Bruce Albert Bradley, 98, passed away on April 24, 2022 in Manteca, California. He was born in Stockton, California to Henry and Irene Bradley on November 1, 1923.
Bruce attended Victory Elementary School and graduated from Stockton High School in 1941. After high school, he worked as a surveyor for the City of Stockton before attending UC Davis to play football. While enjoying his life as an Aggie, he received his draft notice and reported for duty on February 1, 1943. He was trained and became a forward observer and Staff Sergeant for the 754th Field Artillery Battalion. After training, the Battalion left New York harbor and headed for the European Campaign. They landed on Omaha Beach a few weeks after the initial invasion and joined the Battle of the Bulge. He served in Holland, France and Germany. He was very proud of his service to the country and was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.
After the war, he played football in Europe for the Army while waiting for his turn to board a Liberty Ship and head home. He remembered kissing the ground when he got off the ship at New York harbor. He completed his college education at Washington State University, once again playing football. In 1948, Bruce and his father bought a ranch in French Camp. Bruce met Miriam, his future wife, through mutual friends. They were married on December 18, 1949 and were married 71 years. While living on the ranch, Bruce farmed and Miriam taught at French Camp School.
Bruce and Miriam traveled extensively in Europe, Ireland and the United States. They also reconnected with the 754th FA Battalion 40 years after WWII. They traveled the United States to attend many reunions, enjoying the friendships of the veterans and their families.
In 1968, Bruce and Miriam built a family cabin in Twain Harte, which the family still enjoys today. Many memories have been made there. Bruce got much joy from his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He showed them through example how to be a good person. He taught his family the love of fishing, golfing, gardening and spending time together Bruce had a boat docked at Pinecrest Lake and most summer weekends were spent at the cabin and fishing at Pinecrest using his famous gilhoolie fishing lure and the red pole.
Bruce enjoyed serving his community. He was a member of the French Camp School Board, French Camp Fire Board, a little league coach, and served as president of Manteca Crimestoppers. After school, or on any given Saturday, a group of kids would knock on his door and ask if Bruce could come out and play. Many still remember playing football with him on the front lawn and Bruce saying “run until it’s a blur”.
In the early 1970’s, they sold the ranch in French Camp and moved to Manteca. Bruce went to work for the San Joaquin County Assessor’s Office as a farm appraiser. Eventually, he became Chief Appraiser for the county.
Bruce leaves behind his daughters, Jennifer Bradley Holtsman, Nancy Bradley Thissen, grandchildren, James (Lindsey) Thissen, William Holtsman, Ryan (Sabrina) Thissen, Heather Holtsman, Carly (Scott) Fisher, and four great grandchildren, Everett Holtsman, Ellery Thissen, Calvin Thissen, and Henry Thissen. Also leaving behind a dear friend, DeeDee Agdoma and his two amazing neighbors, Dave Cink and Gary Abatangle.
In Lieu of flowers, please make donations to Bethany Home, 930 W. Main Street, Ripon, California 95366. Bruce spent the last 3 years as a resident at Bethany Home where the administration, nurses and caregivers were also considered his family. Services will be private at the United States National Cemetery in Santa Nella.
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