CHARLES W. BRADT
(November 28, 1903 - December 22, 2011)
Charles Willard Bradt, 108, of DeKalb, Illinois, died peacefully Thursday, December 22, 2011, at Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center, DeKalb.
The family had just gathered November 28 to celebrate his 108th birthday. “Charlie” sang and told stories.
Born November 28, 1903, in DeKalb, the son of Samuel Ellsworth and Bertha McConnell (Glidden) Bradt, Charles was the great-nephew of Joseph Glidden.
There was another son, Andrew, and two sisters, Marianne and Elizabeth; the children grew up in DeKalb and Charlie graduated from University of Illinois, where he was a Sigma Chi, and attended Harvard business school.
He followed in the footsteps of his father, Samuel, and joined the workforce at First National Bank of DeKalb.
Charlie married Irene Pagel from Sycamore and they had three daughters: Barbara, Betty and Bertha.
After Irene’s untimely death at age 26, several years passed and he married Jane Zinn from Peoria.
The family welcomed a son, Ronald.
Charles served on the board of First National Bank from 1943-1984.
He and Jane also lived in St. Anne and Kewaunee, over a 7-year span, where he served as a consultant to their local banks, before the Bradts returned to DeKalb.
Charles was a member of First United Methodist Church and sang in the adult choir from the age of 14. He sang in that choir for 81 years and sang a solo, “The Lord’s Prayer,” at age 95.
He established Bradt Travel in DeKalb and he and Jane traveled extensively.
He developed Bradt Park and Buena Vista golf course.
He was the first board president of Kishwaukee Country Club and helped establish Oak Crest and Voluntary Action Center. He was significant to the growth of Kishwaukee Community Hospital and served as a volunteer in special services.
Charlie was a member of the Northern Illinois University Foundation board and was often seen at the basketball games. He was a member of Rotary, Kiwanis and Elks’ clubs of DeKalb.
Charles’ mission in life was seeing people succeed, especially young people. He enabled offspring, foreign students and friends to achieve their goals.
He was a fine bridge player and loved golf.
He is survived by his four children, Barbara Burkart of Sycamore, Betty (Larry) Gault of Harlingen, Texas, Bertha (Richard) Wespiser of Oxford, Ohio, and Ronald Bradt Sr. of Sycamore; 15 grandchildren, Cheryl Johnson of Rochelle, Kathy Davenport of DeKalb, Patricia Venners of Sycamore, Michael Burkart of Sarasota, Florida, Julie (Joseph) Kelley of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Susan Culbertson of Sycamore, Mary (Kyle) Hannah of Neffs, Pennsylvania, Robert (Jane) Heal Jr. of Folsom, California, Dana (Peter) Corogin of Vermillion, Ohio, David (Lisa) Wespiser of Oxford, Ohio, Daniel Wespiser of Miami Beach, Florida, Ronald (Laurie) Bradt Jr. of Sycamore, Leslee (Tim) Basset of Winfield, Kevin (Karolina) Bradt of Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlie Bradt of Dixon; 26 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great-grandchildren; and his dear friend, Sally Stevens.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane.
Cremation has taken place at Anderson Funeral Home Crematory. A memorial service celebrating Charlie Bradt’s life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak Street, DeKalb, with the Rev. Jonathan Hutchison officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Charles W. Bradt Memorial Fund, in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 South Fourth Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com
or call 815-756-1022.