Bradley J. Taylor Sr.

Bradley J. Taylor Sr., a lifetime Wishkah Valley resident, passed away peacefully at his residence in the Wishkah Valley on Friday, June 21, 2024.

Bradley J. Taylor Sr., a lifetime Wishkah Valley resident, passed away peacefully at his residence in the Wishkah Valley on Friday, June 21, 2024. Brad was born on March 26, 1946, in Aberdeen, Washington, to Robert and Nila (Hollis) Taylor. He graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1965 and was a lettered varsity football and wrestling athlete. He met his wife, Sheila E. (Clevenger) Taylor when he was younger. When he was 15, he spent many nights playing games and eating popcorn at her home with her family before he finally persuaded her for a date. Sheila’s father was quoted as saying “you know that young man is not just coming here to eat popcorn.” They stayed together after that and were married on July 30, 1965, in Aberdeen. Sheila preceded Brad in death and passed away in 2017. They had been married for 51 years. They had three children, Bradley Jr., Robert and Shannon.

Brad Sr. served in the Army National Guard from 1966 to 1972. He was a diesel tank mechanic and decorated as an expert marksman in multiple weapons. He served with his best friend, Al Frafjord of Montesano, of whom he and his wife Janene were best of friends with Brad and Sheila. Brad then worked for Wasson Buick in Aberdeen as a mechanic, followed by his work as a hooktender for ITT Rayonier with his uncle, Al Green of Hoquiam, who was a timber faller. He taught many young loggers how to set chokers and the mechanics of crane logging in the steep terrain around Lake Quinault logging old growth timber. Following that Brad worked for many years for D&M Contracting which was eventually purchased by Asplundh Tree Service. He worked as a machine operator, mowing the many logging roads in the area as well as a mechanic working on the machines if needed. He was known by most as an extremely hardworking person who always showed up and did good work. He retired from Asplundh in 2006.

Brad along with his wife, Sheila, was a member of the Wishkah Valley Booster Club from the time their children attended school at Wishkah and played sports. Brad and Sheila’s biggest joy, other than being with their family, was attending all the athletic events such as football, basketball, soccer, track, volleyball and wrestling for their children, grandchildren, relatives and local athletes. They rarely missed a game and were avid fans. Brad ran the “chain gang” meaning the volunteers who ran the football chain gear at football games throughout his sons’ high school football career and was especially proud when Wishkah won 2nd and 1st in the state championships in football in 1983 and 1984 when his sons and nephews played. Brad began coaching grade school sports at Wishkah when his kids were in school. Brad was selected to coach the Wishkah Valley High School Football team in 2007 and led his team to a 2nd place state victory in 2008 and numerous league championships. Coaching high school football was new to him, but football was not; and he was always seen devising secret plays and logging them in the secret playbook with help from mentors and his son, Bradley Jr. He enjoyed his coaching endeavors until 2012 with his wife “Coach Mom” being the team statistician. He would fondly remember all his players and those players who would stop up and visit them, even after he was no longer coaching. He was a father figure to many of his players and loved them all.

Brad and Sheila did everything together. Their other favorite activities consisted of hunting, boating, fishing, camping and having fun get-togethers with family and friends. Brad also enjoyed riding his quad for miles on long rides all over the Wishkah with his dog, Jet. He always made time to stop by and visit with family and friends along his quadding excursions. Additionally, he loved working on anything that had a motor and would be seen fixing neighbors’ lawn mowers, vehicles or anything that needed repaired. Brad spent time being a pit crew mechanic for D&M Contracting when they raced their car at Grays Harbor Speedway in Elma. He especially loved to pass these mechanical skills along to his sons and grandchildren. Family, friends and community meant everything to him. He led a full and wonderful life.

Brad is survived by: his two sons, Bradley J. Taylor Jr. (fiancé’ Courtney Fries); and Robert J. Taylor; daughter, Shannon E. Taylor (fiancé’ Tony Whipple); daughters-in-law, Penny Castleberry Taylor and Karla McLucas; six grandchildren: Elizabeth (James) Walker, Cierra (Tanner) Martin, Amber (Katie) Taylor, Donovan Bieker, Braden (Bailey) Castleberry-Taylor, and Jillian Bieker; three great-grandchildren: Ayla Walker; Kinsley Martin; and Kylan Martin; sister, Janet (Jay – deceased) Vinson; brothers-in-law: John (Jean) C. Clevenger II, Helen (Roger – deceased) Durham; Paula (James) Thompson; Peter (Alice) Clevenger; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Brad was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Sheila E. (Clevenger) Taylor; his parents, Robert and Nila Taylor, in-laws; John and Elna Clevenger; brother, Robert (Alice) Taylor; sister, Roberta Bobbie (Ed) Jarvis. special Uncle and Aunt Al and Helen Green; cousins Sonny and Karen Willis, and close members of the family, Leonard and Babe Olson.

A celebration of life will be held in September of 2024. Date, time and location will be posted and announced at a later date. Any donations in Brad’s name can be made to the Wishkah Valley Athletic Department for the benefit of the sports programs at the school. Arrangements have been entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen, Washington.