Retired Capt. Bradley Charles Onion, former Nevada County resident, died tragically in a plane crash on May 23 in Boulder, Mont., while in route to his summer home in Alaska. He was currently living his dream, residing on a residential airpark in Payson, Ariz.

A tribute to his amazing life will be held at 11 a.m., Aug. 2, at the Van Nuys Airport, 94th Aero Squadron Club, where Mr. Onion began his aviation career 50 years ago. For more information, contact Sandy Winkle at (530) 432-8271.

Mr. Onion was born in Minneapolis, Minn., and raised in Southern California. Since childhood he had a strong love of aviation. While serving in the military, Mr. Onion learned to fly in the Air Force Flying Club and obtained a pilot’s license in December 1958. Upon his completion of active duty he attended Northrop Institute and worked as an airplane mechanic. In March 1967 he was hired by Western Airlines as a Flight Engineer. In April 1987 Western was merged into Delta Airlines. Mr. Onion flew for Delta Airlines until 1997, when mandatory retirement at age 60 concluded the 30-year commercial airline career for the Captain.

Mr. Onion’s retirement years were spent camping, traveling in his RV with wife Sharon, and visiting friends and family spread across several states. He was particularly fond of his summers spent fishing the Kenai River and flying his plane in the beautiful state of Alaska. He was a person who would drop everything to help you with a project and was a dependable handyman. His skills and friendship, along with his warm smile and sense of humor, will be truly missed by many.

Mr. Onion is survived by his wife, Sharon Onion; mother, Evelyn James of Payson, Ariz.; daughters Kari Livingston and Pam Hayes of Southern California, Sandy Winkle and husband Bill, and Colleen Turay and husband Tom of Northern California; stepchildren Tamera Dalton, Debbie Lemperle and husband Scott, all of Utah, and Danielle Lodzins and Trey Dalton of Arizona; 13 grandchildren; brother, Greg Onion and wife Pat of Nevada; sister, Bev Onion of Northern California; faithful companion, “Corky,” and numerous other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by father, Brad W. Onion and stepmother, Donna Onion.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Payson Pilots Association, c/o Dan Pease, 1512 W. Mooney Parkway, Payson AZ 85541.

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