Mr. Jack Henry "Brad" Bradstock enlisted in the Navy at the Old Post Office Building in downtown Pittsburgh after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and dedicated the next 20 years of his life to military service. A native of Vandergrift, he served from 1941-1947, initially with the 6th Fleet in the Atlantic, and for the rest of his active duty with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. He transitioned to reserve status and continued to serve from 1947-1962. Mr. Bradstock loved his country, and when he came home, he was determined to see all of it; he became a professional truck driver, Some of his favorite routes were through the peaceful mountains of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Alaska. His eyes swelled with tears when he remembered seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from a small village truck stop. He sometimes stayed in a remote place for a while, either working as a ranch hand or doing maintenance work. He always sent part of his pay home to his parents during the lean times following World War II. While on the road, Mr. Bradstock became an avid reader. He was well traveled and well versed in the lore of the west, and especially loved the cowboy stories and Louis L' Amour. During his time as a trucker, he married his love, Mary, and they were blessed with a healthy daughter. Unfortunately, Mary passed away soon after childbirth and his daughter was cared for by a family member who moved away while he was still on the road. The grief of losing his wife and his daughter stayed with him for a long while. Eventually, after much soul searching and many prayers, he made peace with the situation. When it was time to retire his Mack truck, he settled in the South Side Flats of Pittsburgh. Every car he had was adorned with the Mack truck dog as a hood ornament. Accustomed to security monitoring and professional two-way radio operation during his maritime and trucking careers, Mr. Bradstock was active In citizens band radio and became an ally of the police and a staunch guardian of the community. After getting up at dawn, he walked more than ten miles every day, and made his rounds at the coffee shops, park benches and local restaurants to discuss community events. He was active in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post and other community organizations. Known affectionately to local residents as "Brad," he contributed to the community socially and with quiet acts of kindness. Brad was forced to leave his beloved South Side after a traffic accident affected his ability to walk, so he moved "up river" to Seneca Place in Verona. Brad was a colorful and engaging resident; it was not unusual to hear nurses and aides laughing with him as he insisted, "bring me my Copenhagen and a cold root beer with ice." After getting his supplies, he would steer his power wheel chair to the garden where he loved to sit quietly, feeling the warm sun soothing his skin and hearing the gentle wind in the trees. Brad passed away peacefully Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, after a very well-lived lifetime of 89 years, comforted by the presence of his advocate, companion, and friend, Brenda Lichauer, and his "Stinker," aka Arlene (Shubock) Dodds, daughter of Richard "Dooker" Shubock. Brad thanks all his friends and the city of Pittsburgh for a "good ride." He said to tell you: "I'm going home. I'll see you down the road."
Friends are welcome to attend a blessing service, followed by military honors, at noon Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in the mausoleurn chapel of Penn Lincoln Cemetery, Route 30, North Huntingdon.
Funeral arrangements are with PATRICK T. LANIGAN FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY INC., East Pittsburgh, PA, 412-824-8800. www.laniganfuneralhome.com