Wylene R Bradbury
March 29, 1919 – February 10, 2021
BRADBURY, Wylene Elizabeth Righton Bradbury, 101 years old, died peacefully on February 10, 2021 at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Her long and happy life began on March 29, 1919 in Savannah, Georgia where she was born to Virginia Keller Righton and William Henry Righton. She was one of twelve graduates of Miss Pape’s School, which later became Savannah Country Day School. In 1939, she made her debut to society by her father at the Savannah Debutante Ball. She went on to attend the University of Georgia where she was president of her freshman class and graduated from the Henry Grady School of Journalism in 1941 with honors. She married her college sweetheart, Francis Taylor Maddux, who lost his life in the navy during WWII. During the war, Wylene worked at the Savannah Morning News before joining the staff of United Press where she was initially assigned to the Atlanta office. She was then placed in charge of the United Press Bureau in Columbia, SC and later ran the United Press Bureau in Jacksonville, FL. After WWII, Wylene met Robert Charlton Commander who had graduated from Clemson University and Yale University. “Charlie,” a WWII veteran, became the Director of Religious Activities at the Georgia Institute of Technology. They married in 1946 and together had two daughters. Charlie Commander passed away in 1967 from cancer. Wylene was later married to Atlanta architect A. Thomas Bradbury for the next twenty years. In his distinguished career, he designed the Georgia Governor’s Mansion and the Georgia Archives Building.
In her personal time, Wylene was a member of the Junior League of Atlanta and was the Corresponding Secretary for the National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Georgia. She continued to write and finished three novels during her lifetime. What Wylene will be remembered for most is her kindness, warmth, gracious nature and infectious smile. She had a deep faith in God and unending love for her family who affectionately called her “Gangi.”
Wylene is survived by her two daughters, Wylene Righton Commander of Palm Beach, F.L. and Virginia Commander Knott of Mill Neck, N.Y.; her son-in-law, David Mabon Knott; and three stepchildren, Lane Bradbury, Lynda Courts (Richard) and Thomas Bradbury (Nell). “Gangi” was also the proud grandmother of five grandchildren: Katharine Commander Knott (Kevin), David Mabon Knott, junior, Charlton Elisabeth Baker Holladay (Addison), Virginia Knott Leachman (Scott) and Belton Commander Baker (Elizabeth); and great-grandmother to Addison Cannon Holladay, Robert Charlton Holladay and Virginia Righton Leachman. She was also loved and adored by her eight step-grandchildren and 20 step-great-grandchildren.
Wylene will be laid to rest next to her parents and late husband, Robert Charlton Commander, in a private ceremony at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, 1328 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 or the Hospice Foundation of America, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 220, Washington, DC 20036.