Clinton Lee Bainbridge: ‘Avid Ocean Diver and Basketball Junky’

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Clinton Lee Bainbridge, age 76, passed away at his home in Westwood, Ca on September 10, 2018 from Parkinson’s Disease. During the weeks leading up to his passing, he was surrounded by the love of his family and friends.

Clinton was born on June 2, 1942. He was the second of seven children born to John and Ina Bainbridge in Fort Bragg, Ca. He spent his entire childhood in the same house on Laurel Street. This was where he first discovered his love of both basketball and the ocean. For the majority of his life, he was an avid ocean diver and basketball junky!

After graduating from Fort Bragg High School in 1960, he attended Santa Rosa JC, where he continued his basketball career. After completing 2 years at Santa Rosa, and then driving a school bus for a year in Fort Bragg, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent 2 years in Texas working on tank radios. Once he completed his military service he went back to college at Humboldt State University. He continued to play basketball and received his teaching credential.

It was during this time that he also met his wife, Janis Nelson. They married February 24, 1968 in Arcata, Ca. They soon started a family that would grow to seven children, and moved to Miranda, Ca. This is where Clinton began his 32 year teaching and coaching career at South Fork High School. “Bain” touched the lives of many, with his passion for learning and teaching in the classroom and on the court. His love of basketball was well known throughout the Southern Humboldt community. The South Fork High School gym floor has been named the Clint Bainbridge Court in his honor.

Clinton’s retirement was spent travelling and spending time with family. He was always ready for a good road trip and had a passion for driving, with countless number of miles taking him to the sporting events of his children and grandchildren.

Clinton had a quick wit, a gentle heart and an uncanny knack for storytelling. He could make the perfect waffle, started his road trips with a mason jar full of ice-cold chocolate milk, and could pick up a guitar at any time and belt out one of his favorite folk songs. He loved diving in the ocean and hiking in the mountains. He loved learning and could complete a crossword faster than anyone. He always found the humor in things and liked to tell or listen to a good joke. He loved life and the many adventures he encountered. But most of all, he loved his family and friends. He spared nothing when it came to investing in them with his time, love, laughs, and lessons. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend and will truly by missed.

Clinton is preceded in death by his parents, Ina and John Bainbridge, his brother, Joe Bainbridge, and his son in law, Evan Mickle. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 50 years, Janis Bainbridge, his children and their spouses, Jack Bainbridge and Mickel Kramer Polosky , Janay and Stan Twitchell, Amy and David Suther, Sherry and Jeff Green, Christina Mickle, David and Kellie Bainbridge, Alan Bainbridge and Morgan Ake, and his grandchildren, Curtis, Cory, and Carissa Twitchell, Ethan and Melia Bainbridge, Tyler Polosky, Tavia and Jacey Suther, Lauren and Brisa Bainbridge, Sarah, Jason and Kyle Green, Henry and Holly Mickle. He is also survived by his siblings, Barbara Clark, John Bainbridge, Jamie Bainbridge, Kenneth Bainbridge, and Marilee Cannia.

There will be a Celebration of Life on November 17, 2018 at South Fork High School Gymnasium in Miranda, Ca starting at 1pm. All are welcome. In lieu of cards a gifts, Clinton’s family asks that you make a donation to the Live Like Geno Foundation or to the South Fork Booster Club in his honor. Donations can be made through livelikegeno.org, mailed to South Fork High School P.O. Box 188 6831, Miranda, Ca 95553, or brought to the Celebration of Life.

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7 comments

  • i’ll never forget trying to guard him once at a Southfork pickup game,
    now that was stressful…

  • You honor Mr. Bainbridge with your comment. Thanks.

  • So long coach.
    May you Rest In Peace.

  • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

    Many thoughts for his family.

    I think I had Mr. Bainbridge in my second year of high school. Very nice guy, cared about teaching and ready to deal with teenagers. I liked how he would perch in different sections of the classroom to lecture and answer questions. My friends and I had a great time in there! Good memories.

  • I can never thank Bain enough. He hounded me my entire 9th grade year trying to convince me to play basketball for him. I started playing for him the next year and have had basketball in my life ever since. His passion for the game and making you the best you could be wasn’t linited to the gymnasium – he made you become a better person both on and off the court .
    The combination of coach Givins and coach Bain will go down In history as one of the most entertaining duos I’ve ever encountered. Racing school vans to Southern Trinity, telling hillarius jokes and having a great time is how I will remember Bain. Great teacher , coach, mentor and family man, they don’t make them like that too much any more , but with his guidance and the blue print he provided us with – hopefully some of us that got to learn from him will be there some day doing the same for other kids in their communities – much love and respect to you Bain, I will see you on the other side!

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