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Bradley Eugene McDowell

July 1, 1956 January 6, 2020
Bradley Eugene McDowell
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Obituary for Bradley Eugene McDowell

Bradley Eugene McDowell, 63, of Spokane, WA, passed away Monday, January 6th, 2020. His death came at home, surrounded by his wife and daughters, after a years-long battle with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Brad was born on July 1, 1956, in Smith Center, KS, the geographical center of the United States, near where the American folk classic, “Home on the Range” was composed. His family later moved to Grand Island, NE, and Brad became a lifelong Cornhuskers fan.

After high school, Brad worked several years for the Minden, NE, Gas Company before moving to Pasadena, CA, where he attended Ambassador College in the late 1970s. It was in Pasadena that he met Rhonda Cosco. They married on May 31, 1982 in her parents’ hometown of San Carlos, CA on the San Francisco Peninsula, living first in Pasadena, then in 1991 in the Antelope Valley where they had two daughters, Laura and Amelia (Amy), before moving to Spokane in 2006.

Brad was a church pastor from 1998 to 2004, a team member of Prison Fellowship Ministries, and a community volunteer throughout his life.

Brad’s lifelong career work was in heating and air conditioning. For more than 20 years, he owned his own business in the Antelope Valley. Soon after moving to Spokane, he joined the employee-owned firm, Sturm Heating, as Commercial Department Manager, working until two weeks before his death.

Brad loved sports, and through the years he played football, basketball, softball, racquetball and golf, as well as refereed, umpired and coached a number of these sports. He loved deep-sea and freshwater fishing, boating, fantasy football, and musical theater, which he called his “new group sport” with his daughters (after peripheral foot neuropathy kept him from other activities). Brad also loved to travel and spend time relaxing with his family.

Brad’s wide network of friends and family describe him as trustworthy, kind, generous, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), and the “life of the party,” with an infectious laugh and endless sense of humor. Friendship and laughter followed him wherever he went.
Brad is survived by Rhonda, two daughters and their partners, Laura (Dane Sloan) of Seattle, WA, and Amy (Alex Sparks), Portland, OR. Brad is survived by his parents, Everett and Jolene McDowell of Grand Island. He was the oldest of 9 siblings, all of whom survive him: Brenda Struble of Medford, OK; Brian (Debra) of Westin, MO; Brice of Phoenix, AZ; Blake (Delonna) of Grand Island; Beverly (DeForest) Walker of Loveland, CO; Beth (Mike) Lebeda of Medford; Bridget (Tony) of Wichita, KS; Becky of Grand Island. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and by most of the 23 members of his Kensington High School (Goldbugs) Class of 1974, who went from Kindergarten through 12th grade together and have kept in touch throughout the years. Their most recent mini-reunion was hosted by Brad in July, 2019.
A memorial service to honor Brad’s life will take place March 14, 2020, from 4-8 p.m. at the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4340 West Fort George Wright Dr, Spokane, WA 99224. All friends and family are welcome to stay after the service for refreshments, music, and open mic remembrances.

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