Out of My Mind, April 19, 2012

Jackie Bradley (center) with the crew of the Okanogan County Clerk's office at her retirement party.

Jackie Bradley (center) with the crew of the Okanogan County Clerk’s office at her retirement party.

News of Jackie Bradley’s death came as a shock

The sad news of Jackie Bradley’s death travelled quickly around the county last Monday. The longtime Okanogan County Court Clerk and mover and shaker in Okanogan County Democratic politics seemed to be well liked by all that knew her, no matter what their political affiliation. The fact that she was reelected to nine terms in a mostly conservative county speaks volumes about how well respected she was.
The last time I saw Jackie was at Superior Court Judge Chris Culp’s swearing-in ceremony and the celebration that followed. As usual she gave me a big hug. According to her good firend Chris Zaferes, and I can attest to it, that something she was always sharing with the people she knew.
Zaferes was kind enough to drop by with a couple of photos of Jackie, including the one with her and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell on the front page. He said Bradley was one of the most generous people he knew, helping people wherever she went. He recalled her asking him to stop to give a lift to someone who had a flat tire. The man was somewhat scruffy, according to Zaferes, who later learned that Jackie knew him from his trial in Superior Court. To her it didn’t matter it was someone who needed a hand, he said.
Always fashionably attired, she was usually the best dressed person in the courtroom, if not the whole courthouse. She was a force in local and state politics and always stood up for what she believed. She was also proud of her pioneer heritage and could always be seen at the annual Pioneer Picnic at Conconully State Park. An invitation to one of her Christmas parties was also very special.
Retirement didn’t slow her down and she was coming back from the Methow after meeting with someone last Monday. Zaferes said it was his understanding that she hit some loose gravel while driving down the Loup Loup and that’s what caused her to go off the road and roll her car. Whatever the cause, she will be missed by all of her friends – her death is a great loss to Okanogan County and state politics.