Thomas Jefferson Bradley entered into eternal rest with our Savior on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the age of 93. His family and devoted friend were at his side. He was born on March 3, 1925 in Simpson County to Virgie May Bowling and Thomas Bradley Sr. Thomas received his education in Oakville, Kentucky.
Thomas joined the United States Navy and served in WWII. His ship was sent to Japan where he served during the war. He achieved the rank of Electricians Mate Third Class and discharged honorably in January 1946.
After completing his tour of duty, he and his family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana. During this time he worked for the Miller Baking Company and continued his love of painting, drawing pictures and decorating homes. He had a special gift of being able to listen to music being played and then play that song on the piano. One of his favorite joys was to be able to read sheet music and play one of his favorite songs, "Body and Soul".
Thomas loved to work in the soil and gardening was a passion. He wanted every row to be straight, and all the flowers and vegetables to be beautiful and healthy (a skill he learned from his mother).
Thomas moved to Indianapolis in 1947 and expanded his skill as a painter, handyman, decorator, and eventually a florist. While a painter he was employed by Porter Paints. If you went to the Porter Paint store and asked for their best painter, you got a business card with the name of Thomas Bradley. He was the only African American to represent Porter Paint during this early time.
After more than 25 years working with paint and wallpaper, he married his 2nd wife. From this union he decided to take his artistic skill and energy and work as a florist with his wife. Thomas was a partner to three flower shops and was well known for his work with churches and funeral homes throughout the city.
February 14, 1982, he again professed a love for God and Christ and was baptized at Christ Temple. He worked as a church elder and held this position until his wife passed and he was no longer physically able to attend.
In recent years he has been a part of the Indy Honor Flight for WWII veterans. Thomas participated three times in different events. The 1st on October 18, 2014 he was actually flown to Washington D.C., on a military transport. He was able to see the new memorial for WWII veterans. Upon his return he attended an honor reception, and was privileged to shake hands with Gov. Pence and his wife (now Vice President and 2nd Lady of the United States).
Thomas is preceded in death by one son, Bobby Ray Bradley Sr., (Ellen Darlene) one daughter, Selena Faye Bradley, two grandchildren; Athena Lomax, Link C. Lomax, wives; Helen Hughes Bradley and Mildred J. Berry Bradley. Sisters; Nellie Grant, Ada Henderson, Rebecca Wells, brothers; Frank Wells Jr., George Wells, James Wells, Wesley Wells, Robert Wells, Vernon Wells and Elijah Wells. His survivors include daughters; Bonniejean Bradley Lomax, Mary Frances Bradley, Yolanda Akers (Brian), sons; William Lee Bradley (Mary), Ronald Bradley (Pamela), brothers; Willie Wells, and Roy C. Wells (Karen), 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 8 great-great-grandchildren, his devoted friend Irene Burns and many nieces, nephews and numerous friends.
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