Joseph A. Bradley III

March 13, 1944May 3, 2014
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Joseph A. Bradley, III, 70--Service, Community, Family

Joseph (Joe) Aloysius Bradley, III, 70 of San Diego, California, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. Born in Worthington, Minnesota to Joseph and Patricia (nee Maloney) Bradley, Joe grew up between Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota, attended parochial schools and was active in debate, track, journalism and science fair.

Joseph graduated from Loyola High School in Mankato, Minnesota and went on to attend Mankato State University where he met his future wife, Kathryn (Kitty) Marian Kellen of Madison, Minnesota. Before they were united in marriage on May 7, 1966 in Mankato, Joseph began a long and dedicated calling to public service by enlisting in the Air Force the previous year. He served as an engineering inspector, surveyor, and draftsman, including one tour in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. As a “Red Horse” team member he rose to the rank of staff sergeant and received the USAF Commendation Medal. Joe was fond of noting a unique distinction of having served a full tour in 'The Nam' without ever having spent a Christmas there.

Just days prior to honorably discharging as a Staff Sergeant from the Air Force at LG Hanscom Air Field, in Bedford, Massachusetts, Joseph and Kitty saw the birth of their first daughter, Colleen Marie in October of 1969. Shortly after their second daughter, Julie Ann, arrived in August 1971, Joseph graduated first in his class with his BBA (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell Technical Institute (1972). Following graduation from Babson College in Wellesley, MA with his MBA (Summa Cum Laude) in 1973, the young family headed out west to sunny San Diego, where Joseph graduated with his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1976.

Upon graduation from law school, Joseph started his law career attempting to rescue what was, at the time, the largest chapter 11 bankruptcy in history, while the family purchased their first home and settled into their beloved Point Loma community of nearly forty years. During law school, Joseph began what would become a long teaching career as an adjunct professor of law and business at several colleges and universities throughout San Diego County. He later established a private law practice focusing exclusively on business and corporate law and public policy advocacy. In 1997 he surrendered the independence of private law practice to become vice president and general counsel of American Innotek, Inc (AI). He left AI in 2000 to become president and CEO of American Metrographics, a new venture for development and marketing of a comprehensive line of visitor oriented cartographic products.

Joe was deeply committed to community interests and was very active in several community planning groups. In 1981, his dedication to education led him to run for the San Diego School Board of Education in which he was narrowly edged out in the general election. He served on numerous boards and commissions, including president of the San Diego City Council Salary Setting Commission, various San Diego community planning committees, the California Coast Credit Union, and the board of the San Diego chapter of the United Way . As the president of the Board of Directors of two of the largest health care community clinics in San Diego (now combined and known as San Diego Family Care), he dedicated over 35 years in an entirely volunteer capacity to help ensure accessible and high quality health care to hundreds upon thousands of our underserved.

In 1985 he reactivated his military service by joining the California State Military Reserve. Ultimately achieving the rank of Colonel, his numerous contributions included several federal activations for legal support for deployees of the National Guard in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a member of the all-volunteer USAF Air Search and Rescue Auxiliary, he served as mission coordinator on a variety of disaster relief, counterdrug, and traditional air search and rescue missions. He also served as Director of Training for the California Wing of the USAF Auxiliary. Joe has some 20 medals and ribbons for his combined federal (USAF) and state military service.

Joseph's professional, military, and public service deeds were rivaled only by his zest for life and love of family. He was a self-described 'modern-day renaissance man' who was an accomplished artist (notably wood carving, drawing, and photography), pilot, sailor, historian, and amateur librarian. Joseph maintained one of the largest private residential reference libraries in the United States, at one point reaching well over 10,000 volumes with an emphasis on Irish history, culture and cartography. He researched and compiled over 30 volumes of genealogical history of the Bradley family, tracing his roots back to the Mayflower, and subsequently compiling an Irish genealogical atlas (Hibernius Magnus) to assist others researching their Irish ancestry. He drew incredibly detailed maps of every major (and minor) landmark in San Diego County, and personally surveyed the USS Midway over months and years to create a poster-size cutaway of the historic vessel. Music and storytelling come quite naturally to the Irish, and Joe was no exception--his passion for both was shared with his entire family. He is remembered by many to have a 'song for every occasion', and especially loved Christmas Carols.

Perhaps his proudest accomplishment was his beloved and devoted family with whom he loved exploring, hiking, and discovering. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, daughters Colleen (Jonathan Mittleman) Bradley of Julian, California, and Julie (Dennis) Berry of Encinitas, California, and grandchildren Kaitlyn Marie, Madelyn Rose, and Evelyn Ann Berry, and Kaleigh Carolina and Bradley James Kaltenthaler (Colleen's children from a previous marriage), and sisters Mary Elizabeth Stanton and Patricia Ann Kress of Fort Collins, Colorado. Memorial services for Joseph include a visitation on Thursday, May 8th at Beardsley-Mitchell Funeral Home, 1818 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, from1:30-3:30pm, followed by a Catholic Memorial Mass at 5pm at St. Charles Borromeo, 2802 Cadiz Street with a reception to follow at the parish hall. The following morning, on Friday, May 9th at 10am, a Committal Service with Military Honors will be held at Miramar National Cemetery, 5795 Nobel Drive. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Julie (Bradley) Berry, 3803 Nipoma Place, San Diego, CA 92106.


  • Visitation Thursday, May 8, 2014
  • Mass Thursday, May 8, 2014
  • Committal Service at Friday, May 9, 2014

Joseph A. Bradley III

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May 10, 2014

Rest in piece,my dear friend.You will be forever missed...especially at Christmas.I'm sure you will be leading the Christmas Carols in Heaven this year.Thank you Dear Joe,for your laughter,wisdom,humility,and courage.Thank you for being you.Not gone forever,just gone ahead. Until we meet again: Love, Marie and Al

May 8, 2014

There are not enough words...
I will miss you so much, especially calling to a voice that said "Attorney Joe Bradley speaking."
Our new journey is just beginning. It has been an honor to be "the other Julie" for 30+ years. We love all of you! Thank you Mr. B for loving all of us!
Julie Richardson Maxwell - - Tim, John, Mary & William Maxwell