Friends and family on Sunday gathered to remember the life of Sam Bradley, an Olympia-based psychologist who also was active in the community, including a stint on the Port of Olympia commission.
His time on the commission branded him a “maverick” because of his opposition to the port’s operations and its practice of levying a property tax. He also served on the Olympia Planning Commission, volunteered at the Olympia Free Clinic and traveled the world with his wife of 30-plus years, Eileen Connor, and his daughter, Katy Beattie.
Bradley could discuss anything, had time for everyone and was always upbeat, said friend and former family practice doctor Bill Newmann, one of several who visited Bradley’s west Olympia home on Sunday.
“His commitment to the community and family was clear,” Newmann said.
Bradley died on May 31, due to health-related complications after quadruple bypass surgery. He also had suffered from Parkinson’s disease in recent years, his wife, Eileen said. He was 77.
Bradley was born on Dec. 23, 1938, in Idaho, and later moved with his mother and family to Vancouver. Eileen said he worked on the railroad as a young man. He also worked for Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson in Washington, D.C., and later attended the University of Maryland and the University of Washington, where he earned his doctorate in psychology before going into private practice in Olympia.
He served on the port commission in the 1990s, wanting to close the marine terminal, which led to opposition from longshoremen, who regularly attended port commission meetings in those days, Eileen said. His time on the port commission, though, was cut short by cancer.
Bradley also loved to travel, creating a special bank account called “Traveling Sam.” He visited China in the 1970s and later traveled around the world in three months with his wife and daughter. They accomplished the entire trip with carry-on bags, Eileen said.
She said Sam never liked to check luggage.
His daughter Katy recalled Sunday that she would study with her friends at home, but if her father overheard some conversation tied to a country he had visited, he would share his thoughts.
Dr. Jean Cavendish, a former business partner of Sam’s in the 1980s, described him as generous and generous to a fault.
“I loved him very much,” she said.