Ed always had a story to tell and a side story… now it’s our turn to tell his story. He loved his career of fighting fires just as much as his family.
Ed was proud of his family roots. His parents both came from large Irish farming families of Missouri. Ed had over 45 first cousins. He was born on November 9, 1948 as the third of four sons to Maurice and Madonna Brady in Santa Rosa. Ed attended Catholic school at St. Eugene’s Cathedral until 6th grade never letting a nun forget his name with his witty personality. He had a deep Catholic faith that he carried with him his whole life.
Ed attended Montgomery High school where he found his two loves wrestling and his high school sweetheart, Carolee Wiesenburger.
After high school in 1966, he started his summer job that turned into his career working for the California Department of Forestry. Ed was drafted May 8, 1968 and spent two Christmases in Okinawa. He was a military police officer. He enjoyed sharing stories of winning the iron man competitions, transporting prisoners back to the United States and driving way too fast on the island. Ed was like a walking map he rarely got lost, so it made out running the other military police fun. When he returned home, he continued his career with CDF working in the Santa Rosa area. He married Carolee September 4, 1971 and shortly after they moved to Garberville/Redway and started their life together raising their daughters Heidi and Deborah.
Ed was actively involved in many volunteer community groups. He joined the Redway Volunteer Fire Department in 1976 and became fire chief in 1993. When he retired from CDF 2002, he handed over the chief position to Brian Anderson, so he could travel to Alaska with their good friends then around the states in his fifth wheel with his sweetheart. He continued volunteering with the fire department as a commissioner until 2019 when his health issues became too much.
Ed enjoyed living and raising his family in Southern Humboldt. He loved to fish, rock pick abalone, he play softball for a number of years with CDF friends traveling to Elk Grove for tournaments and watching football. Ed loved to tailgate with friends at the Niners games. He watched his final 49er game with his grandson, Caden by his side before he passed. He also enjoyed his favorite holiday St. Patrick’s Day cooking corned beef and cabbage for his family, friends, and as a fundraiser for his church. It was always fun to toast with green beer straight from the keg celebrating his Irish roots. While his daughters were young, you could always count on him to volunteer with the PTA, booster club and 4-H. He also volunteered many hours helping coach wrestling in the ‘70s and the ‘90s at South Fork High School, sharing his passion of the sport.
Ed was very proud when his family started to grow. Heidi married Tony Harrison and Deborah married Joe Sauls. He was proud of both of his son in laws and the men they are.
In 2001, his first grandchild, Kenzy, was born and through the years Chaz, Caden, Mason, Gavin, Kegan and Ryden joined the family. Ed’s grandchildren were so important to him. He enjoyed spending time and making memories with each of them. He was most proud watching his grandsons find the joy of wrestling on the mat. Ed could always be heard when he was cheering.
He enjoyed his retirement years traveling to Yuma with his wife every winter spending time with friends going to Mexico on day trips, riding quads in the desert and visiting with friends, but his wife, daughters and their families was his world. Ed always made it a point to make it home for the holidays.
Sadly, Ed passed away September 22, 2021 at his home of 46 years surrounded by the love of his family. He is now reunited with his parents, brother Jim, his best friend from childhood, Tim Keegan and his firefighting buddy Jack Young. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 50 years Carolee, daughters Heidi (Tony) Harrison and Deborah (Joe) Sauls. His grandchildren: Kenzy, Chaz and Caden Harrison and Mason, Gavin, Kegan, and Ryden Sauls. His also leaves behind brothers Bob Brady, Ron (Evangeline) Brady, his sister in laws: Toni Harper and Margie (John) Cline along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family is having a small Catholic funeral on Saturday, October 23 at Our Lady of the Redwoods Church. We welcome everyone to attend the celebration of life on May 14, 2022 at 1 p.m. at the River Walk in Fortuna. Please come and share stories and memories
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Ed Brady’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.