The fifth child of six born to Victor and Alfreda Bradley, Jerry Clark Bradley, an exceptional man, died Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at the age of 56.
Born only moments before his twin brother, Terry, on May 2, 1958, the Bradley twins, like their siblings, Frances, Fred, Tom, and Jim, grew up in the coal mining community of Montcoal, WV.
As a young man, Jerry was described as being curious, liked by all who knew him, and was a multisport athlete for Marsh Fork High School. He very much enjoyed time with family and especially the adventures he had with his twin brother, Terry.
Jerry received an undergraduate degree from Marshall University in 1980. That same year, Jerry started his teaching and coaching career at
Ravenswood High School. After eight years in Ravenswood, Jerry accepted what he then considered, but also felt, was his dream job at Greenbrier East High School.
A 26-year faculty member at Greenbrier East, Jerry taught business and technology, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities following graduation. He carried that same philosophy into the school’s gymnasium, where he was the head boys’ basketball coach for 23 years.
The hundreds of young men who participated on his teams learned much more than Xs and Os or winning and losing; they learned how to become a member of a team and to respect both authority and each other. They learned to push themselves to excel, to take pride in who they were as individuals, and how special it was to represent their school as a member of the Spartan Basketball team. When coach Bradley retired as a coach to become the school’s athletic director, he did so with more wins than any other Spartan coach in school history and was enshrined as a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1990, Jerry married Mary Withrow. The couple had two children, Elizabeth Frances and Victoria Grace. His happiest times were being with the women in his life, listening to them discuss the events of the day, while loudly laughing at each other. He was forever proud of Elizabeth and Grace.
Jerry was a special person who had an easy smile, a kind and generous nature, and a ready laugh. He leaves begin a legion of friends.
Just general things – Jerry loved his family, Johnny Bench, loafing, golfing, fly fishing, good pinto beans and cornbread, making pancakes and bacon for the girls, his relationships with friends, and fellow coaches.
Jerry bit his knuckle whenever he was angry, owned two Fiat Spyder convertibles, threw a great knuckleball, was a great writer and could have been a top-notch journalist, loved “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “The Polar Express,” and the John Denver song, “Sweet Dream.”
A celebration of Jerry will be held at the Cecil Underwood Building on the grounds of the State Fair of West Virginia in Fairlea on Saturday, October 25, 2014, beginning at 2 PM.
An open house/visitation with food and refreshments will start immediately after the service until 6 PM.
Cremation Society of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, are assiting the family with arrangements.
Obituary originally published in the October 23, 2014 edition of the West Virginia Daily News.
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