Ann Elizabeth Whitehead Bradberry, NP, RN.
Elizabeth Bradberry, 76, of North High Shoals, accepted, with customary humility and grace, her Father’s invitation to lay down her burdens and return Home on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
Born in the autumn of 1942 in Bogart, Georgia, Liz and her brother Billy Whitehead lost their parents at a young age, their father Raymond Whitehead to liver disease and their mother Pauline (Palmer) Whitehead to long-term institutional medical care. Times being what they were, the siblings were split up to be raised by different family members, with Liz sent to live with her aunt and uncle, Frances and Bert Holmes, who accepted and loved her as one of their own. There she grew to adulthood with her cousins Bobby, Faye (Roberts), and Sandra (Parks), all of whom, along with her mother and brother, preceded her in death.
Traveling in search of employment, the Holmes family moved to Ohio and spent some years there before moving to College Park, Georgia, where Liz attended North Clayton High School, enjoying success as a basketball player and cheerleader. Upon her graduation, the family moved one final time to resettle in North High Shoals. It was from their home on Frazier Hill that Liz would travel weekly by bus to Macon to attend Mercer University, where she earned her nursing degree.
Although she had been working since she was a girl – most notably at the textile mill in Whitehall alongside her aunt and cousins – Liz was first professionally employed as an ER nurse at Athens General Hospital. From there she moved to more personalized care-giving, first as a nurse with the county health department in Madison, Georgia, and, finally, with the Oconee County Health Department where, after many years and much effort devoted to earning a Nurse Practitioner degree from Emory University, she attained the position of Lead Nurse. Upon her retirement in 2006, after more than 30 years of dedicated service, the Board of Commissioners signed a proclamation designating September as “Elizabeth Bradberry Month” in Oconee County.
Liz wed North High Shoals native Harry Bradberry in the summer of 1963, and in due course gave birth to three children, raising and nurturing them in the family home on Hillsboro Road in the center of town. She was proud when husband Harry served as Mayor in the mid 1970s, and equally so when son Toby Bradberry became Mayor in 2016. She also adored daughter Carla (Marty) Sellars and son Mitch (Melanie) Bradberry. And of course she had that special love mothers reserve for the future generations, smiling with quiet pride as grandson Josh Bradberry graduated from Oconee High in 2012 and cheering with enthusiasm as granddaughter Jenna Bradberry led Monsignor Donovan High’s basketball team to victory in the state championship in 2016.
Elizabeth was known informally as the “nurse of North High Shoals,” and it was not uncommon for neighbors to solicit health advice and recommendations for treatment. She never shied away from employing her expertise in support of her friends and neighbors, and the family was frequently rewarded with cards and letters of thanks, as well as delicious meals and desserts.
From the time of the official diagnoses of Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Liz was fortunate to be supported by family and friends and to have access to the absolute best medical care available. She ended her time on earth at home, in her own bed and surrounded by loved ones, and her family will forever be grateful to those whose thoughts, prayers, visits, and food and other gifts helped make this sad and trying time a little less difficult.
Friends and other loved ones are invited to join the immediate family to visit and share in a celebration of Liz’s life at Oconee Chapel on Thursday at 1:00 p.m., to be followed by interment at 2:00 at that same location. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes, 3000 Highway 42 N, McDonough, GA 30253.
Time is too Slow for those who Wait, too Swift for those who Fear, too Long for those who Grieve, too Short for those who Rejoice. But for those who Love, Time is Eternity. Farewell Elizabeth – daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, nurse, patient, friend, child of G-d