×

Weed Corley Fish Funeral Homes and Cremation Services

3125 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX

OBITUARY

Bill Bradshaw

May 15, 1946September 9, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

William Thomas Bradshaw, Jr. (better known as Bill, King Kong, Willy the T, Uncle Bill, and several other choice monikers) was born in Edinburgh, Texas on May 15, 1946. He grew up in McAllen, Texas and left the Rio Grande Valley at 18, though it seems the Valley never quite left him. Growing up in South Texas in the 1950s and early 60s, he saw the impact of unequal opportunity on people and this experience engendered a life-long interest in fairness and inclusion that he carried with him until his death on September 9, 2019. He left the Valley to attend Denver University (DU), making his way north in a pick-up truck with no defroster. This didn’t seem to matter as long as he had a full bottle of ether and a couple of Army surplus blankets. Driving through the frozen passes of the Rocky Mountains, any passenger in the truck had to spray ether on the windshield so he could see. And try not to freeze to death in the interim.

He met the love of his life, Caren Bellamy Bradshaw, at a fraternity party at DU after being set up by mutual friends. Years later, he told his children that on their first date, he gave Caren a bottle of whiskey, and checked in on her throughout the night. She got drunk, and ultimately sick, and the next day she told him that she liked him, but that she didn’t like how being drunk made her feel, and she wasn’t going to do it anymore. He marveled at the fact that for the next 50+ years, she never did.

He earned a law degree at the University of Texas, and went to work for Mortgage and Trust in Houston at a fascinating time for the company and the City. He worked with legendary developers Trammell Crow, Gerald Hines, and others, writing loans for projects like the Houston Galleria. Despite helping to mentor his son in the real estate business, he never shared these stories until his relationship to Hines came up by accident over lunch with an old friend. He taught continuing education courses through the Texas Real Estate Commission. He taught courses in the paralegal curriculum at Austin Community College. He served on the Vestry of two different Episcopal Churches in Austin, once joking with the Episcopal Bishop that he might be the only man in Texas who could look important in the back of a pick-up. He loved the impact he could have on a new generation of professionals through his teaching, and particularly liked working with older students, who had to overcome significant obstacles to succeed in their chosen career path.

This mentoring role was also part of the way he practiced law, and the way he worked in all the jobs he ever had. He gave scores of people new opportunities, and trained them into new fields or responsibilities that helped give them greater opportunity. His children have heard this over and over again this year, as we celebrated Bill and Caren’s 49th wedding anniversary and as we mourned his untimely passing. Bill helped people find talents in themselves and build the confidence to reach their full potential.

In the mid-2000s, his wife and partner, Caren, began exhibiting signs of memory loss. As her health declined, Bill stepped up to the challenge. Making sure that Caren was safe, comfortable, and well-cared for, even as he watched the love of his life retreat further and further from her previous self. In a life remarkably well-lived, where he touched hundreds of lives for the better, it’s hard not to see this as his finest time. Even as he dealt with the heartbreaking devastation wrought by the progression of Alzheimer’s and numerous health issues of his own, to which he ultimately succumbed this week, he made sure that not a moment went by where Caren had any doubt that she was cared for and loved. In a life filled with legacies that will carry on beyond him, this was his most important.

In addition, he wanted the wonderful group of caregivers who have supported him and mom through this time to be mentioned. It’s unclear how we would have managed without Stancy, Renee, and Jean. Bill and all of his family are deeply grateful for their care and friendship.

He is preceded in death by his parents William Thomas Bradshaw, Sr. (Tom) and Jean Weinert Bradshaw (Grammom) and his mother-in-law, Marygertrude Bellamy (Grammy). Our sadness is surpassed by their joy at his crossing over.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Caren Bellamy Bradshaw, and their two children, William Burton Bradshaw II of New Orleans (Rebekah) and Blair Bellamy Bushong of Houston (Esmeralda). Will and Blair were a light in his life as were his grandchildren Brooke (Blair and Esmeralda), Liam, Evie Lou, and Austin (Will and Rebekah).

He is also survived by his sister Claire Mcintyre and brother-in-law John McIntyre, multiple other in-laws including Curt and Karen Coffman, Jim and Sandy Coffman, Helen and John Volk, and more doting nieces and nephews than you could shake a stick at (Cathy, Curtis, Tom, Dana, Karen, Ryan, Kim, Brian, Nick, Nicole, Courtney, Whitney, Lacey, Chris, BY, Trilby, Lorena, Dave, Stuart, Lucy, Carter, Maddie, Finley, Harper, Jack, Evanne and more).

