A memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at Greenlawn Cemetery-Southwest, 2739 Panama Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93313, at 10:00 am, for Richard W. "Dick" Bradshaw. Pastor Andy Middlekauff will officiate and a graveside service will follow immediately thereafter.
Dick passed away quietly on July 11, 2016. He was 89. Several weeks before his passing, Dick's golf schedule of 3 games a week was interrupted because he was not feeling well. In the time that followed, he was unable to make his scheduled tee-time in Morro Bay, but he was able to spend a week in Cayucos with his wife, Dorothy, and his immediate and extended family caring for him. The kind and gentle man, affectionately known to his grandchildren as "Judge Papa," and to his great-grandchildren as "Big Pop Pop," was in no distress when he left us. He was surrounded by family and friends.
Dick was born in Ukiah, CA on February 4, 1927. His parents, William L. and Helen Bradshaw, moved to Kern County where William practiced law and was later elected to the Kern County Superior Court. Dick and his brothers, Jack and Dwight, and sister, Sally, attended Bakersfield schools. At Kern County Union High School, he met Dorothy "Dot" Burkhalter, who thought he was skinny, but who corresponded with young Richard after she and her family moved away from Bakersfield, until she married. (More on Dorothy in a minute.) Dick graduated from high school in 1944, enlisted in the Navy at 17, and was honorably discharged after World War II.
Following his military service, Dick graduated from Stanford and later, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, where he met Mary Goucher, also from Bakersfield. Dick and Mary were married, honeymooned in Cambria, and raised four children, Bill, Eric, Sally and Carl. Dick worked as a prosecutor in the Kern County District Attorneys' Office, distinguishing himself as a capable attorney, kind and honest. Dick's rich life with Mary was filled with memories of his growing family, car trips and summer vacations, the Smith River and northern California, Hot Springs, pack trips in the Sierras, anniversaries in San Francisco, Cayucos and the beach, kids' sports and graduations, weddings and grandchildren, and abiding friendships from Cromwell Court, Supper Club, Oro Vista, work and so many other places. Dick retired from the DA's office in 1989. He worked in retirement as a temporary judge, and started playing golf with his good friend and fellow career prosecutor, Oliver Rostain, until being a judge started to interfere with his growing passion for golf. Then it was just golf.
In February 1984, Dorothy "Dot" Reusser (formerly Burkhalter), who was widowed years earlier, saw a name from her high school past mentioned in the Yuba City newspaper. She learned that Dick worked in the Kern County DA's office, and sent him a letter c/o his office to find out if the person in her paper was Dick's daughter, Sally. It was. Dick and Mary visited Dot several times while on trips to see their children. After Mary's passing at Christmas in 1996, Dick traveled north to see his family, and called Dot to see if she would like to go to lunch at Lyon's. Dick later reported to his son, Bill, that he'd seen an "old flame" that day. The flame fully reignited, and the two married in Harmony on July 7, 1999, thus beginning a sweet marriage and companionship for which Dick had promised Dot "ten good years." He kept that promise, and then some. Cruises to Alaska and Mexico, three years of baseball spring training in Arizona, the Grand Canyon, fall colors in Massachusetts, Lake Tahoe, Cayucos and many other road trips, and nary a shadow falling too long in the same place, Dick's Cromwell Court friends dubbed them "Dot and Dash." Dot says that Dick was the kindest man she ever knew.
Dick was preceded in death by Mary and Dick's brothers, Jack and Dwight. He is survived by his wife Dot, his sister, Sally Drinkward, his four children, Bill Bradshaw (Martha), Eric Bradshaw (Clair), Sally Mitchell (John) and Carl Bradshaw, eight grandchildren, Kristen O'Connor, Sarah Boye, Aaron and David Mitchell, Kelcey Mena, Danny, Aimee and Jared Bradshaw, daughter-in-law Debbie Greer, great grandchildren, Emily and Naheli, Dot's family, Kendra, Felice, Spencer, Stephanie, Sarah and Jack, and Dick's brothers' and sister's families.
Judge Papa loved his family and friends, and he enjoyed life. His affirmation, affection, kindness, humor and friendship will be missed. What a truly decent man.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Honor Flight Kern County, 8200 Stockdale Hwy - Suite M-10, Box 255, Bakersfield, CA 93311 www.honorflightkerncounty.org/donations
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