Lester William Bradley
July 11, 1947 – February 19, 2014
Thornton, NH – Lester William Bradley, 66, died peacefully at his home in Thornton Gore on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Born July 11, 1947, in Lincoln, NH, to Richard “Dick” and Dorothy (Corkum) Bradley, he was a 1965 graduate of Linwood High School, Lincoln, NH, and received a degree in forestry from the University of New Hampshire in 1969, where he met and married his wife of forty-five years, Sharon (Perkins) Bradley.
After college, he served two years in the Marine Corps before returning to New Hampshire, where he worked at Loon Mountain and as a lumberjack and sawyer at the Beebe River Sawmill in Campton, NH. He then made the move from part-time to full-time National Guard service at the Plymouth, NH, armory, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant before moving on to the Plymouth office of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, retiring in 2010 because of illness.
Lester loved playing and listening to bluegrass and gospel music. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, he performed for many years with the Blake Mountain Band and as a duo with his wife. A well-known square dance caller, he represented New Hampshire at the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. He was a member of the Pemi Valley Church in Woodstock, NH, the Joseph Newton Smith American Legion Post #83 in Lincoln, NH, and a fifty-plus year member of the West Thornton Grange #253, Thornton, NH. He loved vintage tractors and collected Farmalls, and founded the annual I Love Old Tractors Show in Woodstock, NH, in 2003. A second-generation state representative, Lester was serving his second term in the New Hampshire legislature at the time of his death.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon, his daughter Lynn and husband Richard Clogston of Warren, NH, his son Nathan Bradley and companion Annie Deppe of Thornton, NH, a daughter-in-law Cindy Bradley of Thornton, NH, three brothers, one sister, multiple grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
SERVICES: The Rev. John Muehlke, Jr., will be performing a memorial service at the Pemi Valley Church, Route 3, Woodstock, NH, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, at 2:00pm followed by a gathering in the downstairs hall. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pemi Valley Church, PO Box 74, Woodstock, NH 03293. The Fournier-Hale Funeral Home of North Woodstock, NH, will be handling arrangements.www.fournier-hale.com