Our beloved, beautiful Brad brought joy and adventure from birth until he went to be with his Lord and Savior on April 24, 2022. Though falling short of the Glory of God — as do we all! — Brad confessed Christ for more than 25 years and knew God’s grace. God remained with Brad throughout his time on earth; Brad is now eternally with Him.
Brad wore hickory shirts and excavated dirt from toddlerhood. He charmed his mother (and drove her to Jesus). Brad expressed deep appreciation for his mother, stepfather, and sisters’ support and friendship. Brad had plans in place to return to Texas and the two job offers there. Brad long sought his father’s approval and loved his sisters fiercely, both of whom — always faithful — loved him dearly.
As a Harboritie, Brad had a well-rounded childhood and started athletics young. He was articulate, witty, creative, a great cook, generous, helpful, and patriotic; once was interested in joining the Marine Corps. This former 4H camp counselor and freshman homecoming prince completed high school early to train and graduate top of his class as a Heavy Equipment Operator.
At age 19, Brad recovered from a death-defying accident at work (multiple broken bones, torn organs, traumatic brain injuries, massive blood loss) well enough to be sought after for his exquisite skills, intuitive thinking, and nerves of steel on steep slopes. He quickly learned any machine and then excelled at it. You name it, he tamed it. Using the teeth of an excavator bucket, Brad picked up a can of soda pop and even a raw egg without puncturing either.
Understandably, Brad was into body-(re)building for a time after his accident and fought to re-start his own life. He zip-lined, bungee-jumped, and rappelled off cliffs. Brad played, prayed, and worked in various States and countries in a wide swath from Alaska to Mexico and from Hawaii to Texas and Louisiana. Working construction and logging mostly in Washington, Brad also operated logging equipment in Alaska and Hawaii(!). While doing all of that, Brad coped with traumatic brain injuries, pain, insomnia, and PTSD challenges.
In more recent years, Brad invited his mother to tour his various steep-slope, tethered-logging sites. With a jut of his chin towards territorial views (ocean, river, forested mountains — sometimes all three at once), Brad would say, “Great view from my office, right?”
From his youth, Brad conversed aptly with adults. All who met him immediately liked him, his friendly personality, unassuming ways, and hilarious, animated, creative descriptions of challenging situations.
Brad enjoyed the camaraderie of his sisters and friends while mud-bogging, or sand-slinging with ATVs while camping at the dunes. He enjoyed the friendship of fellow crewmembers working construction and logging. Little-known facts: Brad worked for Rygaard Logging on the TV reality show, Ax Men (see slide show on May 20). And he was asked to work for Abercrombie & Fitch, modeling. Brad also crabbed off the West Coast — from one dimension to an entirely different one.
Brad was compassionate with the vulnerable — humans and animals, alike. Brad once found at work a tiny, abandoned, yellow kitten. Tucking it inside his shirt in order to warm it, he continued to operate his excavator. He eyedropper-fed, then bottle-fed it day and night, taking it to work until old enough to wean. Brad was a loyal friend to many; counted on for immediate help at a moment’s notice in the middle of a storm.
Brad loved his nephews and niece and grandparents. And he intensely loved his son, Bradley Jr. Whether in person or away working, Brad always securely held him near his heart from the day Bradley Jr. was born. Brad was very proud of his son’s honesty and positive attitude. Bradley Jr. has his dad’s heart, humor, helpfulness, kindness, intelligence, faithfulness, athleticism, playfulness, and perseverance. He’s already declared Jesus his “hero.”
We look forward to again enjoying Brad’s famous hugs, where all who are in Jesus will be for eternity without tears, pain, death, or sorrow. Revelation 21:4.
Brad was born into five generations still living and was preceded in death by a great-great-grandmother; great-grandparents; and his paternal grandfather, Jack Thompson.
Brad is also survived by his parents, Christine (Oestreich) and Rick Herrera. His father, Jack Thompson Jr. Also survived by his two sisters, Jessica (Shawn) Iskra and Sunny (Trevor) Wheeler; nephews and niece. Maternal grandparents, Gary and Liz Oestreich; grandmother, Marlene (Coleman) Patterson. Paternal grandmothers, Dorene (Bindreiff) Esteb and Trish Thompson.
Perhaps consider in lieu of flowers, a donation to the Artic Volunteer Fire Department, 1661 N River Rd, Cosmopolis, WA 98537 in memory of Brad, so that Brad’s life may help save the lives of others.
Please come as you are, even straight from work with sawdust and dirt, on May 20 at 1 p.m. to the Legacy Pavilion, Lake Sylvia State Park (originally an old logging-camp site), Montesano, Washington; Pastor Gill officiating and with a message of hope. Sharing memories is so appreciated. Enjoy Brad’s favorite coffee, plus cookies and water and easy walks on trails through the woods. Park your vehicle across the bridge, then walk back across to the pavilion.
The family encourages you to share comments and personal photos by finding the tab “Memory Wall” and clicking on it at the following link: https://harrisonfamilymortuary.com/book-of-memories/4923096/Thompson-Brad/index.php