In Memory


Brad J. Putz

I wanted to share my uncle Brads obituary. 

Bradley John Putz
May 4, 1951 - January 29, 2020

Bradley John Putz died peacefully in his sleep on January 29, 2020 in Santa Cruz, California. He was 68.
Brad was born on May 4, 1951 in Palo Alto, California to his parents, John and Mary Ann Putz. He led a remarkable life, overcoming challenges of polio and epilepsy to make significant contributions to his community and the State of California by volunteering on boards and organizations and touching people’s hearts and lives with his gentle soul and passion for helping others. He attended Crescent Park elementary school, Jordon Jr. High and Palo Alto High School; He went on to earn an AA degree from DeAnza College and attended the University of the Pacific.
In the early 1980s, Brad moved to Sonora, California where he became active locally and statewide in self advocacy groups for physically and developmentally disabled persons. While in Sonora Brad worked as a volunteer at the WATCH program where he met his future wife, Anne, and met the Executive Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities Area Board 6 who encouraged Brad to apply for a seat on the board. And that was only the beginning - during his 35 years in Sonora Brad wore many hats. Besides being a member of Area Board 6, he was appointed chairperson of that organization, he was a founding father of the Self Advocacy Council 6, a president of People First of California, a member of Tuolumne County People First, a member of the Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC) Strategic Planning team, a recipient of the VMRC Communities award for his dedicated work in self advocacy, a Governor appointee to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), a Tuolumne County representative to SCDD North Valley Hills Office, and he was a consultant to the SAC6 and the Statewide Self Advocacy Conference Planning team.
Brad tried to never miss a meeting or a commitment. He mentored countless young self-advocates on how to get involved, find their voice and speak up. People in Sonora knew Brad because he was always out and about in his electric wheelchair, orange flag flying, to Umqua bank, Walmart, Applebees, local pharmacies and Subway.
Due to health issues, Brad moved to Santa Cruz in 2018 to be closer to family, and spent the past two years at Valley Haven. He stayed active by being the caller for Bingo games, singing along with the one-man band and other musicians, playing dominos, participating in group projects and wheeling around the grounds. He was cheerful, friendly and kind, and had a positive attitude towards life. We will miss him dearly.
Brad is survived by his siblings, Christine Patton, Sandy Lynn and Steve Putz and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife, Anne.
A celebration of life will be held with close family in Santa Cruz, California. Donations may be sent to Family Resources Network, 5250 Claremont Avenue, Suite 148, Stockton, CA 95207 website: or WATCH Resources, Inc. 12801 Cabezut Road, Sonora, CA 95370 website:

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02/11/20 04:15 PM #1    

Sarah McKenna (Broadbent)

Brad, you were a super kind kid. I will always remember that. Sarah

02/11/20 08:05 PM #2    

Jim (Mike) VanDiver

Goodbye old friend, NO QUESTION, YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!  I have ALWAYS really liked Brad, he was ALWAYS a GREAT FRIEND, his passing has hit me harder than almost every other classmate that has passed thus far.  I've have been wondering lately why he hasn't been posting Happy Birthday wishes on everyone's profiles, every time I would see his posts, it would make me smile!!!  I will miss that too!!!

Reading his obituary, is like a who's who!!!  Brad ALWAYS had a BIG heart!!!  Proven by all the jobs he's held, and always in service to others in his community and beyond!!!

If only I had known he was so close, I certainly would have reached out!!!  

I'm so very PROUD of Brad, and notwithstanding his disabilities, just how much he was able to accomplish!!!!

RIP, and goodbye old friend!!! 

Mike crying


02/12/20 08:52 AM #3    

Don Read

What at full and dedicated life! And, similar to what Mike VanDiver wrote, I kept being more and more impressed as I read all that Brad had achieved. 

02/12/20 09:21 AM #4    

Jeffrey Munks

You made the world a kinder and gentler place.  Fair winds and following seas, Brad.  Rest in peace, brother.

02/12/20 11:31 AM #5    

Pete Keesling

I first met Brad at Jordan, when we were in the Bowling Club. We met and competed at the old Indian Bowl; Mr. Downs was our faculty advisor. I can still see him as he made his way to the line, holding his ball, using just 1 crutch. He'd take a good long look, then swing the ball several times before releasing it down the alley with proper spin and "draw". He loved the game and, win or lose, he loved the competition.

I got such a warm feeling reading his life history here. Obviously, his positive attitude in school and sport continued throughout his life, despite his many physical challenges. People like Brad teach us true patience and perserverance. I'm honored to know that even for a short time, he was a part of my growing up.  

02/13/20 06:48 AM #6    

Jim R. Wilmer

I have fond memories of Brad whom I met in 3rd grade at Crescent Park when we moved to Forest Ave. Brad and I were close in grade school as were my sister Mary and his sister Sandy Putz.  I remember hanging out after school at the Putz home on Pittman Street with Brad, Sandy and my little sis. Brad had a big heart, a big smile, and an unconditonal love and gracious spirit. I'll miss his Birthday Greetings and his infectious upbeat love of life. Sending lots of love and compassion to his siblings.

02/13/20 06:44 PM #7    

Alan Day

Brad was a classmate at crescent park and I remember him riding his Irish--mail all over the neighborhood Later I was impressed by his gymnastic skills (pommel horse) I think he was unstoppable

02/20/20 01:17 PM #8    

Andrew L. Shrader

Like Alan said above, I remember watching Brad on the pommel horse amazed at how nothing stopped him.  I also enjoyed time with Brad in the bass section of the choir.  Brad was and always will be a special human being.

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