Bradley J. Cole

February 9, 1955 - May 14, 2024

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Bradley Jay Cole

February 9th, 1955 – May 14th,2024


Adored by his family and friends for 69 years, Bradley “Brad” Cole was unfairly taken from us on May 14th, 2024, in Lincoln City, Oregon when he was attacked and killed in an unprovoked robbery attempt for his dog. Brad was there vacationing with his wife, celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary.

Brad is survived by his loving wife, Debbie Cole of Milwaukie, his daughter Lacy Rasmussen and son-in-law Adam Rasmussen of Oregon City, his son Travis Cole and daughter-in-law Sarah Cole of Milwaukie; his beloved grandchildren, Nathan, Allison, Madison and Adalyn Cole, and his youngest son; Chase Cole of Portland. Brad also leaves behind brothers, a sister, countless nieces/nephews, innumerable loving friends and neighbors.

Brad was a pillar of the Milwaukie community, where he lived and worked for over 40 years. It’s also where Brad and Debbie raised their 3 beautiful children and built a rich, laughter-filled life of interconnected meaning.

Brad was born February 9th, 1955, in Ashland, Oregon to Lowell & Carol Cole. He spent most of his childhood there with his Mother, brothers and sister. The family also resided in Claremont California for a time, during Brad`s high school years. Brad graduated from Madison Highschool in 1973 and went onto play college football as a defensive lineman, at Iowa State.

In 1982 he met his beautiful wife, Debbie Rudisaile in Phoenix, AZ and fell madly in love. They were married a few short years later on April 20th, 1986 in Lake Tahoe, with friends and family by their side. Then shortly after moved back “home” to Oregon. Brad completed his HVAC schooling in 94’, around the same time his youngest son, Chase (Brad’s mini-me) was born and their family of 5 was complete. He became fully licensed while working for multiple construction companies until settling into a more permanent position at Precision Cast parts, where he worked for 15 years. In the spring of 2000, he went onto work for Multnomah County, as an HVAC Engineer for county facilities and property management for 17 years, until he retired, in April of 2017.

Brad had many passions, adventures and friends. He was an avid reader, especially old westerns, cheesy romance novels and legal thriller/suspense novels. You could find paperback books all throughout his home, recliner and his car. An enthusiastic gardener who planted so many dahlias and recited how to get water “on the roots! ”as he took you on a tour of his blooms. He would watch your dog just for the fun of it if they were stuck inside while you were at work. When he made spaghetti for family dinners, he would use his biggest pot, so that when friends and neighbors stopped in, they were free to dish up a big bowl too. It`s the Brad style of how he did things that was his charm.

On weekends you could find him on the sidelines of grandkids sporting events, cracking jokes as Debbie smacked him while laughing, cheering loudly; and making pancakes each Saturday for the family, which was just his excuse to get to see everyone.

He loved tail-gating with friends at the Oregon Duck games, volunteering to drive friends + family to the airport- even at 2am just to be able to hear about their current adventures, leading boy scouts for his sons throughout their childhood years- passing down his love of camping, cooking and fishing. Taking road-trips all over the pacific NW and beyond, weekly calls to his best friends and his kids to catch up on life or even just to entertain them while they`re stuck in traffic on their way to work. He brightened up the most mundane parts of life. His relentless curiosity to know people over the years made a big impact when he offered advice, encouragement or an observation.

Brad was thoroughly enjoying retirement life. When he very first retired, he started a bucket list and began planning his new adventures. Some of the most notable trips he had taken on his bucket list were: Road trip to Zion National Park with his wife and in-laws, Salmon fishing in Depot Bay + Alaskan Halibut Fishing trip with his boys, as well as a trip with family to Sonoma California to see his first-in person NASCAR race. That was in addition to some of his regular favorites; family beach trips to Lincoln City a few times a year, road tripping to Crater Lake, summer rafting & jet-boating on the Rouge River, fishing in the Gorge with his kids and grandkids, Crabbing with his buddies on the Oregon Coast, Caravanning with 30+ friends to the Oregon Duck football games- just to name a few.

He was one of the best story-tellers you`d ever met, but he was an even better listener. Brad brought joy to every room. He loved you, even if he barely knew you. He wanted to know your story, make you laugh and to make sure you were taken care of. Never himself before you. He gave the best advice, shared his time and wisdom generously and enhanced every life he touched. He truly was one-of-a-kind. To know him, was to love him. We used to joke that Brad could make friends with a fencepost, because of his warm charismatic personality, his mastery of sarcastic humor and witty timing, and his ability to love you just as hard, as he could make you laugh… Which was HARD!

He was the head of our family and the heart of it. What else could we be but heartbroken to lose THE most amazing Husband, Father, Grandpa, Brother, Best Friend and Neighbor. In a world with so many more books to read, questionable jokes to tell, Dahlias to plant, boards to paint, memories to make and bearhugs to give – We’ll always wish we had gotten more time with this incredible man we got to call “ours”. Though it never would have felt like “enough” time with someone like Brad.

A celebration of life will be held in the greater Portland area later this fall. For all inquiries, information and especially shared thoughts and/or photos of Brad, please email to

Sarah Cole-

Adam Rasmussen-