Walter ‘Lyle’ Bradley
1943 - 2022
Walter ‘Lyle’ Bradley
July 31, 1943 – August 12, 2022
Lyle (Dad) passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday August 12, 2022.
He was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada on July 31, 1943 to Martha and Walter Bradley. Early years were spent on a farm near Blackfoot, Alberta and in 1947 the family moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan. This is where Dad grew up, the second of six siblings. He was a mischievous
and precocious child (and adult) who displayed a caring personality and positive attitude that endeared him to family and friends. He attended Connaught Elementary School and then NBCI. Although proficient at school I am told that study was secondary to social life where his outgoing personality and compassion for others attracted many lifelong friends. He possessed unnatural proficiency at any game or competition and displayed an obvious desire to win not just play. He loved baseball, playing left-handed, from Little League to senior men’s but he excelled at hockey. He began his career learning to skate on a back yard rink made, by his mother, with discarded wash water. Underage, at fifteen, his hockey talent gained him a spot on The Battleford’s Beaver Bruins and he shone. Although a prolific scorer “The Bee” became a crowd favorite as a playmaker consistently displaying his nature to “assist”. He was still a boy, small of stature, but big on the ice. Many men, then and later in his career, learned not to tangle with him. At the ripe old age of sixteen he left home to play for the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Here he completed high school and after three seasons, in 1963, gained a scholarship to the University of Denver and spent three seasons as a Pioneer. While playing for the Des Moines Oak Leafs he met my mom, Becky, and me. They were married and the excitement began! In 1968 the California Golden Seals traded him to the Montreal Canadians. Then 1971 Montreal traded him to the Portland Buckaroos. In 1972 he was back with the Seals organization staying for good in Salt Lake. The whirlwind began in Salt Lake in 1969, then Denver, where my sister Kim was born, then Portland, and finally back to Salt Lake. He made it to the NHL for six games, four with Oakland and two with the Cleveland Barons. In 1974 he led the WHL in scoring and won the George Leader Cup as league MVP. In 1975, captaining the Eagles, the team won the Adams Cup CHL championship. He retired in 1978 and was honored by the Salt Lake Golden Eagles retiring his jersey. For two years, after his playing career, he was GM and coach for the Sioux City Musketeers and brought several players from Salt Lake along for the ride. He was also coach for the hockey club at the University of Utah.
After hockey came years as a general and painting contractor. There was always something somewhere to build, hammer, dig, paint, demolish, assemble, wire and glue. Hunting and fishing were also something he enjoyed and, as hockey was over, autumns could be spent in the mountains wearing hunters’ orange…Utah’s state color. He never brought back any trophies but had lots of fun anyway. The contracting was great, but his first love was hockey. Nothing made his day more than seeing someone from his coaching and hockey school days. Talking with them about life and, of course, hockey.
Dad was predeceased by; his parents, Martha and Walter, and his daughter Kimberly. He is survived by his siblings; Arlene (John) Whitacre, Jim (Ione) Bradley, Terry (Lois) Bradley, Darl (Shelley) Bradley, and Lois Bradley. His son Richard (Jenny) Bradley and grandchildren; Cassidy, Colton, Cameron, Christian, Kenadie, Cody, and Candace.
A life celebration event will be held at a later date.