Dee Bradley, 85, of Rehoboth Beach, died Monday, July 21, 2014.
Dee was born in Waynoka, Okla., and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration. She was then employed by the State Department’s Consular Office in the U.S. Embassy, Moscow, USSR. During her tour there, she learned the Russian language and traveled in Russia, the Baltics, and Greece as well as throughout Europe.
Upon returning to the US, she was employed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture as a personnel management specialist and became an expert in the writing and interpretation of USDA and Civil Service Rules and Regulations. She was instrumental in the establishment of the first automated integrated personnel payroll system of its kind in the U.S. government. While employed by the government Dee met her husband, Kenneth, a forester with the U.S. Forest Service.
A match made in heaven, Dee and Kenneth had a rich, full live that they shared with family and friends. She and her husband purchased a house in Rehoboth Beach in 1967. They spent weekends and vacations there whenever possible and, when they retired in 1980, moved full time to Rehoboth Beach. When not in Rehoboth, they continued to travel extensively and visit relatives and friends.
A passionate reader, Dee was an advocate for libraries early in her life. She became president of the board of trustees of the Rehoboth Beach Public Library in 1980. Her first task as president was to write a personnel policy for the library that is still in effect. At this time, the library was then housed in an old telephone building on Rehoboth Avenue and it became apparent that the library was in need of more space.
In 1997, Dee spearheaded a capital campaign for the renovation and expansion of the library, holding fundraisers, writing grants, making promotional mailings, etc. It is because of her dedication and devotion that the library exists as it is today and this was a crowning achievement of her long and full life. She continued as president of the board of trustees until her death, working for the library, developing policies, attending library meetings, and assuring that the library was meeting patrons’ needs.
Dee was an avid gardener and she said it filled her with peace, contentment and a sense of accomplishment. While her garden was elegant, it was also colorful and contained whimsical statues that highlighted the playful side of her spirit. In fact, she had a concrete goose named Miss Lucy at the driveway of her home in Kings Creek Country Club. Miss Lucy had an extensive wardrobe celebrating the seasons and holidays, and is a point of delight for the entire community.
Dee was known as a determined woman who would not rest until she completed what she started. Wherever she was or whatever she was doing, she filled her days the best way she knew how and lived her life with a sense of purpose. As an avid reader of suspense and mystery novels, one of her favorite authors, Dorothy Sayers' main detective was Lord Peter Whimsey. His motto was, “As my whimsey takes me.” She adopted this motto throughout her life.
Her best friend and husband, Kenneth, died in 2005.
Dee is survived by her two daughters, Betty Bradley and Anne Rawson, who live in western North Carolina; and a nephew, Shannon Stebbens and wife Diana of Arizona; great-niece Amanda Stebbens Andrew, husband Adam and son Cooper of California; sister-in-law Betty Gerber and husband Don of Ohio ;and nephew Steven Gerber and wife Cindy of Indiana.
A private ceremony will be held by the family. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a contribution to Dee’s beloved Rehoboth Beach Public Library.