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Eldon L. Bradham

November 27, 1943 — March 13, 2024

San Antonio, TX

Eldon L. Bradham

Eldon “Bud” Bradham, formerly of Kalamazoo, MI, died peacefully at his home in San Antonio, TX on March 13, 2024 surrounded by family. 

He was born on November 27, 1943 to Eldon E. Bradham and Maria Rivera Bradham in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  As an army brat, he lived in many locations stateside and around the world including the Azores, Japan, Pensacola, Florida, Kansas City, Kansas, among others. He ultimately settled in Kalamazoo, MI where he graduated from Portage Central High School. He continued his education at Western Michigan University where he met his future bride, Patricia Scensny. They married on August 19, 1967 at St. Germaine’s Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores, MI. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Michigan Dental School in Ann Arbor, MI in 1969. He was a member of Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity. 

After graduation, he served as an officer in the Navy and was stationed in Pt. Mugu, CA. In 1970, they welcomed their number one only favoritest daughter, Beth. In 1971 his growing family returned to Kalamazoo where he established his dental practice, Westside Family Dental. Two years later, his dream of having a boy was fulfilled with the birth of their son, Jonathan.

Over the years he was involved with his children’s activities, as a coach for Beth’s softball team at Westwood Little League and a Den Leader for Jon’s Cub Scout pack. 

His love of travel began at a young age and continued into adulthood. He and his wife enjoyed adventures to countries including Egypt, Italy, France, England, Austria, Germany, Scotland, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic. They took Antarctic, Alaskan and Tahitian cruises and visited many of the United States. He also loved to scuba and even went diving in Truk Lagoon in Palau.

He was an active member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church where he served as a eucharistic minister.

He practiced dentistry for 42 years and during that time his patients became his friends. He retired in 2013.

Always an avid learner, he was passionate about history, with a keen interest in the Civil War. After retirement he attended the Master Gardener Program through Michigan State University. He had his private pilots license and flew his family to Cedar Point, Traverse City, Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls.  He enjoyed DIY and even built the swimming pool in the backyard of their first home on Newgate. There was no project too large or too small for him to fix with his handy dandy set of Time Life home repair books.  He enjoyed small crafts too like building model airplanes and remote submarines. Over the years he grew a sizable collection of Aviation artwork. In the summer you could find him roaming the streets at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. He was quite skilled at counted cross stitching, where the backs were as beautiful as the fronts.

Bud always enjoyed a good tease and loved putting the cordless phone in the toilet and flushing it when his kids would be talking on the other line. You knew he loved you if you received one of his many silly nicknames. His signature fashion statement was a pair of suspenders, which were perhaps more out of necessity as his pants were often falling down. 

He loved his 100 year old farmhouse and if you didn’t find him out in his workshop fixing something, or enjoying a cold Bell’s beer, then he was likely riding around on one of his tractors. He loved to grill steaks and burgers on the weekend and made the best “curly eggs”, spaghetti bake and arroz con gandules.

He was preceded in death by his parents Eldon E. Bradham and Maria Rivera Bradham.

He is survived by his wife Patricia Bradham, daughter Beth (Steve) Lackey, son Jon (Jodie) Bradham, beloved granddaughters Kaitlyn Bradham, Jessica Junttonen and Addison Lackey, his baby seester Carol (Skip) Haney, nephew Ken (Kari) Springsteen, niece Holly Postert, grand niece Madelyn and grand nephew Bradley. 

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Internment will take place at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your charity of choice or the Alzheimer Association.

While at please take time to sign Eldon’s guestbook and/or share a memory with his family.

The Bradham family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes and Cremation Society, 129 South Grand Street, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. 269-679-5622.

To order memorial trees in memory of Eldon L. Bradham, please visit our tree store.


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