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Obituary: Bradley, Paul Lewis, Sr.

BRADLEY, Paul Lewis, Sr. May 25, 1932 ~ January 20, 2014 Paul Lewis Bradley, Sr., was born to Pearl and Nathan Bradley on May 25, 1932 in Memphis, Tennessee, and passed away on January 20, 2014 in Fresno, California. He was 81 years old. Paul was one of five siblings. He attended Hamilton High School, where he met and married, Warna Lue Jean Smith. Paul was an accomplished musician, with his primary instruments being the piano and saxophone. In fact, while in high school he was offered opportunities to go on tour with B.B. King and Ike Turner, but his father, Nathan, would not give him permission to do so. Paul entered the U.S. Air Force after graduation and their first child was born, while he was serving in Korea. Upon his return from Korea he completed his tour of duty at Fairchild Air Force Base. After his honorable discharge, he relocated his young family to Spokane, where he continued working as a Civil Service Employee at Fairchild. Their second child, Paul Jr., was born a few years later. After his discharge from the Air Force, Paul continued at the base as a Boiler/Fireman, later serving on their EEO Commission, until his retirement. Paul was involved in the Spokane community in both entrepreneurial and civic engagement. Both he and his wife, were active members of the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, and Eastern Stars, alongside mentors James Chase and his wife Eleanor. In addition, he co-owned two night clubs, one of which was called “The Midnight Hour” at which his band, The Shakers, was active on the venue. In addition, he got the distinct honor of sitting in on jam sessions with the likes of Ray Charles, and also Etta James, who was an occasional performer at the club. Probably his most memorable collaborations, however were the times he got to play with his talented son, “Skeeter”, who as a saxophonist and local music producer, until his tragic death in 1999 in a boating accident. In his later years, he played in a local country band called Blue Ridge Smoke. His other business endeavor, B&F Body Repair, was short lived, due to failing health. After the death of his wife of 50 years, he relocated to Fresno, California, where his daughter resides. In addition to his wife, Warna Jean, he was preceded in death by his son Paul Jr., his brother, John Dixon, as well as his mother and father. Paul leaves behind three siblings: Gwindell Bradley, Rochester, NY; Esther Plummer, Farmington, MI; Nettie Anderson, Detroit, MI; daughter Carlotta Wint, and her husband, Arthur; daughter-in-law Brianna Bradley, Spokane; eight grandchildren: Tsenia Ellis and husband Ellery, Fresno; Jhason Wint, Sacramento; Llarehn Wint, Fresno; Khirrah Wint, San Diego; Sheleis Mather and husband Brian; Javauna Hallowell; Jasminne Bradley; and Paul L. Bradley III, all residents of Spokane. Rest in peace Dad, Granddad, Grandpa, Uncle, Brother and Friend. We will miss your outgoing and generous nature, keen sense of humor, cigars, and of course, the music. Visitation will be at Heritage Funeral Home on Monday, February 3, 2014 from 10am-5pm. Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1pm at Greenwood Memorial Terrace.


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