Car Racing 04

Michael Bradbury

May 25, 1955 ~ November 8, 2019 (age 64)


Michael Jerry Bradbury passed away on November 8, 2019 in Arcata, CA. He was 64 years old.

Mike was born on March 25, 1955 in Vallejo, CA to his parents, Jerry and Louise Bradbury. Mike spent most of his childhood on "the ranch" in Blue Lake, CA, where he loved riding horses, building forts, playing on the dirt bikes and go-carts, sliding on cardboard down hills and having the freedom to be kids living in the country. "Bradbury Hill" became a favorite playground for kids in Blue Lake and his many cousins.

He was taught that whatever you do, give it your all and do the best job you could do — that even applied to when shoveling out the barn. He continued that mentality into his high school years and beyond, where Mike loved everything that had to do with football (Go Cowboys!) and wrestling.

He graduated from Arcata High School in 1974. He eventually coached wrestling at Arcata High School with his good friend Bert Van Duzer, where he spent 13 years training kids who loved wrestling just as much as him. It was always a mystery of who had more fun — Mike and Bert or the kids. Some of their accolades included three North Coast Section titles, 13 consecutive league titles, 36 California State finalists and 102 individual league champions. Mike and Bert were inducted into the Arcata High Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Arcata High Hall of Fame in 2016. Even after his coaching career at Arcata ended, he continued coaching his children, Ronnie and Sarah, in various sports as they were growing up.

In addition to his love of sport, Mike was also an avid car-enthusiast. He would help his dad and uncles build cars that they would race, and he eventually became part of their pit crew. As soon as he was able to, he began building his own cars to race and drive at Redwood Acres and other racetracks, starting with a Camaro streetcar that his dad bought from a wrecking yard. When he wasn't building cars, he was watching them race. NASCAR and watching Dale Earnhardt Sr. were a few of his favorite things.

Mike loved his family, was proud of his lineage and loved where he came from. His kind heart, caring personality and fun-loving nature will live on through his family and friends.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Jerry and Louise Bradbury.

He is survived by his daughter Sarah Bradbury; his son Ronnie Bradbury and spouse Sydney Bradbury; his sister Linda Bradbury and spouse Claude DeGay; his nephews Jamey and Ryan Knight and families; and other family members such as several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard on Nov. 13, 2019

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