Over the weekend, folks gathered at Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, OR to celebrate the life of Brad Smith, the owner of the bookstore, who passed away May 20, 2018.
Recently, Brad was also remembered in the newsletter for the natural food co-op in Bellingham where Brad had worked. Lee Ann Giles, who served with Brad on the PNBA board, shared the article, which highlights Brad’s long history of dedication to the industries and communities in which he belonged.
In Remembrance of Brad Smith
by Jim Ashby, General Manager [of the Community Food Co-op]
Brad Smith, one of the Co-op’s first permanent employees, passed away on May 20 in Bend, Oregon, where he and his family have been living since 2002.
Brad was a driving force in the Co-op’s growth and development for over 25 years. He began working at the Co-op when they were using a cigar box instead of a cash register. It can be said of very few people that if it wasn’t for them an organization might not exist. Brad was that rare person for the Co-op.
Among his many contributions, Brad was the first to see the potential of the Swan Moving and Storage building when we were outgrowing our store on State Street. In 1992, he walked in and asked if they were interested in selling the building. Two years later that building became our downtown store.
For many years, Brad was the Co-op’s most recognizable staff person. Longtime members will remember his as encyclopedic on both natural foods and co-ops. He was a tireless worker and a great resource for members and staff.
I worked with Brad for 17 years. I came into my job as general manager with wholesale, not retail, natural food experience. Brad, who had also applied for the general manager job, was endlessly gracious and helpful as I made the transition to retail. Brad could be irascible and blunt, but he was always genuine and non one who knew him would doubt that his heart was in the right place.
Brad has been gone from the Co-op and Bellingham for quite a few years and now he’s gone from the material world. He left the evidence of his vision and hard work behind for us, though, so please take a moment and appreciate that the next time you walk around our beautiful downtown store.
There was also a substantial remembrance published in The Nugget Newspaper on July 17.
The regional trade association for which Brad was a board member, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, announced the creation of a scholarship to the annual trade show in his honor.
The “Left of Center, Right of the Range” Brad Smith Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a PNBA bookseller located east of the Cascade Mountains. Brad was a proponent of challenging questions and spirited discourse and qualifying booksellers are asked to share something they challenge themselves to better learn or understand at this year’s show. Send comments to E.D. Brian Juenemann by August 10. Applications will be reviewed by the PNBA Board and a scholarship credit of up to $800 will announced prior to the show.
Our hearts are with Brad’s family and the communities who will continue to remember and miss him.