J. Bradford John was born in Los Angeles to J.B. and Diggins John and spent most of his childhood in Marin County. He moved to Arcata to attend HSU and began making friendships that would last the whole of his life. After graduation, he moved to Milwaukee in pursuit of his future wife, Cheryl Lynn Bruffy. They briefly settled in Tahoe, where he worked as a lifeguard, then came back to Humboldt to build a house halfway up a mountain and across the way from college friends Robert and Trisha Stark.

This is where Brad lived for most of his life and where he raised his two children, Amy and Garret. Living way up on the mountain taught his kids that some families aren’t connected by blood, but by a network of hiking trails between homes.

He was known for being humble and kind and always willing to help others. If someone wronged him he’d give them a second chance and a third chance. And sometimes a fourth. He had multiple careers, but working in construction was the best fit. Many friends have something in their homes that he helped build.

He passed Thursday, October 15, surrounded by the love of his family and friends. He is survived by his sister, his two children, their spouses, his four granddaughters, the rest of the Tip Top Ridge family, and his countless friends who rallied around him during his battle with cancer. Special gratitude is due to Jan Rowen who made it possible for him to continue to live in Humboldt these last few years. 

During his last days he saw friends and family who had already passed. He discussed construction projects with Robert, who passed away last year. And at one point, between hallucinations, he turned to his daughter, and slowly, with some effort said: “They don’t have to have everything perfect. They mostly need to know you care.”

We love you Dad. Thanks for loving us, imperfections and all.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Brad John’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.