David Andrew (McKinzie) Bradburn
August 29, 1929 – January 30, 2023

David Bradburn of Eureka and Willow Creek, California passed away Jan. 30, 2023, at the age of (93½). He is a descendent of the McKenzie Clan, Willits and Gordon pioneer families and the historic Benning family of Athens, Missouri.

David Andrew (McKinzie) Bradburn was born near Stansfield, Oregon on the Lazinka Ranch, to Raymond McKinzie and Esther Gordon McKinzie. After a family breakup in 1930, Dad moved with his mother Esther and sister Joanne to Willits. Willits is named after his maternal Grandfather Hiram Willits. In 1936, after his mother remarried to George Alfred Bradburn the family moved to Willow Creek (China Flats).

The family settled onto a ranch two miles outside of Willow Creek on Hwy 96, Dad attend school in Hoopa, Grandpa Bradburn worked for the California Highway Department, and Grandma was elected as the Justice Court Judge in Hoopa.

Dad had a very interesting life, working as a young man for the forestry department fighting fires, working for the phone company running phone wires across the Valley. He also raised a long horn steer while belonging to the Future Farmers of America.

Dad was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 and was sent for service in Korea where he served with the First Korean Infantry Division, TDY with Charlie Co. 45th Division, NCO in charge of the detachment and squad leader. He was presented the Purple Heart by U.S. Army Col. Slaughter. He was also awarded the Republic of Korea War Service Medal, United Nations Korean War Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Korean War Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Korean War Presidential Unit Citation

Dad returned to Willow Creek in 1952 and started working for the California Highway Department in their lab department before he moved on to his final career with the Humboldt County Department of Public Works as the Resident Engineer, where he retired after 38 years. Dad was the Lead Engineer for road and construction work from one end of Humboldt County to the other and he also oversaw all work on the Arcata Airport.

He was a lifelong member of the VFW Eureka Chapter and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

He is preceded in death by his mother and stepfather George and Judge Esther Bradburn, his daughter Joy Tears and sister Joanne Nachand, his niece Bernice Jacobs, and nephew George Jacobs of New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Judy Bradburn, his son Kent Bradburn of Eureka, son and daughter-in-law Brett and Myra Bradburn of Gainesville, VA, 4 grandchildren, Victoria Bohling and husband Rhett, Olivia Bradburn, David Bradburn all of VA and Honey Bell and husband Carlos of Sacramento; four great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Noelle Bradburn and Avery and Rocky Bohling; six step-grandchildren Lacy Regalo, Landon Regalo, Michael and wife Melissa McClurg, Mariah McClurg, and Mason and Evelyn Snow; Judy’s children and spouses Kim and Carl Regalo, Jamie and Rod Boone, all of Eureka; and Ben and Jessica Snow of Watsonville, and a newly found half-brother, Raymond McKenzie of Idaho.

Dad especially appreciated the Eureka and Redding VA clinics, the VA hospital at Fort Miley and the Eureka Vet Center. Much thanks go to the VA Home Based Health, especially PA Vicky Cushing and team, Mad River Home Health nurses and Hospice of Humboldt especially nurses Mia and Sadie, and Robert, who kept David looking handsome as ever in his last days. Special thanks to Trent and Agape care givers, Tabatha and Bonnie.

Dad is appreciated for his dedication and loyalty to his family and stepfamily. We will miss his presence, humor and affection.

The family will hold a private memorial service.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of David Bradburn’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.