Longtime Local 53 activist Brad Samples dies
We have sad news to pass along from the family, friends and Local 53 about the passing of longtime activist Brad Samples.
Brad died earlier this week while on vacation in Europe with his brother. He was 59.
Brad was a developmental disabilities case resource manager and member of Local 53 in Tacoma. But Brad was an activist through and through. He was on the picket line for our first-ever statewide strike in 2001. He spoke up at the benefits board and elsewhere for affordable health care. And he was one of the faces of our members in speaking up for pay raises and against budget cuts. He was featured in a series of Federation TV ads in 2011 and appeared on posters and brochures during our Middle Class Heroes campaign in 2012.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media.
“You’re one of the white hats,” said one.
He brought a “breath of energy everywhere he went,” wrote another.
On dying doing something he’d wanted to do for a long time with his brother he hadn’t seen much of, friend and Federation staff Paul Zurek wrote: “That’s a pretty epic way to go for an epic guy.”
Zurek reminded us of Brad’s famous phrase he said to all he stood up for:
“We’re in it together.”
As we get more details on any services or other arrangements, we’ll let you know.
The entire Federation family is honored to have been in the company of someone as “epic” as Brad Samples. He will be missed.