At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Ministry with Community
500 North Edwards Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Daniel volunteered every Thursday at Ministry with Community.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Throughout his life, Daniel Bradshaw was passionate about the people and things he believed in. He was a hardworking man of honor and integrity who lived life on his own terms. He was kind, giving, and compassionate with a heart that beat to help others in ways both great and small. Daniel shared nearly 50 years with the love of his life, and together they watched their family grow to include both children and grandchildren. He loved free stuff and and was always tinkering around, and he never met an ice cream he didn't like. Daniel will be dearly missed, but his legacy will live on in those who follow in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young American men and women were called to serve during WWII. Back home rationing was in place, and manufacturing was focused on supplies for the war effort. In the midst of this eventful time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Henry and Anita (DeWitt) Bradshaw as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Daniel L. on November 12, 1943, in Muskegon, Michigan. He was the third of five children to be raised in the family home in Fremont as his siblings included John, Nancy, David, and Jane. Daniel’s father worked with heavy machinery while his mother also worked and spent many hours volunteering. He and his brother Dave loved shooting rats at the dump. Daniel attended local schools where he played the coronet in the band and excelled in his studies.
After graduating from Springfield High School in 1961, Daniel attended Western Michigan University, studying psychology and also taking part in the ROTC. With a desire to do things on his own terms and to avoid the inevitable draft, Daniel enlisted in the Army on January 24, 1969, and became a helicopter pilot. He spent one year serving in Vietnam, and in that time he did it all, flying people and supplies in and out of combat. Daniel lost many co-pilots and gunmen, and for the rest of his life this was something he struggled with. On January 23, 1970, he was discharged, and he remained in active reserves until 1972. While serving he had become so accustomed to the sound of the helicopter blades turning as they were required to sleep nearby so they could be ready to go in 30 seconds if needed. As a result, Daniel always needed to sleep with a fan on. Although he earned a Purple Heart, he never accepted it since he had it much better than so many of his buddies, who called themselves the Ghost Riders, did.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was his introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Teresa Schornagel, and they had their first date to a John Wayne movie in the late sixties. Since he was in the military at the time, they had a short courtship, and were married on June 25, 1970, at Second Reformed Church in Fremont. Later that summer, the newlyweds took a honeymoon to Niagara Falls. Daniel and his wife bought a trailer and lived in Kalamazoo for three years before buying a house off Barney Road in Kalamazoo. They lived there for over 20 years, and this is where they raised their three children, Matthew born in 1971, Michael born in 1974, and Amanda born in 1978. In 1999 Daniel and his wife moved to their current home in Plainwell, but their daughter continues to live in their Kalamazoo home.
There was never anything more important to Daniel than his family. He was active in the lives of his children including coaching their Little League teams at times. On the weekends Daniel woke his kids up by turning up the reel to reel player and playing Jim Croce. Although he was 70% deaf as a result of the military, his family said he could hear lights turn on. Daniel helped the boys make their pinewood derby cars, and they almost always won. As a family they did some camping and they also took family trips to Mammoth Caves, Niagara Falls, and the Smoky Mountains. In 1994, their family was deeply saddened with Matthew’s accidental death. Later in life Daniel was thrilled to become a grandfather, and he was very involved in the lives of his grandchildren. He was there for all their activities, and they all enjoyed watching the Lions and Patriots even though Daniel had been a longtime Steelers fan. Even though he couldn't cook or even boil water, he appreciated that Teresa is a great cook. Daniel loved it all, but for the most part he was a meat and potatoes guy. He enjoyed comfort foods like her pies and blueberry crisp with ice cream. In fact, Daniel always said that he never met an ice cream he didn’t like!
Throughout his life Daniel worked hard in everything he did. After serving in the military he continued working at Allied Paper Mill as he had been there before entering the service. Daniel then took an exam to work for the State of Michigan in 1971, and for the rest of his career he focused on assisting veterans. This was Daniel’s true passion until retiring around 2004. He also volunteered at Ministry with Community every Thursday. Daniel’s love for his country ran deep, and he was involved with several veterans associations.
A man of many interests, Daniel was rarely one to be still. He loved music and played the bass guitar in a country band called River Bed Band, and they also did some classic rock. The band had been together for over 20 years, practicing in the basement and playing bar gigs on the weekends. One of their favorites was to play Oak Ridge Boys music. A saver at heart, any of the extra money he made Daniel saved. He was always on the lookout for ways to save money, and he learned to fix anything around the house or with the car. Daniel always had a million projects going, and he became a master at fixing anything with duct-tape. He enjoyed building bluebird houses and loved oriels and hummingbirds, too, and it has been said that he hated the squirrels on the porch. He loved riding his Harley-want-to-be, his “YamaHarley” as he called it. Daniel did some bowling and golfing, liked rabbit hunting, enjoyed watching boxing, and was a season ticket holder to the Barn Theatre with his wife. In addition to country music, Daniel enjoyed music from the Eagles, ZZ Top, and Eric Clapton. Just this past June he was diagnosed with cancer, and his way of life was drastically changed as his health quickly declined.
A man of strength, honor, and courage, Daniel Bradshaw was a blessing in the lives of so many. He was passionate about his country and had a strong religious foundation at his core. Daniel was straightforward, a no-nonsense kind of guy who never turned down a fight in the name of doing what was right. His love for his family ran deep, and his devotion to those he loved was easy to see. Life will never be the same without Daniel here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Daniel L. Bradshaw, of Plainwell, died October 23, 2018, in Kalamazoo. Daniel’s family includes his wife, Teresa Bradshaw; 2 children: Michael Bradshaw and Amanda Bradshaw; 4 grandchildren: Treston, Jerimiah, Noah and Katelynn; 2 siblings: Dave (Judy) Bradshaw and Jane Bradshaw; sisters-in-law Diana (Doyle, who preceded him in death) Wiles, Cynthia (Frank) Bock, Kim (Doug) Noirot and Stacey Schornagel-Butler; brother-in-law Jake Schornagel; and many nieces and nephews. Daniel was preceded in death by his son, Matthew; parents; 2 siblings, John Bradshaw and Nancy Luchies; and parents-in-law Jacob and Sharon Schornagel. Services will be held Monday (Oct. 29) 11 AM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 with visitation beginning at 10 AM. A luncheon will follow the service in the Life Story Center. Burial with military honors provided by Otsego VFW will take place at Grand Prairie Cemetery. Please visit Daniel’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Ministry with Community.