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Ernestine Bradley

Ernestine (Stephenson) Bradley, 95, departed this life to join the heavenly choir July 11, 2013, at Jonesboro, Ark.
Services to celebrate Mrs. Bradley’s life were set for 11 a.m. today at Karnes Funeral Home in Kenton. Dr. Jimmy Adcox of Jonesboro will deliver her eulogy. Burial will follow in Kenton’s Sunnyside Cemetery, next to her beloved husband, Robert. Pallbearers will be Jay Cooley, Drew Cooley, Steve Stephenson, Joe Rogers, Barry Stephenson and Bill Hayes.
Lasting memorials may be made by check to the Miller-Shelton Cemetery Fund in care of Steve Stephenson, 16 Burrow Lane, Milan, TN 38358. Maintaining this old family cemetery was always a high priority for Ms. Ernestine and leaving this perpetual care legacy was very important to her.
She was born Oct. 13, 1917, in the Miller’s Chapel community in Dyer County, son of the late John Ernest and Margaret Elizabeth (Miller) Stephenson. She lived near Kenton for 43 years before relocating to Jonesboro in 1997. She grew up in a close-knit farm family, having a strong moral and work ethic where her daddy always taught that “a man’s word is his bond.” She graduated with honors from her 1936 high school class where she excelled in math, science and history.
Mrs. Bradley was a diligent homemaker, a retiree of the former Brown Shoe Company, who later worked in the Obion County School System. She enjoyed traveling, reading, cooking, sewing, gardening and playing cards and board games, but most of all, being with family and friends. Her love of family history launched her 30-year annual tradition of decorating the graves of several ancestral generations dating back to the Revolutionary War period. She continued this cherished tradition until recent failing health prevented travel. Her beloved “cemetery trek” involved an annual two-day journey of placing memorial flowers and flags at the burial sites of many loved ones in cemeteries across western Tennessee.
A devout Christian and member of the church of Christ for over 80 years, she had taught two generations of children’s Sunday school classes and had formerly served on the Sunday school planning committee. She also served her Lord as a prayer warrior on the 911 prayer chain, sewed for the Teddy Bear ministry, and found great satisfaction working in the church’s jail ministry. She loved attending worship services and often sent encouraging cards and letters to those who were sick, grieving or facing difficult times. As she went about her daily routine, she was often heard singing hymns in her beautiful alto voice. Ernestine’s daily Bible readings resulted in her having read the Bible cover-to-cover many times.
Ernestine was preceded in death by the love of her life and husband of 40 years, Robert Allen Bradley. She was also predeceased by their son, Robert Conway Bradley; by two brothers and sisters-in-law, Auburn and Emily Stephenson and Leo and Marie Stephenson; two sisters-in-law, Martha (Bradley) Davis and Mary Dean (Bradley) Hartman; and four brothers-in-law, Ches Davis, Pick Rogers, George Hartman and Bill Norman.
She is survived by her daughter and faithful caregiver, Esther (Bradley) Lane of Jonesboro; two grandsons, Ed Lane and Allen Bradley; two granddaughters, Rhonda Cooley and Lisa Jackson; her daughter-in-law, Mary Watkins; her sister, Kate Rogers; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Jewell and Bobbie Nell Stephenson and Ivan and Patricia Stephenson; two other sisters-in-law, Ruth Norman and Sue Stephenson; 11 great-grandchildren; several beloved nephews and nieces;, and many cherished friends.

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