John Irvin "Jack" Bradshaw, Jr.
82, of Indianapolis, entered the rest of eternal life on January 20, 2013. A faithful Catholic, Jack Bradshaw will be remembered as a humble, kind and loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and senior tennis champion. He was also a loyal and true friend to many and never knew a stranger. Jack was born October 23, 1930, in Indianapolis, the son of Susan Kathryn (née Thomas) and John I. Bradshaw, Sr., both originally from very large Catholic families in Lebanon, Kentucky, and now deceased. Jack and his younger sister Susan, who became a Sister of Saint Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana, grew up in the Little Flower parish, where they attended church and grade school.
Jack graduated as Salutatorian from Cathedral High School in 1948 while it was still an all-boys school on Meridian Street. He later graduated with a bachelor's (1952) and a law degree (1954) from the University of Notre Dame, where he played saxophone for the Notre Dame Dance and Marching Bands. His jam sessions on the sax and his a capella renditions of the Wabash Cannonball lit up every family gathering.
He began his legal career as a law clerk for the late Judge Charles Fahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, then served a compulsory two-year term in the navy as an attorney in the Washington and Annapolis areas. He returned to Indianapolis and joined the law firm of McHale, Cook, and Welch (now Bingham Greenebaum Doll), an affiliation he maintained throughout his life.
While at the firm, he was elected to the House of Representative of the Indiana General Assembly in 1958 and served a two-year term. Jack remained active in Democratic party politics for a number of years, and he was closely involved in the successful campaigns of Senator Birch Bayh and Presidents Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. When Bayh was elected to the U.S. Senate, Jack served as his legal aide in Indianapolis and assisted him when he co-authored the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prescribing presidential succession. In 1968 a bankruptcy court appointed him to supervise the reorganization of several real estate trusts, resulting in the creation of Century Realty Trust. Under his leadership as President and CEO, Century became a successful enterprise.
Jack and his father shared a passion for baseball, but Jack switched from baseball to tennis after a high school injury to his catching hand. Jack began playing tennis in the 1940's at Ellenberger Park on the east side of Indianapolis. After graduating from Notre Dame, he continued playing tennis and played on a Navy team while in the service. He met his wife Patricia Kay (née Moseley) on the Tarkington tennis courts on the north side. They began playing tennis together and competed in local mixed doubles tournaments. Later they fell in love and married in 1968, settling in the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish.
Jack honed his skills at the Riviera Club and later played at a nationally competitive level in his senior years. He earned a number of gold, silver, and bronze tennis balls for his singles and doubles performances in the four major national U.S. Tennis Association tournaments in the 75's and 80's senior divisions. In 2010, Jack won the Indoor and Grass Court championships, finished second in the Clay Courts, and placed third in the Hard Courts. This performance earned him a #1 U.S. ranking for the year and a spot on the four-man Team USA at the International Tennis Federation's World Championship in Ankara, Turkey, in 2010 and 2011. There, Jack reached the quarterfinals in singles and finals in doubles, and helped Team USA bring home a silver trophy in 2010 and a World Championship in 2011.
Jack and Pat shared their passion for tennis with their five children, all IHM, Cathedral, and Notre Dame graduates. In 1986 the family was honored as the Western Tennis Association Tennis Family of the Year covering Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and part of West Virginia. Three of his children went on to play for Notre Dame, and some of his grandchildren have played tennis for Cathedral.
Jack loved his family and extended family, and he kept in regular contact with many of his 98 first cousins. Jack also maintained strong ties to each of his alma maters, meeting with his Cathedral and Little Flower classmates several times a year for decades. He was a long-time member of Cathedral's Board of Directors, received the school's award for distinguished professional achievement in 1998, and served as its Chairman of the Board from 1992-2003. During his tenure as board chair, the school began a $15 million capital campaign, then the largest in its history, which was successfully concluded ahead of schedule. He always felt that the good fortune he received from attending Catholic schools should be available to all, and it was his deep desire to give back to his community by working to make Catholic education affordable to all. Jack also served as president of the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis, and he was named as the club's Man of the Year in 1999.
Jack's regular workouts on the tennis court, moderate lifestyle, and frequent trips to Taco Bell contributed to the excellent health he enjoyed for 82 years. Jack is survived by his wife, Patricia; his five children, Catherine (Jon-Adam) Michael, Ann (Chris) Wojtalik, John (Lizabeth), Thomas (Felicia), and David; and seventeen grandchildren, Cassia, Luke, Sophia, Abraham, Levi, Isaac, Tobin, Sara, Sally, Andrew, Teresa, John Irvin Bradshaw III, Daniel, Mary Lisa, Christopher, Alice, and Thomas. Jack was a guy who did what he loved and loved what he did. He gave of himself to everyone he knew, and he will be deeply missed. "My only regret," he said, "was that I did not deserve the many blessings I received."
A calling will be held today, Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel , 740 E. 86th, with a funeral mass on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 5692 Central Ave. You may visit the website: http://www.leppertmortuary.com to sign the guestbook or in lieu of flowers a memorial contribution can be made to Cathedral High School.