Thomas Rodney Bradley 1930 - 2020

Thomas Rodney Bradley passed away peacefully on March 7, 2020, surrounded by family and friends, in McMinnville, Oregon. Tom was well-loved and respected and will be greatly missed. Tom was born October 23, 1930, in North Bend, Oregon, to Jeanette Helms of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Paul Bradley of Orchard, Colorado.

Tom’s boyhood days were spent in North Bend, where he attended both grade school and high school (serving as a regular on the North Bend football, basketball and baseball teams). In fact, he was on the 1945 team that was the runner-up in the Oregon State HS Championship game.
After graduating from high school in 1947, he spent two years at Modesto Junior College, then three years at Oregon State University (Go Beavs!), earning a degree in Forestry.

Tom was married to Elita Joy Battee in 1951 and had three children, Cary, Darlene and Bryan. Joy and Tom divorced in early 1970.

Tom and Irma met while both worked at US Plywood, and eventually married on March 21, 1970. They welcomed Sherri into the world in October of 1971. Tom and Irma would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

During Tom’s time at US Plywood, he and Irma made their home originally in Lebanon, Oregon, through the '70s. He worked his way up from the front lines of the sawmill to Plywood Plant Manager of several small Oregon communities. In 1982, Tom then became the Northern Area Manager for Champion International and relocated to Missoula, Montana. He shortly ascended to the position of Vice President of Manufacturing and Operations of the Western Region, where he supported several plywood mills in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. One thing everyone recognized: Tom knew his trees and was always ready to teach the family all about them while on trips. The smell of fresh-cut timber will always be a reminder of Tom’s love of the forest.

After retirement in 1993, Tom and Irma moved to a beautiful log home outside Hamilton, Montana, where enjoying the Rocky Mountain views was a daily occurrence. With his ability to travel abroad for his work (mainly Japan and Denmark), he grew an affinity for the culinary arts and was known to run a tight kitchen (especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas). During retirement, he was always cooking up something delicious, seldom using any published recipes. Tom’s love of hunting and fishing with friends allowed him to land some amazing dishes on the kitchen table.
In 2003, Tom and Irma wanted to move closer to family, settling about halfway between Hamilton and Portland, in Walla Walla, Washington. His love of the simple, quiet life in Walla Walla was what drew him there, as well as the Wallowa Mountains. And it helped that he was only about five hours away from his grandkids.

In 2018, Tom and Irma made the difficult decision to move to McMinnville. This move brought them far closer to Sherri and Mike, where daily visits became more necessary, as well as allowed for easier visiting from Cary and Barbara, who live in Roseburg. Later in life, Tom had a great love of his fur babies, his family and his beloved Gonzaga basketball. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Tom is survived by his wife, Irma; children, Cary, Darlene, Bryan and Sherri; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will miss him every day.
Services for Tom will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Chapel of Macy & Son. To leave online condolences, please visit www.macyandson.com

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