Longtime Civic and Business leader Wilbur Bradley has passed away at the age of 91.
Brad as he was known, joined the Skelly Oil Company Marketing Department (now Texaco) in 1954 and retired in 1969 as District Sales Manager in Springfield, MO. With partner W.E. Day he purchased the Oasis Truck Stop in Lebanon, MO renamed it the B & D Truck Stop, the D. S. Caldwell Oil Company in Laclede County and later formed a retail propane operation. All assets of the B & D were sold between 1992-1994.
Brad was active in the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) in Washington, DC where he co-chaired the Government Affairs Committee and was Convention Chairman in 1984. He testified before sub-committees in the US Congress relative to the Texaco-Getty Merger and other issues important to NATSO. Along with others, he formed the Missouri chapter of NATSO. He received NATSO’s Distinguished Member Award in 1996.
Brad served two terms on the Lebanon City Council, chaired the Zoning and Planning Commission, was an Incorporating Director of the Lebanon Arts council, and was Co-Chairman of the Laclede County Government Center. He was instrumental in bringing Copeland Corporation to Lebanon as well as establishing the Kenneth E. Cowan Civic Center. Brad was chairman for the Community Award Wall of Honor completed in 2001 and was inducted into Lebanon’s highest accolade, being placed on the Wall of Honor in 2009. He was a charter member of the Lebanon Ambassadors and became a lifetime member in 1976. Brad served as President of the Lebanon Rotary Club in 1985-86 was awarded the Rotary Club Lifetime Service award and is a Paul Harris Fellow. From 1982-1992 Brad served as a Director on the Board of Commerce Bank of Lebanon, NA. He served on the Board of Directors of United Savings and Loan Association (now US Bancorp) and continued as Advisory Director of the Lebanon branch.
Brad was a volunteer chairperson of the newly formed Black & Gold Athletic Program for the Lebanon High School. The program recognized all sports teams with a kick off dinner for players and athletes annually. This program is now operated successfully by the All-sports Booster Club. He also served on the Missouri State University Alumni Association National Board and was active in raising substantial donor contributions for University programs. He and Patsy were recipients of the Bronze Medallion in 2016. Go Bears!
Brad was active in the life of the Masonic Bodies in Laclede County and beyond. He became Master Mason on December 30, 1972 and joined the York Rite, Scottish Rite and Shrine in 1973. He was the first president of the newly formed Laclede County Shrine Club in 1974 and served as Captain of the Laclede County Shrine Club Keg Patrol parade unit. He was awarded the honorary 33rd Scottish Rite degree in 2005.
Brad was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he served as Trustee for many years. He truly lived the Christian life by volunteering and caring for others in the community.
Brad was a kind and generous man whom never met a stranger. He fiercely loved his family, his community and his country. He is survived by his wife Patt; two children, Sherri Starr (John) of Cotuit, MA and Lesli Scott (Mark) of Lebanon, MO; three grandchildren Bradley Bare of St. Louis, MO, Tyler Bare, D.D.S. of Springfield, MO, and Matthew Scott, Lebanon, MO; his brother Bill Bradley (Ruth) of Orange, TX and numerous nieces and nephews.