Carol Ann Bradley
January 16, 1951 – May 4, 2020
Carol Ann Bradley was born on January 16, 1951 to Mary Katherine Burnett Bradley and Ralph O. Bradley, a blissfully welcomed first child to a young couple who had served proudly at home and abroad in World War II. Her maternal grandparents were William Arthur and Mary Harrell Burnett, who were founding members of the Madison Church of Christ. Her paternal grandparents, were William Burley and Elsie Drewey Bradley were farmers in Hickman County and devoted Christians.
Carol graduated from Madison High School in 1969 where she was a member of the Honor Society. She also found joy as a Candy Striper at the newly formed Nashville Memorial Hospital, which fueled her dream of being accepted to Vanderbilt University where she received a BS in Nursing, while working in the ER at the original St. Thomas Hospital on Hayes Street. Upon graduation, she went straight to work at Nashville Memorial Hospital, where she founded the very first Cardiac Education and Rehab program and developed the curriculum for recovering patients after discharge.
In Carol’s own words for her 50th high school reunion last year: “I spent 17 years of my time at NMH working as an instructor in the Education Department. I was very active in volunteer work for the American Heart Association and other professional organizations for state healthcare educators. I held several offices in the professional organization and was twice voted outstanding healthcare educator of the year. I also taught Sunday School for many years and was a volunteer reader for the Nashville Talking Library. The Talking Library is a free audio service of Nashville’s public library. It serves persons with visual impairments. I left NMH in 1997 and spent several months traveling the back roads of Kentucky to provide healthcare education for staff members of several rural hospitals. In late 1997, I began working in the Medical Review Department of a Medicare contractor. I retired in late 2016.”
Carol is survived by her brother, William R. Bradley (Diane) of Panama City Beach, FL and a sister, Cheryl Bradley Manning (Ford), of Lawrenceville, GA. No one was more delighted than Carol when her siblings came along when she was 8 (Cheryl) and 11(Bill) years old. She was overjoyed by their every accomplishment and gladly shared them all with the world. One of the greatest joys of her life was the birth of her only nephew, William Barry Bradley (Megan), who is currently a 4th year medical student at Florida State University.
Carol was also a surrogate mother to the three children of Joel and Katrina Waltenbaugh, childhood friends who had a lifetime bond with Carol. Adam Wade Waltenbaugh (Kim), Seth Patrick Waltenbaugh (Emily), and Kara Knox (Joe), were cared for and loved fiercely by Carol for all of her days. Their children, Emma Waltenbaugh, Graham Waltenbaugh, Camilla Knox, Dean Waltenbaugh and Callum Knox lovingly referred to her as “Grand-Carol.” They spent almost every holiday and many wonderful vacation trips with Carol.
Carol had a brilliant mind and compassionate spirit that never dimmed in the slightest until the day she departed this earth. She will be greatly missed.
Memorial donations in Carol’s memory can be made to Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Inc. or the American Heart Association.
Tennessee Cremation Care is honored to be entrusted with Ms. Bradley's cremation services.
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