Isham (Ike) Beasley Bradley, age 70, of Nashville, TN, passed away Monday, June 12, 2023. Among other things, he leaves behind a closet full of Gulf Coast tackle shop and fish market t-shirts, dozens of stretched out bungee cords, and a lifetime of outlandish and likely embellished stories.
Ike is survived by his overly patient wife Roberta, the love of his life, to whom he was married 41 years. He is also survived by daughters Elizabeth (Jeff) Badger and Caroline, sister Becky (Doug) Shields, and grandchildren Juniper and Henry Badger.
God broke the mold (thankfully) upon his birth to parents Watson Montgomery Bradley and Bertha Dee (Smith), in Decatur, Alabama on September 22, 1952.
Ike spent his childhood learning to be a great outdoorsman and the kind of guy who didn’t take life too seriously. In high school he earned his Eagle Scout badge under the watchful eye of his scoutmaster father. He played the trombone in the marching and jazz bands (decades later, he dug that trombone out of the back of his closet to play with Christ Presbyterian Church orchestra). After graduating from Hillwood High School in 1970, Ike spent several summers at Camp Boxwell teaching “water safety” (mostly ensuring that his wards didn’t drown) and generally wreaking havoc. He decided to pursue an accounting degree like his father, graduating from Lipscomb University in just three years–we suppose he didn’t want to have to sit through chapel services for any longer than necessary.
Ike then went on to attend law school at the University of Tennessee, and took a job with the IRS upon graduation. He decided that was lame, and thus began his 45-year career as an attorney-at-law. Those who knew him well understood that his legal career was a means to serve others: Ike spent his entire life fixing other people’s problems.
Ike was the kind of man who could tell an off-color joke (which he did frequently, and with great relish) and then volunteer to tow a stranger’s broken-down boat all the way across the lake. While many people say that someone would “give the shirt off their back” to a person in need, Ike actually did so routinely–and thought nothing of it. Ike embodied Christ-like servitude and always chose to help someone in need regardless of the inconvenience or cost. He was a man of few words. When he did say something, it was either wildly inappropriate, deeply sentimental, or incredibly important.
Ike spent every moment he could outside: he loved boating, gardening, camping, running, hiking, and just sitting on the back patio contemplating sanctification by grace. At various points in his life he enjoyed hunting, roller-blading, body-surfing, and sun-bathing. His love of sandy beaches took his family on many trips to coastal Michigan and Gulf Shores, Alabama (which was his happy place). He was a kind and doting father to his daughters, routinely carting them around town to swimming events and piano lessons. He was a consummate Costco shopper, and a fantastic self-taught cook who could make a mean pot of gumbo and a perfect loaf of hand-kneaded wheat bread. Music was his second love, after his wife.
He will be deeply missed, swept away by cancer in an unacceptably short amount of time. Tremendous and heartfelt thanks go out to the staff of Alive Hospice, who eased his way into Christ’s promise of Heaven. A memorial celebration will be announced soon, and we urge any donations in his name to be made to Stephens Valley Church or Friends of Warner Parks, which ranked among Ike’s favorite places on earth.
If you have a memory or story to share with the family, please leave it in the comments on the Harpeth Hills website obituary page, or email to email@example.com.
We love you, Ike, and now we can only wait to see you again–as you would so often say–in the fullness of time.