Bradley James Aker, 61, passed away on June 27th 2012 peacefully in the presence of his family. Brad was born March 21st, 1951 in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He was a member of the Community Church of Joy and had a long career as an insurance adjuster for both State Farm and Farmers Insurance. Brad was a graduate of Maryvale High School (Class of 1969) and received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University. Brad married his high school sweetheart Clara (Engstrom) on May 7th, 1971 and recently celebrated 41 year wonderful years together. Brad and Clara have three incredible and outgoing children, in which Brad spent every moment of his life ensuring their happiness, well-being, and success. His life was active and full of coaching his kids softball and soccer teams, building their high school floats, and lots of family vacation trips. There was absolutely nothing more in life that Brad enjoyed than spending time with his five grandchildren; Owen (5), Serenity (4), Kaylee (4), Ashley (2), and Bryan (10 months). As the true apples of his eye, he enjoyed teaching them how to swim and play soccer, taking them on quad rides through the mud, and showing them that being a kid should be nothing but laughter and fun. As an avid bow hunter, you could always find Brad in northern Arizona Unit 5A every camping and hunting season. He was anxiously looking forward to chasing those crafty and elusive elk this fall off the bull tag he finally drew this year. Two of his favorite annual trips included houseboating on Lake Powell and laying on a beach somewhere in Mexico. Brad was a huge fan of Arizona State Football (especially when they beat UofA… Go Devils!) and he was a master at throwing darts and horseshoes. He was the best story-teller ever and the jokes he shared were never-ending. He loved his dog of 12 years, Sadat, and took pride in telling everyone that his dog had a 12-word vocabulary in 3 different languages. Brad enjoyed music and you could almost always catch him singing his favorite songs by Bob Dylan, The Traveling Wilburys, Marty Robbins, and Jerry Jeff Walker. Everyone who knew Brad automatically had a friend for life. He loved and valued every single one of his friends and they will each hold a special place in his heart. Brad had an incredible passion for life and took full advantage of every minute. We will miss his smile and his company, but take comfort in knowing he will continue to be with us in spirit and memories. If life is one big party and everyone has to bring something, well then Brad sure brought a lot.
He was preceded in death by his father James, mother Henrietta, and brother Sheridan. Brad's spirit and memories will continue to live on through his wife Clara, daughters Alison (Kevin) and Rebecca (Jason), son David, brother and best friend Thomas (Patty), his five grandchildren, and his dogs Sadat and Rex.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be privately held by the family. Condolences and memories may be offered to the family at greenacresglendalemort.com . As Brad was a big supporter of Hospice of the Valley (www.hov.org), the family requests donations to be sent there in honor of his memory.