Wesley Laird Bradley, age 82 of Savanna, Illinois, died on Sunday, December 30, 2012. Wesley will be dearly missed by his wife of sixty-one years, Mary; seven children, Teresa Venson of Freeport, Illinois, Toni Bradley of Indianapolis, Indiana, John Bradley of Mackinaw, Illinois, Paul Bradley of Marysville, Washington, James Bradley of Savanna, Jody (Jim Huffman) Bradley of East Falmouth, Massachusetts and David Bradley of Savanna; fifteen grandchildren; thirteen great grandchildren; one brother, Jim Bradley of San Diego, California; one sister, Judy Whisenant of Mesa, Arizona, several nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Wesley was preceded in death by his parents; one son, James Paul Bradley; a great- grandson, A.J. Keys; one sister-in-law, Marie Bradley, brother-in-laws, Lawrence Whisenant and Michael Rivera and a special friend and brother- in- law, Herbert Greve.
Born on August 9, 1930, he was the first of three children born to James and Mary Laird Bradley in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended North High School in Phoenix, Arizona. After graduation, Wesley enlisted in the United States Navy in 1947. During this time, he served within Submarine Group Two, Atlantic Reserve Fleet and on USS Stallion ATA-193, USS John Bliss AGSC-10, USS Shenandoah AD-26, USS Minos ARL-14, USS YR-51, USS Nereus AS-17, USS Florikan ASR-9, USS Tidewater and was a Plank Owner of USS Kinkaid DD-965. During this time he worked as an instructor at Engineman A School and served as a phase leader whom was responsible for overall military and academic performance and instruction. He was known to use his fatherly image to encourage his students and trainees. When not teaching, he served as a work center supervisor and maintained ship equipment. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy for thirty years where he retired in 1977 as a Chief Engineman. During the years of active duty, he married Mary E. Rivera on September 22, 1951 in Savanna. Wesley was a devoted father and husband and worked several jobs to support his family. In between years of active duty, Wesley worked at the US Postal Service from 1958-1966 and ran the Savanna Movie Theatre in the early 60’s. After full Navy retirement, Wesley was employed by the Northwestern Steel Mill, where he retired in 1994.
After retirement, Wesley maintained membership of American Legion Post No. 0148. Wesley was an avid traveler, a gambler who loved the game of cribbage and solitaire. He had a love for baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves. He enjoyed cooking and grilling a good steak, eating pies, indulging in history and military material, and reading Lewis L’Amour books. He was very family oriented and always made time for his wife, children and grandchildren, was proud of each of them and was a constant presence in their lives as a teacher, mentor, friend and biggest supporter. He will be remembered always as a selfless, moral, optimistic, accepting, fun-loving, wonderful man, always ready to share a joke or story. He was known for some of his funny phrases such as “Ándele! Ándele!” “Hey Sis” and “Hey puttentang!”. He was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Savanna. Burial will take place in St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Savanna. A visitation will be held from 9:00 -11:00 a.m., prior to the service at the funeral home. A memorial fund has been established in Wesley's memory.