Brad Best, known to many as the owner of Brad Best Realty in Redmond, WA, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 at the Timber Ridge Retirement community near Issaquah, WA. Born in 1924 in Tacoma, he spent early childhood years there with parents, Sydney Charles Best (formerly of Black River Falls, WI) and Dorothy Dowie Best (formerly of Brooklyn, NY), and his two sisters, Jeannette and Florence. Later, the family established their home at Dutcher Cove at Case Inlet in South Puget Sound. During the 1930’s, the family operated Best’s Market that featured quality meats and was located in downtown Tacoma.
At age 17, Best joined the U.S. Merchant Marine as a radio operator, soon achieving the rank of Chief Radio Operator, serving worldwide on cargo ships, tankers, and various Liberty ships that supported the war effort during World War II.
After the war he partnered with a cousin in a construction company and later tried various sales positions before finding his lifelong career in real estate. In 1955, Best purchased the former Redmond State Bank building at the corner of Cleveland and Leary in Redmond, establishing his own office where the business remained active for over 60 years. In the firm’s early years he and his sales team specialized in land, acreage and farms. By the 1960’s, the company had expanded to include branch offices in Snohomish and Kitsap Counties. As the company grew he also acquired and developed retail, office and industrial buildings on the Eastside in Redmond and Mill Creek. Those successes evolved into a present day family-owned and operated real estate asset management company.
Best had a long and influential career in Redmond, serving the community in many ways. He was prominent in civic affairs including active participation in Redmond’s Chamber of Commerce as well as in various service clubs. He was a supporter of public parks and in later years was active in the Redmond Historical Society. During his most active years in business and because of his fondness for the Town of Redmond, he and other fellow civic leaders not only envisioned, but also helped shape the future of Redmond. He also enjoyed recreational boating and salmon fishing, and especially valued his time at home with family.
Best was loved by his family and well regarded by those with whom he did business. His family honors his memory as a dedicated father, brother, husband, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Jeannette (d. 1979); his wife of 35 years and mother of his four children, Florence Borgos Best (d. 1984); and wife of 16 years, Jeanne Slagle (d. 2015). Best is survived by his sister, Florence of Redmond; his four children: David Best of Anacortes, Karen Wade, married to Rick Wade, of North Bend, Greg Best of Cowlitz County, Joan Yankis, married to Bob Yankis, of Redmond; his grandchildren: Ryan Wade, of North Bend; and Christopher Wade, married to Tiffannee Wade, of Kennewick; and his three great-grandchildren: Avery Wade, Caden Wade and Payton Wade.
For those wishing to make a remembrance in lieu of flowers, the family recommends a donation to the Salvation Army or the Union Gospel Mission. Both were causes Best supported throughout his life. A private family service will be held.