Schram, Brad

Expert Birder And Naturalist For Nature Tour Companies And Cruise Ships

  • Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Brad Schram
Brad Schram

Brad Schram, 79, passed away peacefully in his daughter’s Tennessee home with his wife and family by his side on July 3, 2023, after suffering a stroke while adventuring in the Great Smoky Mountains in April.

Brad is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Dianne (Davis); daughter Kate Chong, son Kirk Schram, and nine grandchildren; siblings Bruce Schram, Gay Houghtaling, Melody Zavala, and Barbara Moreno.

Born Aug. 2, 1943, in Los Angeles, Ca., Brad was raised by his mother, Norma Swift and great aunt and uncle, Irene and Bradford Swift. At eight years old, Brad discovered an interest in birds that led to a lifelong pursuit of birding. After retiring from Sales & Marketing for Pacific Bell in 1996, Brad travelled to all seven continents as an expert birder and naturalist for nature tour companies and specialty expedition cruise ships including the World Discoverer.

Brad spent his childhood in Vista, CA, graduating Vista High School in 1961. He graduated from Biola University in 1965, served as a youth pastor in the late 60s and early 70s, and then achieved a master’s in Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara in the mid-1970’s. He served as president of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society from 1977-1978 and championed the cause of captive breeding for the plummeting population of California Condors.

Brad resided in Arroyo Grande, Ca., for the past 40 years. He was a community leader, serving on the board of directors for United Way and The Land Conservancy, and supporting the Mozart Festival. Brad was best known and sought after for his expertise in California birding. He authored A Birder’s Guide to Southern California, published 1998. He was a perennial presence at the Christmas Bird Counts in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and has a life list of over 700 species of birds. He also holds the number one spot for birds sighted in San Luis Obispo County. Brad continually and expertly photographed the natural world around him, collecting countless slides and digital files over the decades. Many of his best are available to view: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, at the Life Center at New Life Church, 990 James Way, Pismo Beach, Ca.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo, P.O. Box 12206, San Luis Obispo, Ca. 93406 or at https://lcslo.org/donate/.

Please visit www.chattanoogavalleyviewchapel.com to share your thoughts and memories of Brad.

Arrangements are by the Valley View Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 7414 Old Lee Highway, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.

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