Ray Bradley

Hamilton County

Ray Edward Bradley left this earth suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, July 1, 2012, at the age of 84.Ray Bradley came into this world to create.Ray was born in Waynesboro, Ga., in 1927 on the eve of the Great Depression. Ray was the youngest of four children, and his father, Samuel Joseph, was a sawyer who worked several lumber camps and sawmills across the South. Rays parents, Flossie and Sam, moved from time to time across the South supplying lumber for a growing Baby Boomer nation.It was here in the land of red clay that Ray began his lifes passions, and his approach to study and work, seeing through world through an artist's eyes. Ray was inspired by his older brothers, Joe and Paul, who oftensketched each other as well as their sister, Virginia. As boys often do, they took great joy in sketching comics seen in the newspaper while listening to the radio. As Ray grew older, he began to find tune his focus, drawing from life, architecture, and graphic design.Ray graduated from Notasulga High School in Notasulga, Ala., and entered the U.S. Navy in 1945 at the young age of 17. Upon completion of his enlistment, Ray moved to Chattanooga, to be closer to family and to continue his art studies. In 1951, Uncle Sam called and Ray was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve during the Korean War. He was stationed in Deggendorf, Bavaria and promoted to the rank of sergeant.While serving in the U.S. Army, Ray further honed his skill as a designer managing a team of professional artists who executed layouts, illustration, and production in the Armys Medical Art Department. The group focused on producing informative graphic designs and free standing dioramas to help train the army's medical personnel in life saving techniques. The next two years of armed service flew by and Ray returned home to Chattanooga. He immediately enrolled at the University of Chattanooga on the GI Bill. He earned a B.S. degree with a major in Art.In 1953 as a younger designer working for a local poster and outdoor billboard company, Ray produced many well-loved graphic advertising logos and icons that appeared across the country. Ray met the love of his life, Frankie Elizabeth Wooden of Chattanooga, and they married in October 1955.Throughout the 1960s Ray continued to excel in his professional creative career that spanned 40 years as an Art Director in advertising, print and magazine. He created award winning campaigns and corporate designs for all media, including national and international radio and television commercials. He went on to found the advertising agency, Lindsey, Bradley & Johnston, in Chattanooga where he was co-owner until 1972. Then, Ray and Frankie purchased a vintage 47 foot Vineyard Cruiser, The Orion, and relocated their family to sunny St. Petersburg, Fla. This was the beginning of a creative adventure for Ray and Frankie and their five children, which influenced the direction their lives as water-loving, creative, resourceful people. Rays love of art and design, combined with his love of boats, inspired his artistic freedom and spirit.After a year of living aboard The Orion, with their growing need for more space to raise their children and an art studio for Ray, the couple purchased a home in St. Petersburg. Upon the graduation of their youngest daughter, Patricia, from RISD in 1985, Ray and Frankie purchased a small home on an island off the coast of Maine. Together, with their oldest daughter, Rebekah Raye Woisard, an artist in her own right, they opened Bradley Contemporary and Fine Art Gallery on Deer Isle, Maine. The family enjoyed many art-filled summers where various members featured their watercolors, paintings and kinetic sculptures.Ray remained robust, engaged, free-thinking and creative, with Frankie by his side. Conceptualizing, designing, and building not just works of art, but also boats, studios, lofts and architectural additions. He created a life full of art all around him. He inspired many, half his age, with his boundless creative energy-a dynamo full of wit, charm, and humor. He was a loving and devoted husband and father, who gave unwavering support to his wife and children. He loved so many things about the process of creating. In his own words, "If it's not fun, don't do it!"He leaves behind his loving wife, Frankie Bradley, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; oldest daughter, Rebekah Raye Woisard and husband, Ken, of East Blue Hill, Maine; three sons, Ben Bradley and his wife, Krista, of Little River, S.C., James Bradley and wife, Susan, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Matthew Bradley of St. Petersburg, and daughter, Patricia Bradley and her partner, Michelle, of Glen C., N. He is survived by his sister Virginia Yarbrough, of Raleigh, N. C.; and brother, Robert Joe Bradley, of Apollo Beach, Fla.; three grandsons, Seth Kearns, Mitchell and Christopher Bradley; one great-grandson, Ahlyisen Kearns; nieces, Jan Ernst, of Raleigh, N.C., Kathryn Shea, of Apollo Beach, Fla., Linda Williford and Paula Bradley, of Chattanooga and Steve Bradley, of Rossville.A "Celebration of Life" service is to be announced in Deer Isle Maine, as well as interment in Chattanooga, at Chattanooga National Cemetery.In lieu of flowers a donation in Ray Edward Bradleys name can be made to the Arbor Day Foundation at arborday.org/giveatree.A tree will be planted in one of our National Forests in his name.

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