Friday, November 11, 2011

Valley mourns loss of Buzz Bradshaw

Longtime Ketchum resident dies at 101

Express Staff Writer

Douglas “Buzz” Bradshaw

A fixture in the Ketchum community who once served as grand marshal of the Wagon Days parade has died.

Douglas "Buzz" Bradshaw passed away at his home Monday. He was 101.

Bradshaw was born in 1910 in Payette. He met his wife, Myrle, in 1934 in Gooding. The couple spent their honeymoon at the Bald Mountain Hot Springs in Ketchum, and in 1954 the couple built a home on Knob Hill.

Bradshaw worked with family members to build what would become the largest independent honey producing and packing business in the United States. In 1966, he and his two sons bought the Ray Wells Food Brokerage Co. in Los Angeles. The company was later renamed Bradshaw, Inc.

Buzz and Myrle supported schools, recreation, the ski museum, St. Luke's hospital and St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

The couple spearheaded a fundraiser to create the Knob Hill Park and then deeded two lots to the city to expand it.

Former Ketchum Mayor Jerry Seiffert worked with Bradshaw on the park.

"He may have been the most engaging, positive personality and person I've ever known," Seiffert said. "It'd do us all well to approach life as Buzz Bradshaw did."

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall said Bradshaw was a community-minded person who loved Ketchum and its people.

"He was part of the whole fabric of this town," he said.

Hall, who was close friends with Bradshaw, said he owes his political career to him.

"I wouldn't be mayor without him," Hall said. "He was hands-on in all my campaigns all the way through."

Even until the end, Hall said, Bradshaw was urging him to serve the community.

"He was still talking about the future of Ketchum and driving me ... to keep working on the vision of this town," he said.

Buzz and Myrle were chosen as the 2005 Wagon Days grand marshals.

In an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express that year, Bradshaw mused about the town he embraced.

"You know, when you reflect back on the events that have brightened your life over the years, probably the most treasured and noble gift is the friendship," he said. "From day one in Ketchum, a common thread is the friendship that we've enjoyed here."

Rebecca Meany:

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