Thomas Clive Bradbeer
July 27, 1967 - January 12, 2021
Thomas Clive Bradbeer, 53, died unexpectedly at home in Charlottesville, on January 12, 2021. He was the beloved son of Clive and Wilma Bradbeer of Charlottesville, brother of Suzy, brother-in-law of Kyle and father of Anabella. He is also survived and deeply missed by numerous relatives and friends in this country, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The essential Tom was a loving, caring and generous family member, and an intensely loyal longstanding friend.
Tom was born at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, on July 27, 1967. Most of his formal education was done in the Charlottesville Public School system, at Johnson Elementary School, Buford Middle School and Charlottesville High School, graduating in 1986. During his school days he was the winner of the U.S. Air Force award at a CHS Science Fair, and a painting of his was selected to hang temporarily in Delegate Van Yahres' office in the General Assembly building in Richmond. Interspersed among these years, as he travelled with his parents, were a few months of first grade at an elementary school in Leicester, England, a summer session at the Blue Ridge School in Dyke, Virginia, and a year at Logan Park High School in Dunedin, New Zealand. A few years later, after deciding on further formal education, he obtained an Associate Degree, cum laude, from Piedmont Virginia Community College, and a BA degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, graduating in 1996 with a major in history.
Tom was very much a free spirit; adventurous, independent, and determined to go his own way. He was usually ready for new experiences, and was prepared to take risks, often with some disregard for his own health. He was a superb athlete and played some Little League baseball, soccer and tennis at junior levels. At Charlottesville High School he played on the Boy's tennis team as a sophomore, but did not continue this in his later years. In New Zealand he had success and pleasure playing basketball for the Logan Park High School's junior team. Later he used his athleticism to become an outstanding goalkeeper in an adult soccer league in Charlottesville.
Tom had a deep love for and facility with animals of most kinds, but especially with dogs and snakes. He was also very much an outdoors person, who did not wish to work indoors, and certainly not to sit at a desk looking at a computer screen. When he finished high school he and a friend took off for a year in the South Pacific, spending the first seven months touring New Zealand on motorbikes, before moving on to Australia and the Cook Islands.
On his return Tom took a job at the Vivarium at the University of Virginia Health System, looking after the experimental animals, and going beyond the usual requirements of his job to give them as much love and tender care as possible. Then he decided it was a good time to continue his formal education, which he did via PVCC and UVA. During these academic years his adventurous spirit prompted him to head out to Alaska in the summer of 1992 and work on a salmon fishing boat. He later took three more trips to Alaska. On one of these, based at the remote village of Egigik on the Alaskan Peninsula, he operated a tender with an onboard crane to transfer salmon from fishing boats to the cannery. His most exciting experience was in 1995, kayaking with a friend about 230 miles up the Alaskan coast from Petersburg to Juneau, with close encounters with orcas and humpbacked whales, and sightings of grizzly bears and wolves.
He enjoyed working with wood and a good part of his adult life was working in construction as a carpenter for his friend Tyler Brooks, of the Brooks Construction Company. He also spent a few summers working for the Yates Landscaping company in Damarriscotta, Maine.
When not working his primary recreational activities were fishing, hiking, reading and attending rock concerts, especially the Dave Matthews Band. He was prepared to travel considerable distances to hear a favorite band. When fishing or hiking he was invariably accompanied by one of his faithful dogs, either a Border Collie or a Siberian Husky.
Tom lived a full life. It just should have been longer. A celebration of his life is planned for later in the year.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillandwood.com
Published by Daily Progress from Mar. 7 to Mar. 10, 2021.