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Brian Dennis Bauldry


1946 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Brian Dennis Bauldry Obituary
Brian Dennis Bauldry
July 31, 1946 - June 1, 2018
Resident of Santa Cruz
Brian Dennis Bauldry died on June 1st after suffering two consecutive strokes. As impossible as it is to comprehend his sudden absence in our lives, it is even more impossible to condense the rich and full journey of this brilliant, quirky, ethical, curious and generous soul into a few lines. Brian had more than his fair share of difficulty in his life, but he never described it as hard: rather he described his life as blessed and lucky.
Brian started his life as a working class kid in Detroit who dreamed of going to space, playing every sport there was to play on the neighborhood streets and working every day in his beloved Dad's neighborhood grocery store. His idyllic early years ended abruptly when his Dad died suddenly and the family of four was splintered by poverty and grief. Brian was sent to live with relatives but then received a full scholarship to a military boarding school in another state. Thus began his lifelong ability to adapt and make the most out of every situation no matter how difficult it was.
Brian was the first in his extended family to attend college. He received scholarships to study astronautical engineering at the University of Michigan. The war in Viet Nam disrupted his education when he was drafted. The war traumatized Brian in many ways but the most enduring trauma was the remorse he felt for participating in a brutal conflict that he deemed immoral within days of arriving in Viet Nam. From that time, Brian developed a deep engagement with the politics of our country. He felt very strongly about the need to be informed and to elect people who would weigh with utmost caution the squandering of young lives. Though Brian survived the war with PTSD as his only immediate scar, he developed both early heart disease and lymphoma later in life due to his exposure to Agent Orange.
Brian enrolled in Wayne State University in Detroit after the war where he majored in fine art, effectively creating his own art therapy program for healing. After graduation Brian joined many other Viet Nam vets in roaming the country bouncing from job to job; from ranch hand to bartender, roofer to wine buyer and butcher to handyman. He acquired skills and knowledge all the while learning more through classes in everything from solar technology to music appreciation.
Brian never lost his interest in cosmology, astronomy and physics but these interests shared space with his love of geography and maps, politics (local to global), evolutionary biology, history and much more. Brian was a big supporter of public libraries where he took advantage of every form of information sharing available from books to films to audiotapes. His curiosity about everything was equaled only by his love of science.
Brian met Jan when each was working downtown waiting tables at different restaurants. Jan worked on her art degree and Brian pursued a civil engineering degree and in their time off they enjoyed exploring the state in Brian's 1963 Rambler. They married in 1986 and brought the first of the two greatest blessings of Brian's life, Tyler, into the world in 1988, followed by Caleb, in 1991. Brian lived for his family: his mother and sister, his wife and sons. It was his sons that gave Brian's life the most meaning. Reading to his boys and making up long bedtime stories was one of the greatest joys of his life. He was a playful, engaged father that many of his sons' friends came to see as a father figure as well. Even the war could not compare to the grief and trauma of losing his youngest son, Caleb, in 2011. He was adamant that he would never mark the day of his death but would celebrate every birthday Caleb would not live to see.
Brian became a geotechnical engineer earning his masters from San Jose State while also working and staying up all night with a new infant. It is impossible to overstate Brian's work ethic, but in addition to his sense of responsibility he truly loved the science and challenge of his civil engineering field. After a layoff in 2000, Brian started his own company, Bauldry Engineering. The workload of starting a company from scratch was difficult while raising a young family but Brian covered every base from CEO to janitor. Brian loved his employees and the many close bonds he formed with clients, contractors and colleagues in his field. When illness forced the sale of his business he contracted to stay for one year with the buyers, Pacific Crest Engineering. Instead, he stayed until his death and was so grateful for the relationships he formed there and the compassionate way that the firm accommodated his illness and allowed him to continue working at something he loved.
Brian was the sole survivor of his birth family but leaves behind his adoring son, Tyler Bauldry McGeorge (for whom he would have lived 100 more years if he could have), his loving wife and most challenging debate partner, Jan McGeorge, his loving number-one fan and mother-in-law, Jo McGeorge, and many friends and adopted family members who meant more to him than they could ever know.
Brian hated three things: greed, intolerance and bureaucracies. He loved and believed in democracy, civic involvement, science and being a decent human being that carried his own weight. He believed in helping anyone else that could not do that. He worried about the moral implications of everything he did, from the food he ate to the amount he charged a client for his services. He added to the world while he was here and in that spirit we ask that in lieu of flowers you make a donation to any of the following organizations in his name: The Wounded Warrior Project, SPCA, WAMM or The Union for Concerned Scientists.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 16th at 2:00 PM at Oakwood Memorial Chapel, 3301 Paul Sweet Road in Santa Cruz. A reception will follow at his residence. If you would like to offer condolences to Brian's family, share your memories or light a candle in his honor, please visit www.scmemorial.com.


View the online memorial for Brian Dennis Bauldry
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on June 10, 2018
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