Community mourns its 'joyful boy'

Memorial set for Del Oro student killed in car crash
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Update: A memorial service for Bradley Schlimmer has been set, according to Eunice Nichols, his great-grandmother. It will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, March 25, at Bayside church, located at the corner of Douglas and Sierra College boulevards in Granite Bay. Loving embraces, in the form of bear hugs. That’s what everyone close to Bradley “Brad” Schlimmer seems to remember about him. “He was just a big Teddy bear … every bit of 6 feet tall,” said his aunt Christine Karr, of Roseville. “His nickname was Moose, because he was always so big for his age, very loving and very affectionate always,” she said. The 17-year-old Del Oro High School junior died March 4 in a solo vehicle collision with a tree in Rocklin, near the Loomis border. He was the son of Wendy and Greg Schlimmer, of Loomis. According to Lt. Lon Milka, of the Rocklin Police Department, the accident occurred just before 8 p.m. Friday in the 4100 block of Pacific Street. The victim, driving a 1993 Honda Civic and traveling from Rocklin to Loomis, crossed the roadway and hit an oak tree. He appeared to have died at impact. According to Andy Portillo. Loomis Fire Protection District spokesman, the vehicle caught fire and the driver was trapped in the vehicle. Karr also described her nephew as a sweet boy who was always eager to help others. “He always went out of his way to welcome new people and try to make them feel comfortable.” Another aunt, Davina Weaver of Weimer, said Brad was a “big bear of a kid who just loved everyone.” Tena Thixton remembers Brad as “an incredible young man” who called her his “other mom.” Brad came into her life, Thixton said, when he was about 10 years old and went to her Loomis home looking for work. Thixton said her fiancé, Kurt Holdren, “hired” Brad to do odd jobs for him. “He always wanted to work,” she said. “Kurt took him under his wing, and he ended up being an apprentice for Kurt,” an electrician. “He quickly became family to us,” and was a “brother to my girls,” now ages 14, 15 and 16, and “a really good role model,” she said. Even though he had only known Brad for about a year, Nathan Paddeck considered Brad one of his best friends. “Even though he was younger than me, he was like a big brother,” Nathan said. “When I got my truck he helped with basic tune-up; he took me out hunting for the first time. He would just help me with rough times I was going through.” Nathan, a Del Oro senior, said he is having a rough time now dealing with his friend’s death. Although he went to school Monday, he didn’t attend any classes. “I just sat in one of the rooms with a chaplain the school had brought in … I just couldn’t concentrate.” Mollie Bushnell, also a senior at Del Oro, has been a friend of Brad’s since they attended H.C. Powers Elementary. Brad, said Mollie, had a way of making her smile. “He had a really sweet spirit about him,” she said. He would talk to her at Raley’s where she works as a courtesy clerk,” she said. “He’d come up and give me a big hug … he’d say, ‘Hey, beautiful, how are you doing today?’” Deborah Brannam, administrative assistant to Del Oro principal Dan Gayaldo, said the high school will hold “a memorial for students in honor of the celebration of life of Bradley Schlimmer” at 1:55 p.m. Friday, March 11. Brannam said she will miss Brad’s radiant personality. “He was one of the boys who walked through the office every day to share his smile and his friendly hellos. He just knew everybody,” Brannam said. As a student at Del Oro, Brad was a trapshooter on the Sportsmans Club, was an FFA member, and played on the freshman and junior varsity football teams. He also attended Harvest Times Church in Lincoln. Thixton said a memorial fund to help the family cover funeral expenses has been established at Bank of America in Loomis. Donations can be made at any Bank of America branch to account No. 0808368753. They can also be mailed to Greg or Wendy Schlimmer, In Memory of Bradley Schlimmer, c/o Del Oro High School, 3301 Taylor Road, Loomis, CA 95650. Donations are also being accepted at Del Oro and at Loomis Grammar and H. Clarke Powers elementary schools, where Brad had also been a student. A candlelight vigil Saturday evening at the site of the accident drew hundreds of friends and family who gathered to remember Brad. The response was so overwhelming that it caused the closure of Pacific Street, and authorities moved the gathering to the Del Oro High School parking lot. His parents said Brad was a “joyful boy who loved life,” and had a passion for hunting, fishing, motorcycles, fast cars and airplanes. Brad, they said, also loved the television show “Dukes of Hazzard,” which included a Confederate flag as a prop, and that is why a flag was added to his roadside memorial. On Monday afternoon, the memorial was relocated to Del Oro High. Brad was the youngest of three children. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brother, Timothy Karr, and sister, Jessica Koch, both of Loomis. He is the grandson of Joe Karr, of Loomis, and great-grandson of Eunice Nichols, also of Loomis. His paternal grandparents, Gene and Nancy Schlimmer, live in Washington state. The family is planning a public memorial celebration, tentatively scheduled for the weekend of March 26.