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Kenneth E. Bradley, 87, of Malvern passed away Saturday, Feb. 16 at home.
He was born on February 25, 1925 in Sheffield, AL, the son of Walton and Willie Eva Reynolds Bradley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Bettie Bradley, favorite cousin Glenn Bradley (Joan), and his beloved wife Margaret Vantrease Bradley.
He and Margaret married on St. Patrickâ€™s Day, March 17, 1956 and lived happily among family and friends. Margaret passed away in December, 2008. A faithful and devoted husband, Kenneth visited her gravesite every day since.
Survivors include his only sibling, a brother Karl Bradley of Muscle Shoals, AL and his son Troy Bradley (Lisa) of Columbia, MD. Others include cousins Mike Bradley, Jeff Bradley (Anne), Cooper Bradley, Logan Bradley, Griffin Bradley, Don Milstead and Jerry Milstead. Kenneth so appreciated your many phone calls and road trips to visit him. He loved them all very much.
Kenneth loved and considered nieces Kim Knight Cherry (Wes) of Little Rock and Susan Knight Daniel (Larry), and nephew Bill Knight (Belinda) of Malvern his children. His presence will be greatly missed.
Kenneth also had four grandnephews whom he loved and adored. They brought great joy and love to his life and him to theirs. These fine young men, David Wesley Cherry, James Bradley Daniel, Daniel Phillip Cherry, and Jared Bartley Daniel will forever remember their sweet Uncle Kenneth. Other family members he adored include Jay Knight, Stacy Knight Perry (Woody), Missy Knight McElroy (Tim), Emily Knight, Erica Knight, Ethan Knight, Cody Staley, Alex Staley, and Skyler Adams.
He also leaves special nieces and nephews Deborah Vantrease, Steve Walker, Cathy Miller Koone, Robin Miller Bookhout, and Ann Walker Woolridge and their families, and sister-in-law Joyce Vantrease Baswell of Hot Springs.
Kenneth was a faithful and longtime member of the First United Methodist Church and proud member of the Friendship Sunday School Class. He held many leadership roles within the church during his six decades of Christian service. A favorite was coordinating the churchâ€™s annual rummage sale. For many years he and Margaret delivered Meals on Wheels throughout Hot Spring County. Kenneth believed in helping anyone in need and gave freely of his time and talents.
In 1940 at age 15, Kenneth became an Eagle Scout. His troop traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico during its first camping season, a memory that lasted a lifetime. He played football at Holmes Junior College in Mississippi. He proudly served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII stationed on Iwo Jima.
Kenneth was an avid outdoorsman enjoying deer hunting and fishing with the Malvern Bass Club. Even in his last days Kenneth drove to Lake DeGray to eat lunch in his truck and watch fishermen come and go.
Most of Kennethâ€™s career was spent at Reynolds Metals Company in Jones Mills. He cherished and often told stories of friendships he made at the plant. He also loved talking about the Southern Railroad, his childhood on Wilson Lake, and the Bradley family.
Special thanks go to Dr. Bruce Burton and his lively staff for years of special attention and compassionate care. Thanks also to the fine people at Keeneyâ€™s where he ate breakfast nearly every morning, and to Ron Wilks at Body Works. Another thank you goes to Nancy Jenkins, Mark Roberts and all the exceptional people at Malvern National Bank, and to CPA Mark Kindy. You all kept Kenneth strong and happy.
The funeral will be held Friday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Malvern. Interment will follow at Shadowlawn Cemetery under the direction of J.A. Funk Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Troy Bradley, Bill Knight, Larry Daniel, Wes Cherry, David Cherry, Brad Daniel, Daniel Cherry, and Jared Daniel. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Bruce Burton and Charles Keeney.