Bradley Thomas was born in the 1960’s at a military hospital in Georgia. Both his parents were in the military; his father was a West Point graduate and his mother a stay at home mom. Bradley was born premature and only weighed 2 lbs. at birth, then his weight dropped to 1lb. 8oz. He spent the first three months of his life in the Neonatal Unit and was cared for by Josephine Thomas, the head neonatal Nurse. She was the only mother tiny Bradley knew, as his biological parents were not able to care for him or even take him home.
Josephine was single parent raising 5 children of her own, ages 16-21 and all still living at home, and also caring for her disabled father. In spite of all this, she took Bradley home and adopted him. By 1964, all of Bradley’s siblings had left home so Josephine and Bradley moved to Alaska where his oldest brother was stationed. In Alaska, Josephine was employed by another military hospital where there was more opportunity and a better salary. They moved back to Georgia in 1969, when Bradley’s grandfather’s health took a turn for the worse. After a brief stay, his grandfather passed away and they moved back to Alaska. After graduating with honors from high school, Bradley got a job as a commercial fisherman as well as a job in the moving industry. Since Bradley had a high security clearance, he was permitted to move many facilities on the military bases.
Bradley moved to Bend in 1990. He chose Bend because it was halfway between Alaska and the equator. Being an avid skier and snowboarder, the mountain access was a big attraction. He also competed in water-skiing contests. Bradley worked for various moving companies in Bend for two years and then he started his own moving company. His company is now composed of 6 trucks and 6 employees.
Another great thing happened in Bend. Bradley was moving MRI equipment at St. Charles Medical Center and one of his co-workers was moving the Collection Department. Bradley went to the Collection Department to assist with the move. It was there that he met Vicki Vuarnet. Vicki was a single parent with a 5-year old daughter, Sheena. It was love at first sight. Bradley and Vicki had been dating for 5 years when Bradley decided to take things to the next level. They married on September 13, 1995.
Loren Hall, an Elk member and a long-time friend, sponsored Bradley as a member in 2010. Shortly after joining the Bend Elks, Bradley served as Chaplain and the following year served as Loyal Knight. In 2013-2014, Bradley was elected Exalted Ruler. Bradley became an Elk because he felt, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” He felt it was time to pay forward all that was given to him.
Bradley’s stepdaughter, Sheena, moved to Hawaii to attend college and graduated with a BA in Graphic Design. She is currently employed as the graphic designer of Hawaii’s Public Health Department. Vicki Vuarnet serves as our Treasurer, a position she has held since 2011. Rebecca Wood, Bradley’s mother-in law, lives with them along with his two Newfoundland dogs, Harley and Buster both of which weigh 175 lbs., a rag doll cat named Keanu who weighs 25 lbs. and a turtle named Tilly, weight unknown.
Bradley loves motorcycles, kids and old people. His hobbies are RV camping, traveling and, of course, riding his motorcycle, which he has named “The School Bus” due to its bright yellow color.
Every one loves Bradley’s constant sense of humor and his positive outlook on life. Having Vicki Vuarnet and Rebecca Wood as members is also a huge asset to the Elks. Whenever we have a need for help, Bradley, Vicki and Rebecca are always there.