Matthew Bennett Bradley

Musician, father, friend

A memorial service for Claremont resident Matthew Bennett Bradley will be held tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, at 3 p.m. in the Edmunds Ballroom, 170 E. Sixth St., at Pomona College. Mr. Bradley died Monday, August 12, 2013. He was 48.

Born to Eleanor and Bennett Bradley in Evanston, Illinois in 1964, the young Matt spent much of his youth and teen years immersed in the “Philly” music scene, as a guitarist, singer and songwriter for a number of rock bands in the area.

“He was a Philly guy through and through and never lost that attachment to his buddies back home,” his friend Charles Seward of Claremont shared. “He could still go into his Philly rant at the drop of a hat. He cherished his days with his bandmates when he had that proverbial brush with stardom in the late ‘80s.”

The friendships and love of music he  fostered during his youth remained a constant for Mr. Bradley throughout his life, as noted by childhood friend Ron Sciocchetti, whose fathers shared a business with Mr. Bradley’s father for 20 years.

“One of the things I remember most about my bud was how I could not stop watching him play guitar,” Mr. Sciocchetti related. “I was so in awe of his talent that I would laugh, because I, of course, was talentless. But Matt didn’t care—I was his talentless bud.”

Mr. Bradley took great strides to stay in peak physical condition and was often seen skateboarding down Yale Avenue, performing acrobatics with friends at Pilates Studio M or using a city bike rack as a makeshift pommel horse.

“From any music stage to Burning Man, Matt was always performing,” Mr. Seward shared. “More importantly, Matt had a huge heart. Having endured some tough years himself, he had a special knack for engaging people from any walk of life. College professors, musicians, homeless guys, you name it. People were drawn to his genuine spirit and positive attitude.”

Mr. Bradley married his wife Johannah in 1996, and they welcomed 3 children—Devin, James and Jackson—while making their home in Claremont. Professionally, Mr. Bradley worked for Pomona College as the Unix system administrator in the college’s computer science department since 2007.

“Claremonters are typically oblivious to unusual characters, so the sight of a shirtless guy with a shaved head rolling through the Village barely turned a head,” Mr. Seward said. “Matt was totally uninhibited—just cruising through life without a care in the world. But there was nothing routine about Matt’s life.”

Mr. Bradley is survived by his wife,  Johannah Bradley, and his children Devin, James and Jackson Bradley of Claremont. He is also survived by his mother Eleanor of Apple Valley, California and his sister Anne Bradley Ermlick and her husband David of Centreville, Virginia, along with his niece and nephew, Heidi and William Ermlick. He was preceded in death by his father, Bennett Bradley, of Apple Valley, California.

Guests at the service are asked to bring a single stem flower, Mr. Bradley’s favorite, to place alongside some of his personal belongings. Donations may be made to a college fund dedicated for the Bradley children. For information regarding how to contribute, please email



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