William Houdini Bradley, after a loving, inspirational, and rewarding life, died peacefully on December 19, 2019, in Savannah, Georgia surrounded by his family. Known affectionately as “Dennie,” he was 85 years old. A lifelong resident of Savannah, Dennie was born in Savannah, Georgia on January 20, 1934 to Hannah and Aaron Louis Bradley. He married Riette Hirsch Bradley on February 15, 1959 and together they built a wonderful life.
Dennie was a charismatic and dedicated man who loved his family, his country, Savannah, and his business. Dennie attended Commercial High School and upon graduation joined the Navy. He served on the Battleship Wisconsin BB64 and sailed the seven seas. After leaving the Navy, Dennie returned to Savannah to work with his father in the family business Bradley Lock and Key. Established in 1883, Dennie was the 3rd generation to take over what is the oldest continuously operating Savannah business, now run by his grandson Andrew Bradley, 5th generation.
Dennie loved his wife and family and sacrificed everything to provide for them. His love and relationship with his 60 plus year wife Riette, devoted mother and co-worker at the shop, is the kind of love story straight from Heaven. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his darlin’ and the same for her until the very end. We should all strive to achieve such a marriage. They were their everythings and the love of each other’s’ lives.
Sending his sons through Savannah Country Day School, Tulane University, and Emory Medical and Law School and having them graduate from each without any debt tells you how hard Dennie worked 24/7, 365 days a year, running night and weekend calls well into his mid-seventies. Never complaining but always hardworking, Dennie was an extraordinary man. He would literally do anything for anyone at any time. He never met a stranger and he always took care of his customers – whether they could afford to pay or not. Ironically, the motto for his business was “we fix anything but a broken heart” – but Dennie was such an incredible person that he could even fix that. His death leaves the community of Savannah and his family with an irreplaceable void and many broken hearts.
Dennie was preceded in death by his brothers Eddie and Milton Bradley, and his daughter Karen Bradley.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Riette Hirsch Bradley; son Dr. Paul Bradley and daughter-in-law Mindy Bradley; son Mark Bradley and daughter-in-law Amy Bradley; grandchildren Adam and Holly Bradley, Dr. Amanda and Dr. Steven Kent, Caroline and Zachary Shultz, Dr. Brooke and Stuart Halpern, and Andrew Bradley; and great-grandson, Charles Bradley Kent. He is also survived by his sister Joy Bradley and several nieces and nephews.
The Bradley family would like to extend its huge gratitude and appreciation towards all of Dennie’s caregivers for the wonderful help and care provided over the last few years.
The funeral service will be held at 12 noon Sunday, December 22, 2019, at the graveside, conducted by Rabbi Avigdor Slatus of Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations to Congregation B’nai Brith Jacob Synagogue – 5444 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405.