Ronald Tennyson Bradshaw

April 19, 1930 – July 16, 2020
Bradshaw, Ronald Tennyson (b April 19th, 1930) – July 16, 2020. With deep sorrow, the family of Ron Bradshaw announces his passing of natural causes on Thursday July 16, 2020, at the age of 90. Ron was predeceased by his parents, E. Norman and Margaret Bradshaw (nee Allworden), his siblings Brad, Viola, Evelyn and Wilf, and his son, Wayne Ronald Bradshaw (1957-1975). Cherishing his memory are his wife Ellen Bradshaw (nee Hall), his daughter Sheila (grandchild Julia Bradshaw), his son Russell and wife Daeng (grandson Kevin Fletcher, wife Crysta and greats Jayden and Raylia), his remaining siblings, Phyllis and Phillip, and many nieces and nephews who found a special place in his heart.
Born during the Great Depression, Ron grew up on a homestead in Tees, Alberta. His family moved to Mirror, so the children could attend school, and his parents and siblings worked to lift the family out of poverty. When Dad was ten years old, the family moved again to the Okanagan Valley in BC. In his late teens, Dad quit school to go logging on the north end of Vancouver Island for a couple of years, where he developed his lifelong interest in photography, and a deep love for the West Coast. He returned to the Okanagan, completed an apprenticeship in joinery with Kenyon Construction, and met and married Ellen.
Once the young couple had renovated a couple of small homes together, Ron created Bradshaw Construction Co. Ltd., designing/ building homes and eventually warehouses. He still found time to enjoy recreational badminton, fishing, boat-building, waterskiing, photography, hiking, camping, dancing, and billiards, as he became a father and successful contractor. He enjoyed playing cards with friends, teasing his “Ellie-Mae”, eating penny candy, drinking 7-Up floats after a hot day’s work, and hunting grouse. No one could find a four-leaf clover faster than Dad – he often said, “They jump out at me”. He loved music, especially piano, and orchestral pop arrangements, and although he could not play any instrument, he whistled beautifully. He delighted in family reunions.
In 1970, our family moved to Duncan, BC. The Cowichan Valley was primarily rural, but the Island was beginning to blossom. Throughout the next ten years, Ron grew to be a highly respected and accomplished builder, commercial contractor and developer, renovating or designing and constructing several downtown buildings, homes, schools, firehalls, a motel near Chemainus, condos and an apartment block in Nanaimo, several buildings for the Dididaht Nation, and apartments in Duncan. He had the energy of five men, and encouraged others working with him to begin their own businesses. Many of his best crew members did so. Dad well understood that without them, he could not have been as successful, and he wanted that for each of them, too.
During this time he also took us on the West Coast Trail, learned to scuba-dive, water-skied and fished frequently, and maintained a small herd of cattle on the Bradshaw Rd property, his home with Ellen for over 47 years. He was a busy guy.
The loss of our brother in 1975 was a heartbreaking tragedy, deeply affecting us all. And in 1981, another event occurred which profoundly affected Dad’s and our lives. The following is excerpted from a summary kindly written by Alison Taylor (Taylor Pelton Law Corporation), daughter of Don Taylor.
In 1983, the Bank of Nova Scotia called in a demand loan, and wrongfully appointed a receiver, seizing and selling the assets of Bradshaw Construction Co. Ltd. One year later, Bradshaw Construction commenced a lawsuit against the bank. Ten years later, after prolonged and intense litigation, represented by an outstanding local lawyer, Don Taylor, Bradshaw Construction Co. Ltd. was awarded the case, and some very special extra costs, by the BC Court of Appeal. This result was a testament to Mr. Bradshaw, and especially Mr.Taylor; there are comparatively few plaintiffs that could withstand litigation against the resources of a major national bank over such a protracted period of time. The Court’s analysis of the BC costs provisions continues to be one of the leading authorities on the assessments of costs in
the province, thanks to the diligent work of Mr. Taylor. Dad told us it was the principle that mattered; no small business should have to endure such unethical treatment, in the event of a created recession.
After costs were awarded, Dad regained the company, and Bradshaw Construction Co. Ltd. started all over again, building new apartment complexes, a small office complex, and purchasing property. Dad also bought the 60-acre farm where, in his”retirement”, he thoroughly enjoyed developing a working farm, supplying his family and many others with grass-fed and finished beef, and other farmers and ranchers with hay. He and Ellen toured in their new motorhome, and travelled in Europe and the Caribbean.
Ron was 72 when he last waterskiied on the chuck and caught salmon, and 76 when he completed the West Coast Trail one last time, along with his “little rascal”, Julia, whose favorite memory is learning to dance while standing on her Papa’s feet!
Dad was a complex and accomplished person. He loved us, and taught us that courage can be quiet, strength can be gentle, honesty, integrity and a solid work ethic matter, and love and family are everything. He lived a very, very full life, and built a highly successful business with his intelligence, his hands, and his burning ambition.
Dad lived his last few years in the care of very special and devoted staff at both Deertrail Lodge and Cerwydden. His family deeply thanks the several doctors and wonderfully professional, caring people who looked after Dad in his latter years, and wish them all continued good health.
Funeral services and interment will be held privately through H.W. Wallace Funeral Home. The family acknowledges the multiple businesses and individuals, especially Don Taylor and family, Jackie, his accountant, Kerry, another specialist, Al, Jim, John, and the usual crew, all of whom helped our dad /husband be successful; we are the direct beneficiaries of decades of support and kindnesses. The family also requests that donations in Ron’s name be made to the Cowichan Hospital Foundation, or BC Children’s Hospital, long one of Dad’s favourite charitable causes.
Online condolences may be made at
H.W. Wallace Funeral Home

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