Deceased April 20, 2016

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

Bruce Bradley passed away of natural causes on April 20in Alexandria, Va. He was a graduate of Classical High School in Springfield, Mass. At Amherst he majored in political science and was a member of Deke, the Masquers and the track team.

Following Amherst, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. While a C-130 navigator in Vietnam, he assisted in the evacuation of DaNang, which entailed several sweeps of the airstrip with rope ladders to rescue servicemen and refugees. During the rescue, the C-130 lost three of its four engines from enemy fire; still the stalwart crew landed it safely. Later they received medals for their valor. 

After the Air Force, Bruce relocated to New York City, where he attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, leading to a new career in musical theater. He performed in many off-Broadway productions and developed an act composed of Gilbert and Sullivan numbers with his masterful use of the ukulele, thus earning him the moniker “Duke of the Uke.” Bruce regaled us memorably with his ukulele repertoire at our 50th reunion.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 18 years, Dr. Joan Bradley; a daughter, Caitlyn Hunter McAlpine; brother Keith Bradley; brother Craig Bradley, his wife, Virginia, and family; and brother Joel Bradley, his wife, Julie, and daughter Amelia.

Peter Levison ’56

Submitted by JoDeanne B. Francis on Thursday, 12/15/2016, at 12:25 PM

50th Reunion

Family: Spouse's Name: Joan

Children's Names: daughter Cay, Joan's sons Ajamu & Sefu

Number of Grandchildren: one, Ajamu's & Yvette's daughter, Akili (Swahili for intelligent) - they live in Toronto.

Education Beyond Amherst: Auburn University, 1971, MBA, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 1979, AA Christian Science Primary Class Instruction, 1986.

Military Career History: United States Air Force officer, 1956 - 1977; Actor, 1977 - 1990; Current Job Title/ Occupation: Re­ tired. AFROTC cadet while at Amherst; commissioned in 1956; Aeronautical Ratings: Senior Navigator & Electronic Warfare Officer; Last Assignment: Chief Contingency Plans Division, HQPACAF, Honolulu, Hawaii; Highest Military Deco­ ration: Distinguished Flying Cross. Stationed in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Germany, Alaska, Tai-wan. New Jersey, and Hawaii. My work took me to much of Western Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Arctic.

Major Personal Events Over the Past 50 Years: fatherhood; selected to attend USAF's Air Command and Staff College, which led to my 7-year stint in Hawaii. Playing the part of "the Chairman" in many New York evocations of British Music Hall (e.g., The Da­ vid Copperfield, the Village Gate and Theater-Off-Park cited in Theatre World, Volume 35, 1979-1980). Learning to play the ukulele under the tutelage of Roy Smeck, vaudeville's Wizard of the Strings and star of the first Warner Bros. Talkie - 5 or 6 years. Roy dubbed me (and who knows how many others?) The Duke of the Uke. Taking singing lessons from Elizabeth Howell for 12 years (Elizabeth had been in the original production of Sound of Music, eventually stepping into the role of Mother Abbess). Appeared on the same bill as Julius LaRosa in a benefit performance on Broadway. National tour of Big River (when in Houston, I played a scene with Roger Miller, who had written the music and lyrics - and whose Ring of Fire had been a juke-box favorite at the club in Sondrestrom, Greenland all the four or five years my Air Force work took me there). Several productions of The Fantasticks (as the girl's father), including one for Columbia Artists. Served as First Reader in my Christian Science Church here in Missouri for 3 years. Being here in St. Louis when Joan arrived from the Bahamas on a one-year assignment at The Principia (a school for Christian Scientists) and before that year was up -accepted my proposal of marriage. She is expected to get her Ed. D in June 06.

Volunteer Activities, Hobbies & Interests: For the past four years, 'chief volunteer' at the School of Nations Museum, at The Principia in St. Louis, MO, and Elsah, IL, where Joan has served as Director (she is now on sabbatical to complete work on her Ed. D - and will have been Dr. Bradley a whole 11 days by the time we show up for Amherst's Reunion 2006). I serve in the public Reading Room maintained by our branch church and as soloist in local churches from time to time.

Bruce Bradley