehicle. Nancy was the absolute love of his life and they will celebrate 50 years of marriage, love, sacrifice, and commitment this September. Nancy always stood by his side and supported him on all his crazy adventures from building a house and business, to river rafting, and raising a family. His wife and family meant everything to him.
Through high school and college Bruce worked as a butcher for Doug Meats in Shelley, and like every kid from Shelley during that time helped with the harvesting of potatoes, grain, and hay. For many years after, Bruce would cut meat for his friends and family during hunting season and his children remember packing meat for hours on weekends in the family kitchen.
Bruce also played football and wrestled for Shelley High School. He was in the Ham Radio Operators Club and that is where he gained an interest for electronics and electricity. He attended Utah State University completing a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1969. After college Bruce started working for the Army Corps of Engineers and they moved to Alaska for a year then returned to Idaho Falls. He then spent what he called the longest 5 years, 3 weeks and 18 hours of his life working for Aerojet Nuclear at the Idaho National Laboratories.
In 1976, Bruce started his own Electrical Engineering Consulting firm, Bradley Engineering / Chartered, and continued to run this company as a family operated business until turning it over to his two sons in 2014.
Bruce made a large impact on the Idaho Falls area by designing the electrical systems for thousands of buildings. Some of the most recognizable structures being Mountain View Hospital, INL's Engineering and Research Office Building, McDermott Field followed by Melaleuca Field, Hillcrest High School, Wes Deist Aquatic Center, hundreds of projects for the Idaho Division of Public Works and other local municipalities. Bruce also had a goal to complete designs for 1000 megawatts of privately owned small scale hydroelectric power plants and most likely would have completed this goal if he would have had just a few more years.
With a firm belief in giving back to the community Bruce served on the board of directors for the YMCA for 10 years, Taylor Cemetery for 20 years, and the Bonneville Fire District for 5 years. He always felt that in order to be successful in life, it began with giving back to the community. He made many, many friends in the areas he served in.
Next to Bruce’s desk in his office was a quote from Hunter S. Thompson that best spoke of his thoughts on life:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” And what ride he had!
Bruce enjoyed to ski, cycle, hunt, fish, dance, read and read and read.......and read, research family history, whitewater raft and to relax with Nancy in his cabin in Island Park. He thoroughly enjoyed working in his yard and garden and felt that his yard was an expression who he was. He liked that his property was a comfortable place to many and enjoyed spending time making it a beautiful place.
Wherever Bruce was you would find Nancy by his side. They absolutely loved each other and to dance to country, big band, and any other music that gave them an excuse to hold each other and laugh. Many family summer vacations were spent enjoying week long rafting trips floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon and Main Salmon River. The little cabin in Island Park was Bruce’s sanctuary when he needed rest and the family spent countless hours making unforgettable memories in his favorite place.
Bruce's family and friends were his world and he loved us all so much. Though he had a hard-outer shell and might grumble, he had such a soft gooey middle. He was always there for anybody that needed him. Even during the times in the last few years when his body was giving up and in constant pain, he would be the first to arrive, the last to leave, and would do twice as much as the most able person there. A true force of nature, Bruce could move mountains if you let him and if he had enough time he would move it back just to see if he could do it again. His mind was a powerful force to reckon with and mind over matter took on a whole new meaning with him.
He taught his children the value of work and to how to work hard. He believed in helping those around him. He lived his life by the “Golden Rule” and believed in honesty and integrity above all things. If you were Bruce’s friend you knew it. He would always take the time to talk to you, offer help, and loved to be intellectual. One of his favorite things in the world was to hold his “babies”. His children and grandchildren were such a source of energy and love for him. Each of the grandchildren (and perhaps friends and neighbor’s kids) has taken a nap on grandpa’s chest (while grandpa slept too).
He believed in being yourself and all of his children are very independent and diverse people with bits and pieces of both him and Nancy swirled together in each of them. He taught his children to find out who they were, find their passion in life, and build themselves into the adults they wanted to be. His example is a legacy that is being handed down to his grandchildren.
Bruce is survived by his wife Nancy Cannon Bradley of Idaho Falls, ID, children Rashel Bradley (Matt Gormley) Driggs, ID, Jeremy Bradley (Brooke Bennett) Idaho Falls, ID, Amy (Paul) Radford Idaho Falls, ID, Matthew Newell (Breann) Bradley Idaho Falls, ID, Sara Kay Bradley Idaho Falls, ID. Grandchildren, Beau Pattee, Jayden Pattee, Layksyn Gormley, Antony Gormley, Alexa Gormley, Holden Radford, Jackson Radford, Ayla Azary, Autumn Azary, Bohdy Newell Bradley and Harper Bradley. Siblings Cheryl (Craig) Cutler Shelley, ID, Kathey (Robert) Fulks Idaho Falls, ID, Russ (Pam) Bradley Idaho Falls, ID, and Lori (Reo) Castleton, Taylorsville, UT. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents Newell Melvin Bradley, Marvel Elsa Bradley, and Dorothy, Esther and Albert Schoenhuth. The Bradley/Anderson family is very large and only immediate family has been mentioned.
A viewing will be held Friday August 25, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.at Nalder Funeral home located at 110 W. Oak St, Shelley, ID 83274. (208) 357-3231. A viewing will also be held Saturday from 9:30 till 10:40 a.m. at the Taylor/Jameston Ward Building.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday August 26, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the Taylor/Jameston Ward Building at 1101 E1250 N Shelley, ID 83274. A graveside service will follow immediately after at the Taylor Cemetery located at 720 E. 129th S. Idaho Falls, ID.
Please join us in a “Celebration of Life” that will be held that same evening, Saturday August 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Waterfront in Snake River Landing located at 1220 Event Center Drive Idaho Falls ID 83402. We will have food available from 7:00-8:00 pm with much laughter and remembering of Bruce after.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers that a contribution is made to your favorite charity or one of his.
First Lutheran Church (which supports local food banks and the amazing choir Nancy sings in) Please contact Penny Dixon 208-522-9301 or 455 W Sunnyside Idaho Falls, ID 83402
The Master’s Hand which is a children’s charity. kathyandterry.org
Idaho Falls Pipes and Drums (IFFD Pipes & Drums) 2184 Channing Way #180 Idaho Falls, ID 83404