Staff Photo by Ana Ramirez
Lucille Bradley poses by a tree at the River Plantation Country Club in Conroe for 100th birthday portrait. Bradley died Sunday. Funeral services will be Saturday
Former Conroe ISD educator, church vocalist and musician, community leader and encourager Lucille Bradley passed away Sunday at the age of 100.
The funeral will be Saturday with the time and place still undecided.
Bradley lived in Conroe for more than 90 years, taught second-graders for 30 years and inspired many people to be kind to one another and to serve the Lord.
After a fall in front of her favorite Conroe restaurant in November, Bradley was recuperating from hip surgery in recent weeks.
She was one of two women to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at Washington Junior High School after the annual Black History Parade Feb. 8.
The Rev. William Denman, pastor of Temple of Faith, said Bradley was a Christian woman.
“God blessed her with good health all these 100 years,” Denman said. “She was caring, a disciplinarian and was always concerned about the people, whether black or white. She was just an influential person.”
Denman knew Bradley since he started school at age 6 at Booker T. Washington School, he said.
“Ms. Bradley’s kind heart and compassion greatly impacted many lives in our community,” Conroe ISD Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton said. “Conroe ISD will always be grateful for Ms. Bradley and the impact she continues to make on the community through the lives of her former students.”
Project Hope Director Walter Milo remembers Bradley when he started second grade at Booker T. Washington School.
“Ms. Bradley is like our mother,” Milo said. “She made you feel you could achieve great things. She was an encourager and taught us to treat each other good and to be kind to one another.”
One of the last times he visited with Bradley, Milo said she was so proud of how far Conroe has come to bridging unity with all people, no matter their skin color.
Milo recalled Bradley telling him “to always follow the Lord’s path. Just keep going, do it God’s way. It’s the only way.”
Bradley attended school in the 1920s and ’30s at Conroe College, a private school for elementary to college level, where her foster father was a theologian.
“I grew up on the Conroe College campus,” Bradley said last year during in an interview before her 100th birthday. “It was a big school back then. They had a dormitory for boys and a dormitory for girls.
“It was a school for blacks.”
She was raised by Conroe College President Dr. William A. Johnson and his wife Cora after both of her parents passed away.
There, she met her husband, the late Rev. Arthur Bradley, who came to the school to study theology.
She got married in her 20s and was married for 39 years.
The couple didn’t have children of their own but raised her nephew like a son.
Students who attended second grade at Armstrong Elementary or Booker T. Washington School before integration in the 1960s may remember her.
Bradley started every day about 9 a.m. by reading her Bible. She attended church every Sunday and enjoyed being around people.
“I do my devotions every morning,” Bradley said in the November interview.
She would finish her devotional time just about the time a hot breakfast was served to her by a former student, Henry Calyen, who was in Bradley’s second-grade class in 1957.
“She gave me inspiration to learn in class and was instrumental in planting a spiritual seed in my life,” Calyen said in November.
For the past six years, Calyen has taken a home-cooked country breakfast to Bradley’s house about five days each week.
“I really do it to give back,” he said. “I asked her what she liked for breakfast and it started from there.”
Beulah White knew Bradley for more than 60 years.
“She was my son’s second-grade teacher, and he’s 56 now,” White said.
White took Bradley to her doctor’s appointments and they went to lunch together often.
“She’s a person who tries to help everybody. I look at her like a second mother,” White said in November. “She’s a very special lady to a lot of people in Conroe, one that is to admire.”