Phil Bradetich, 92, passed away August 2, 2019 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, at Coffelt’s Moon Chapel in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Phil was born March 2, 1927, in Sandpoint to John Sr. and Anna Bradetich, the fourth of eight children and was raised on their family farm in Algoma just south of Sandpoint. He attended the Algoma Grade School near where the Sagle Fire Station is located today.
In 1945, Phil enlisted in the Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He trained in aircraft maintenance and worked on PBY float planes at bases throughout the Philippines. He served through the duration of the war and was honorably discharged.
Returning home, he met Kathleen (Kathy) Tucker and after a short courtship they were married on July 2, 1949. 1950 saw their family grow with their first child, a daughter they named Sheryl. In 1958, they added a son, Douglas. This past July they marked their 70th anniversary with a family gathering at their home in Coeur d’Alene.
After the war, Phil tried his hand at several jobs before beginning the first major phase of his work life in 1951 as construction was begun on the Cabinet Gorge Dam just east of Clark Fork. He hired on initially as an oiler then moved to crane operator. He greatly enjoyed construction and soon became adept at machine operation, a skill he maintained the rest of his life. When the dam was complete he went to work for Fred Kennedy during the building of the Long Bridge on Pend Oreille. This is the bridge used today for foot and bicycle traffic. Long after he went on to other careers, Phil was pursued to use his machinery skills. When Bonner General Hospital was being expanded in the early 1970s, the crew was in need of a dragline operator and Phil was hired to dig the foundation for the present hospital.
Though he loved construction, he didn’t want to move his family around following projects and began looking for something else. In 1956, he signed on with the Sandpoint Police Department as a patrolman and took heart and soul to this new calling. For the rest of his life when asked what he had done, routinely his first answer was he had been a policeman. He transferred to the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office in 1959, serving as chief deputy. In 1962 he became a fireman for the Sandpoint Fire Department, but continued volunteering as a reserve policeman until retirement.
1964 saw Phil’s final career change when Pack River Company hired him as their fire chief. The lumber company was growing rapidly with mills across the inland area. As the years went on safety, security, industrial relations, personnel and environmental duties were added to his job description. He stayed on through the mergers from Pack River to W-I and DAW Forest Products, retiring in 1989.
After retirement Phil and Kathy moved to Coeur d’Alene, travelling extensively for many years with friends and family. Volunteer work was always important to him and he served in many capacities. He was a volunteer fireman and a founding member of the Northside Fire Department, an officer in the Northside Water Association, sergeant for the Bonner County Sheriff reserve and volunteer for the Idaho Fish & Game. In 1990, he went to work for the Idaho Parks Department as a part-time employee, continuing until he was 89 years of age. His neighbors in Coeur d’Alene knew him as the guy who plowed all the driveways on the street as well as his own every winter.
A dedicated fisherman, he spent many hours on Lake Pend Oreille looking for “the big one,” winning the Fall Derby in 1984 with a 20-pound Kamloops. He also developed an interest in flying radio controlled airplanes and flew with the Farragut Flyers for several years.
His family, friends and community were of greatest importance to him and he will be missed by all that knew him. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Kathy; his daughter Sherry (Bob) Meyers; his son Doug (Mindi) Bradetich; granddaughters Stacey Bradetich, Amy (Paul) Gunter, and Erin Bradetich. In June 2018, he welcomed his first great-granddaughter, Lyla Jo Gunter. Also surviving are his sister, Rose Bloom; brothers, Joe and Don Bradetich; brother-in-law, Jerry Tucker; sister-in-law, Shirley Hruza; and numerous extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary Bouchard; and brothers, John, Frank and Dick Bradetich.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 W. Prairie Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815
Family and friends are invited to sing Phil’s online guestbook at coffeltfuneral.com
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Coffelt Funeral Services.