Stanley I. “Red” Bradley, age 96, died Tuesday, June 2, 2015, in Woodruff at the Seasons of Life Hospice. He was born April 2, 1919, in Erskine, Minnesota to Gust and Emma (Gulbranson) Bradley. Red served as a combat engineer for the 1906th Engineering Aviation Battalion in the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting in the Battle of Leyte in the South Pacific. After returning from the war, he resumed work as a lineman for the Soo Line Railroad, a job that brought him to Rhinelander and the Northwoods. He married his wife Marilyn (Schueler) in 1950. They lived together on Faust Lake for all the years leading up to Red’s passing, raising their family there in a home he built himself. Red’s Christian faith was important to him. He and Marilyn raised their family at Trinity Lutheran Church, where he was an active member of the Men’s Breakfast Bible Study Group, and in years past a member of the building committee.
With just five grades of formal schooling, Red taught himself the finer points of engineering as well as electronics, carpentry, logging, auto mechanics, and auto body repair. In his job as a lineman, Red tended the telegraph and telephone lines that ran alongside hundreds of miles of Soo Line track across northern Wisconsin. The job allowed him to view the countryside close up on a daily basis from the perch of a motorcar. He loved the outdoors and the seasons. He shared that love with his friends and family. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and downhill skiing. He was a founding member of the ski patrol at Camp 10 in Rhinelander, a Red Cross First Aid instructor, and a volunteer leader of the first Boy Scouts of America troop (571) at Pelican School in the early 1960s.
In recent years he volunteered at the Railroad Museum in Rhinelander. When the long winters took him indoors, Red remained active and inventive. In the 1950s, he was part of an early Northwoods “TV club”; in a time before Rhinelander or Wausau had any commercial TV stations, Red and his friends figured out a way to receive over-the-air TV signals from the Twin Cities and Green Bay. The project required him to build a 140-foot antenna in his front lawn to capture the distant broadcasts. It worked. Red retired from the Soo Line in 1978, allowing him time over the next several years to grow, prune, and sell Christmas trees to his friends and neighbors from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Rhinelander.
For reasons no one really understands, he liked blowing a bugle. It’s possible he saw himself as a musician, but others questioned his musical intentions. He also claimed to like lutefisk. His wonderful smile and love for life will live in the memories of his friends and family. His willingness to try almost anything touched those who understood that he desired always to make life fun.
Red is preceded in death by his son, Mark, his brother Floyd, and his sisters Gladys (Hanson), Yolanda (Strand), and Ila (Mahlen). He is survived by Marilyn, his wife of nearly 65 years, his children—Scott (Kris) Bradley, Bruce (Renee) Bradley, and Debra Johnson, all of Rhinelander and son-in-law “Buzz” Rosson, Berthod, Colo.. Grandchildren: Miller (Torri) Bradley, Plover; Mason Bradley, Chicago; Aimee (Sam) Krainz, Rhinelander; Kristy (Jeremy) Wiernasz, Green Bay; Bradley (Jessica) Bozile, Green Bay; Damon Bradley, Green Bay; Steven Rosson (Miala Rappana), Eden Prairie, Minn.; Cynthia Johnson, Durango Colo.; Morgan and Asher Johnson, Rhinelander. Great-grandchildren: Carter, Natalie, Olivia & Julia Wiernasz; Lucy Krainz; Oliver & Charlotte Bradley and Carson Bozile.
The family would like to thank Seasons of Life Hospice in Woodruff for their loving care of Red in his final days.
Red’s memorial service will be held on Friday, June 19th, 2015 at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church with the Reverend’s Timothy and Kari Vadis officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, June 18 at the Carlson Funeral Home and from 10 a.m., until just prior to the services, Friday, June 19 at the Church.
There will be a memorial established in Red’s name and anyone wishing to do so may direct those to his family. You may also leave your private condolences for the Bradley family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the Bradley family.