Photos and story by Diana Lejins, Contributing Writer
LONG BEACH — On June 21, about 150 people celebrated the life of longtime Democratic champion Eric Thomas Sean Bradley. The ceremony took place at the Long Beach Terrace Theater.
Bradley died unexpectedly this past May in his Long Beach home. Celebrants focused on his community activism.
A Southern California native, Bradley grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, graduated from Arcadia High School in 1982 and studied political science at the University of California Santa Barbara. He met Gail Schuster on a school trip to Europe and married her in 1992. They moved to Long Beach in 1995, and in 1997 their son Anders Patrick was born.
Bradley began his political involvement as an aide to Sen. Alan Cranston in the 1980s. He later played a critical part in the successful elections of Rep. Alan Lowenthal, State Sen. Ted Lieu, Gov. Jerry Brown and other Democratic candidates. Bradley held a number of positions in the California Democratic Party from 2001 to 2016.
Notable guests included Rep. Alan Lowenthal, California Treasurer John Chaing, former Long Beach Mayor Robert Foster and Long Beach Prosecutor Doug Haubert. Former California Assemblyman Hector De La Torre served as master of ceremonies.
“Eric’s dedication to the Democratic Party is well known,” said De La Torre. “He would help out anytime there was a just cause…. He was a friend and mentor to so many.”
Recently-elected Democratic Central Committee member Joan Greenwood reminisced about her friendship with Bradley.
“I will always remember Eric as one of the outstanding gardeners of our time—someone whose deeds and memory will continue to make great things blossom,” she said.
Eric’s wife Gail and son Anders remained pensive as Bradley’s friends spoke of his life and achievements.
“Eric Bradley passed away doing what he loved—organizing for candidates and causes he cared passionately about,” said California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in a recent Facebook post.