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Born March 15, 1941 on a farm near Kankakee, Illinois John was fifth of six children born to Howard and Esther Bradley. Kids actually did walk a mile and half to and from one-room country schools. Eight Bradley's lived in an old two story house with one indoor toilet and bath.
At age five John kept a Caterpillar tractor running in a straight line. By eight he had his own tractor pulling wagons of feed and water to cattle and hogs, tilling land, harvesting crops of corn, oats and beans, mowing hay and taking care of chickens.
Graduating from Herscher High School in 1959 John was memorialized in the Yearbook for "A vocabulary far suppressing his elders". With a scholarship he left for The University of Illinois in 59 to "flunk out" in 62. Out of options, he joined the Navy in 63 and was at Charlie Med Field Hospital near Da Nang, Vietnam from June to December 65. Honorably discharged in 67 John used the GI Bill to complete a Bachelor's Degree at The University of Illinois where he met Marylyn Patton Bradley, his lifelong soulmate. They ended up earning three degrees each.
Marylyn managed the hard jobs of raising son Eirean, daughter Katherine and grandchildren while working as a Registered Dietitian, Human Resources Manager and finally as Phi Theta Kappa Advisor. John's explanations of their relationship were "I wouldn't have accomplished anything without Marylyn" and "I haven't paid a bill in 50 years".
John was Scoutmaster, Confirmation Teacher and Youth Group Advisor often out on field trips, lock-ins and week-long Boy Scout and Church camps where everyone played hard and slept in tents, cabins and on random floors. His Troop 401 Leadership Team met monthly until the 2020 pandemic made it impossible for "geezers" to safely gather. At 70 John gave up youth ministry to help maintain the St. Peter's Episcopal Church and Montessori School grounds.
John's greatest professional accomplishment was cofounding the Maricopa Community Colleges' Organizational Management Program. John was 1990-91 Arizona Vocational Educator of the Year. John's final 22 years were as Residential Faculty at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona.
John enjoyed the privilege of living decades with smarter than him wife Marylyn, son Eirean, daughter Katherine, granddaughter Lydia and grandsons Canaan and Deven.
Mother Esther passed away in 1971, Father Howard in 1985, Brother Jim in 2006 and Sister Alice (Lambert) in 2021. Sisters Susan (Schreifer), Carolyn (Brinkman) and Ruth (Johnson) are still with us.