Shirley Lee Hensley Bradford, age 92

Shirley Lee Hensley Bradford, age 92, of Harriman, TN entered eternal rest early Saturday morning, September 23, 2023, at NHC Healthcare in Oak Ridge, TN, as the final chapter of her wonderful life came to a close. Shirley was born December 3, 1930 in Wichita, KS to Lee and Ruth Hensley, one of five children. She attended Wichita East High School, where she met the love of her life, fellow student and future husband, Wendell Bradford. After high school graduation, she attended college at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS and Friends University in Wichita, KS. On March 10, 1950 she and Wendell were married at Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, KS by Dr. George D. McClelland, their pastor and Wendell’s mentor. Shirley fully supported Wendell’s chosen calling as a newly ordained Baptist minister. Their success and commitment continued, where she provided loving familial leadership as she and Wendell teamed to pastor churches in California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Tennessee. Shirley was the ultimate protector of her family, her husband’s life’s work, and their shared faith, as she effortlessly and humbly melded these tasks into her loving duties as a mother and wife. She was fiercely protective of her children, constantly encouraging them to grow and succeed on their own. In addition to her primary role as a homemaker, Shirley worked as a bank teller, high school office administrator, and was a skilled pianist who taught piano lessons to many students. Shirley was an avid life-long reader and her passion was solving the local paper’s crossword puzzles in record time. She also had a green thumb and enjoyed watching her many house plants thrive. She was a member of Trenton Street Baptist Church in Harriman, TN, where she led Sunday school and Bible study groups. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Wendell; parents, Lee and Ruth Hensley; brothers, Danny and Ted; sister, Juanita and daughter, Wendy Lea Bradford Hobson. Her survivors include brother, Bill Hensley of Lombard, IL; daughter, Cindy Rae Bradford Kelley and husband, Daryl of Grand Island, NE; son, Randall Scott Bradford and wife, Gina of Harriman, TN; son, Robert Sandlin Bradford and wife, Diane of Cordova, TN; 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, one great-great grandson, and a host of special family members and friends. She will be deeply missed by all who knew, loved and respected her.

A grave side service and interment will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, September 29, 2023, at Roane Memorial Gardens in Rockwood, TN. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Trenton Street Baptist Church, 519 Trenton Street, Harriman, TN 37748. Fraker Funeral Home of Kingston TN will oversee all arrangements. Messages to the family can be posted to Fraker’s on-line memorial book at

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