Nola Alene (Bradley) Haggerty died Jan. 19, 2012, in Davis. She was 68.
Born March 26, 1943, in Klamath Falls, Ore., Nola was the second child of Don T. Bradley and Eva B. (Kesterson) Bradley. Together with her beloved older brother, Michael D. Bradley, the whole Bradley family moved from Oregon to Davis in 1946, where Nola attended Davis schools; she graduated from Davis High School in 1961. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and graduated from the University of San Francisco as a registered nurse in 1965.
In spring 1963, at the wedding reception of her USF “Big Sister,” Nola met her future husband, David Haggerty, who walked up and boldly kissed her without any introduction. This stolen kiss was even captured in a wedding photo. Despite this rather rude first impression, her married friend convinced her to meet him again in the fall when he was not inebriated. From that day forward, they were practically inseparable. They married on Aug. 8, 1964, in Davis and lived happily ever after.
A prominent part of that happiness came from their four wonderful children, their delightful spouses and six terrific grandchildren: Kelly, who lives with her mate Sergio Chavez in Davis; William (Bill), who lives with his wife, Claudia da Matta, and their two daughters, Barbara and Isabella, in Benicia; Thomas (Tom), who lives with his wife Alayne in San Francisco; and Kathleen (Katie), who also lives in Davis.
Bill also has two sons by his first wife, Tracy Berry: William, who lives in Roseville, and Taylor, who lives in Citrus Heights with his wife Amber. Their half-sister Ciara and half-brother Collin live with Tracy and her husband Rob Flammang; these two offspring are considered bonus grandchildren.
Upon graduation, Nola worked first at French Hospital in San Francisco, before she moved back to Davis in 1969 so that David could pursue graduate study at UC Davis. She worked briefly in a local convalescent hospital before beginning her long career as a nurse at the UCD Student Health Center (1970-2001). During those summers when her position was furloughed, she also worked at the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento. After retiring from the university in 2001, she worked part-time in Sacramento as a medical consultant’s assistant at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CAL FIRE); there she applied her expert nursing skills on firefighters rather than students. She continued working until summer 2011, when illness intervened.
In 2010, Nola was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Despite the dire nature of this disease, she faced it with her usual unflagging humor and pluck, determined to make the most of her remaining time. She and David were able to take an extended cruise around Australia and a weeklong tour of New Zealand in 2011. Despite her courage and grace, she finally succumbed to the disease; on Jan. 19, she died peacefully at home surrounded by family, including her lifelong friend, known affectionately by the children as “Auntie” Helen Richardson.
Nola maintained long and cherished friendships with many people from every stage of her life. She interacted regularly with her childhood Davis school friends and was able to attend the 50th reunion of the Davis High School Class of 1961. She regularly communicated with and periodically met with members of her USF nursing class as well as other college friends. The employees of UCD Student Health Center were like a second family to her; because her mother had worked there several years as the assistant to the director, she was well acquainted with the staff long before she began her 31-year career there. And finally, even as a part-time employee, she made many close and warm friendships with her colleagues at CAL FIRE.
Nola was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Michael.
Besides her immediate family, she is survived by her Aunt Patricia Kesterson and her children of Oakdale; and by her cousins Irene Kesterson and Joannie Kesterson Stevenson of Corvallis, Ore., and Retlaw Dougherty of Wellington, Colo.
At 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27, a requiem Mass is planned for Nola at St. James Church in Davis. A luncheon reception and celebration of her life will follow in the Memorial Center, next to the church. Food will be provided, but feel free to bring your favorite dish or dessert if you so choose. In honor of Nola’s love of bright colors, attendees are encouraged to wear a piece of red clothing or accessory.
Even if you cannot be present for the celebration, you can share your favorite anecdotes or feelings about Nola; post them online at http://nolabird.muchloved.com. This website allows one to leave a thought, story, sound or video for all to cherish.
Those wishing to make a donation in Nola’s memory should consider the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, 1100 Industrial Road, Suite 1, San Carlos, CA 94070. Alternatively, Nola was among the pioneer team members of Yolo Hospice more than 30 years ago; contributions should go to 1909 Galileo Court, Suite A, Davis, CA 95618.
At her wish, Nola’s remains will be cremated and returned to the family.
Born: March 26, 1942
Death: January 20, 2012
January 27, 2012, 11:00
St. James Catholic Church
Click for Map and Directions
Memorial donations may be made to:
Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation; 1100 Industrial Road, Suite 1; San Carlos, CA 94070