He gave out so much love, and in return he was loved deeply and will be profoundly missed. In the end, there is no better measure of a life.

Visitation will be held at Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home at 3125 North Lamar in Austin, Texas on Thursday September 12, 2019 between 6 and 8 pm. Dress is business casual/come as you are. Bill would have been happy to see you whatever you’re wearing.

Friday, September 13, 2019, the family will host a 1 pm memorial service at Bill and Caren’s long-time Parish church, St. James Episcopal at 1941 Webberville Road in Austin, Texas. Please wear outfits inspired by Tommy Bahama, the Houston Astros, or anything that reminds you of Bill. There will be a reception at the church immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Texas Civil Rights Project, or Equality Texas in memory of Bill. We hope that these gifts will help him continue to support the causes he most cared about during his remarkable life.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, September 12, 2019
  • Memorial Service Friday, September 13, 2019

Memories

Bill Bradshaw

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Ora Houston

September 13, 2019

What can I say about my dear friend? In simple terms he will not be forgotten and I will profoundly miss him! Miss his friendship, his brutal honesty, his love for Caren and his family (extended and adopted - me included), his giving spirit, his joy of life and good 'spirits', his laugh, the stories he shared, and the calls he made when he needed to ''tell me something that I needed to do", as I was his own personal elected official. ;->

I find it ironic that we will say our goodbyes today, Friday the 13th. I can almost hear that booming laugh as Bill pours a drink, kicks back and prepares to tell Peter a story.

Well done good and faithful servant!
Ora

Kelley Menefee

September 13, 2019

My thoughts and prayers to Bill's family. Although I only knew Bill in a professional relationship through Real Estate, it was clear that he was kind, patient, generous willing to share all of his knowledge and above all had such integrity! My husband and I would make sure that we attended his legal classes because of the knowledge and the stories he shared with us. it was clearly a passion for him and it showed. He was loved by many.

Sandra Simpson

September 12, 2019

To the Bradshaw Family and Friends. My sincerest sympathy for you and your family during this difficult time. I will miss Bill and his wonderful spirit. You will be deeply missed my dear. Rest in Heavenly Peace!

Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us everyday. Unseen, unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear to our hearts. Peace and many blessings to you all.

Sandra Simpson

Bettye (BJ) Taylor

September 12, 2019

Dear Family of Bill & Caren, sharing your loss of a caring soul whose personality is unforgettably special. Opportunities to be of visit ministry to them blessed my life because of his authentic spirit and her loving heart. Bill, may you rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Christian Johnson Nash

September 11, 2019

Mr. B! I often wonder if I spent more time with Blair and Will than I did with my own family. I often think of his booming laugh and the way he yawned. What a great man he is!

Pamela Johnson

September 11, 2019

I was a caregiver to Caren for over 3 years. My fondest memory of Bill was listening to him crack really dry jokes. I couldn't help but laugh because he seriously believed he was hilarious. Knowing Bill as I did, I know he would find it ironic that his funeral would be on my 59th birthday. I will miss him and his humor and am confident he has found peace in the everlasting.

Larry and Anne Christian

September 11, 2019

We have truly enjoyed knowing you UB. Thanks for the times we had together. We are already missing you. RIP UB
Anne & Larry Christian

Priscilla Chavez

September 11, 2019

I wanted to convey my sincerest condolences to Bill's family. I was one of Mr. Bradshaw's paralegal students. The rules of Evidence were the hardest thing for me to learn. Mr. Bradshaw had a way of putting them in terms that we could understand. I would often re-listen to my recorded lectures and learn even more things that I missed because I was trying to focus on writing everything down. Mr. Bradshaw would often brought Caren to class and it always melted my heart to see how well he took care of her. I am so very sorry for the family's loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.

Alice Caron

September 10, 2019

Bill was such a calming presence whom I will miss terribly personally. All of us at Keller Williams Realty benefited from his immense knowledge and his caring and thoughtful personality.

We will remember Bill's humor and his many funny stories. Bill was someone I always felt a little bit better because he was here. I'll miss you. My condolences to your loving family Bill. xoxo

Sandy Bednar

September 10, 2019

I am so saddened by Bill's loss....he was an icon in the real estate industry helping real estate licensees learn from the best. We will not only miss his education classes but his wisdom, advice, and level thinking to help us through some difficult business transactions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Rest in peace Bill and know your REALTOR friends will always appreciate you and remember you.

Sandy Bednar
Broker Owner Distinct Austin Properties
1997 Past President of the Austin Board of REALTORS

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY