John Okley Bradley
12/14/1943 – 09/16/2011
John Okley Bradley, a native son and longtime resident of Santa Barbara who touched literally thousands of teenagers as a high school guidance counselor in California and abroad, has died after a short fight with lung cancer. He was 67.
John died Friday (Sept. 16) at Cottage Hospital less than two months after attending his 50th high school reunion. He was a starting defensive end on Santa Barbara High’s CIF championship football team in 1960 before graduating the following spring.
John was born on Dec. 14, 1943 the only child of Mildred and Okley Bradley, a retired naval officer and a longtime Santa Barbara Harbormaster. John attended Wilson Elementary School and La Cumbre Junior High before going to SBHS.
John spent time at the U.S. Naval Academy as part of his four years in the Navy before returning home, where he earned a B.A. in History and Physical Education at UCSB. It was during his time that he met and then married Margie Jo Kinley (from Lancaster CA). John went on to earn a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology at UC Santa Barbara. While attending UCSB, he worked at the Goleta Boys Club, where he is remembered to this day for his kindness, organizational skills, coaching ability and advocacy of young people.
John began his career as a high school counselor in Sutter Creek, Calif., in 1971, working there 5 years. His two children, Seth and Rachel, were born during his tenure in Sutter Creek. John was an adventurous spirit and he moved his family to the Philippines when his youngest was only six-weeks old. After returning from Manila John had a similar job at La Sierra High in Riverside from 1980 to 1983.
John worked for various International Schools, working in Manila, Riyadh, Taipei, and Tokyo for a total of 16 years. During that time, John and his family were avid travelers and had wonderful experiences in many places throughout the world.
Between international adventures John returned to Santa Barbara from 1990-1994, during which time he earned a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology from La Jolla University. He worked at the now defunct Camarillo State Psychiatric Hospital. He retired from his professional life in 2000 and spent his remaining years living in Santa Barbara.
A fine athlete and lover of sports his entire life, John served as a coach besides his duties as guidance counselor and psychologist with the International School System. He also loved to read, he always had a book with him no matter what he was doing, and was exceptional in just about any game he played, especially poker. A highlight was his appearance in 2007 in The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
John is survived by Margie Jo, his loving wife of 42 years, along with his loving children, Seth Bradley and Rachel Dozier; daughter-in-law Heather Bradley; son-in-law Brian Dozier, and two granddaughters, Tilly Dozier and Eowyn Bradley.
John will be greatly missed by his family and a multitude of friends along with countless others throughout the world who felt his positive influence and as a result had their lives forever changed for the better. He will be remembered for the depth of his intellect, his never-ending playfulness and his extraordinary generosity of spirit.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for you to please donate to the Boys and Girls Club in your local area. A memorial gathering is planned for Oct. 1, 2011 at the Santa Barbara Fraternal Order of the Eagles Lodge (923 Bath St., Santa Barbara CA, 93101) from 2-p.m. to 4 p.m.