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Friday, March 18, 2016

Elizabeth Bradley Peterson

My Auntie Beth met a goal of hers on Wednesday, March 16th, as she marked her 90th birthday. On Thursday morning heaven gained it’s newest angel as she passed on peacefully.


Auntie Beth was my Grandmother Mary’s sister. Their father, Guy Wilbur Bradley, had migrated from North Carolina to California to set up the Bradley Brothers Ice Cream Shop in 1920 on Main Street in Walnut Creek with his brother, Ed.

L – R: unknown man, Uncle Ed, cousin Paul, my great grandfather, Guy.


Auntie Beth would come along in 1926 just two years after her sister Mary.

My great grandmother Lorena, grandmother Mary and Auntie Beth raised up on the running board of the car.


The Bradley sisters did everything together. Including attending Martin Stow’s 7th birthday party in 1932.

Have you ever seen so many darling Kewpie dolls?


Indeed the sisters would remain close for the rest of their lives. Thankfully their husbands, Papa Jack and Uncle Pete, got along very well. After all, Papa Jack had introduced Beth to Pete when they worked at the bank together.


The sisters always celebrated life’s precious moments together. Here my Auntie Beth is holding my mother, Karen, who was just shy of 3 weeks old in 1947.

She would again be there for my Grandmother when my sweet mother lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 26 in 1974.


But over the years there would be other happy events.

I sported a Dorothy Hamill haircut and braces at cousin Mike’s wedding in the early 80’s while Auntie Beth, always a fashion plate, turned out in patent leather t strap shoes.


Then there was the “flock of seagulls” permed look going into the 90’s at cousin Linda’s wedding while the Bradley sisters were still looking great in their floral dresses.


Some of you may remember that cousin Linda was my favorite traveling partner in France from two years ago. My Auntie Beth was her mother. My thoughts go out to her and my cousins Mike and Scott.

Montpellier 004-001

My aunt was an amazing seamstress and a fabulous decorator. Indeed it was her bathroom, with it’s matching wallpaper and shower curtain, that first introduced me to interior design. I routinely make several of her wonderful recipes. Even in her advancing age she insisted on being well turned out, coloring her hair and getting routine pedicures. She was always the coolest person in the room.

The image below was taken shortly after our return from Germany at Sweet Guy’s christening. Auntie Beth and Uncle Pete (far right) had driven a few hours to be there. Sadly, Grandma Mary had passed on a few years earlier.

A few months later I became the guardian to my Papa Jack (center) as he developed Alzheimers. In the continuing years Auntie Beth and Uncle Pete were a tremendous support system to me as this dreaded disease advanced on. I still remember sitting on their couch, with them on either side of me, telling me how proud they were that I continued to care for him all while having a young family of my own.

Their words meant so much.

Save for my children, all the people I loved have now passed on in this photo.

It’s a sobering thought to be the eldest twig on the branch of my family tree.

My friends this has hit me hard. I will be taking some time off and may be traveling. I had already written a post for this Wednesday as a participant in my dear friend Marty’s spring tour of homes. I think my dear Auntie would approve because she loved her home and all those who entered it.

Give a kiss to those you love.


This post was written for my children so that they will remember the goodness of their Auntie.


Kathleen Jerry said...

Laura, what a beautiful tribute not only to your Aunt Beth but your entire family. So sorry for your loss.

The Boston Lady said...

What a wonderful piece about your much loved Aunt. I am sorry for your loss, but happy you have so many precious memories of her. Take the time you need remember, mourn and rejoice. ❤️Ann

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh Laura, I am so sorry for yet another loss. God Bless. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Angela Boone said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your aunt. I am sorry for your loss.

Lorrie said...

Dear Laura,
My heart and prayers go out to you at this difficult time in your life. To lose a beloved family member is just plain hard. To see a generation pass away brings one's own mortality to the forefront. May God's peace and comfort be very near to you in these days.


Marigene said...

My thoughts and prayers to you on the loss of your aunt.

crisdsanchez said...

I am so sorry for all your recent losses of family and friends. May God give you comfort and peace during this time.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your Aunt. It has been a hard year for you.
Walnut Creek's main street in the 90s looked a lot like your photo. Sweet little city.
xoxo Su

lynn cockrell said...

Laura, I am so saddened to read of your beloved aunt's passing away. You come from a family of beautiful people. Your Auntie Beth was one of them and I can see that you share a great likeness to her. You have the same gorgeous smile as she did! I cannot imagine how it must have been for you to lose your mother at such a young age and it must have been such a blessing having these other family members to lean on and be with as you grew up. I, too, feel that there are more loved ones who have passed on than are left. I will pray for you and your family as it is sure to be a difficult time for you all during these difficult days.

Denise said...

Laura, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your Auntie Beth. It sounds like your life, and many others in your family, were much the richer for having had her as a family member. It sounds like she was truly there for you whenever you needed her. I know you will miss her. I am sorry you've had to endure the loss of so many family members over the last year or two. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Take care, Laura, and God Bless.


Denise at Forest Manor

Botanic Bleu said...

I'm sorry to hear of another loss of someone dear to you. This is a wonderful tribute to your Auntie Beth and all of your other family members. What a wonderful tribute replete with photos and identifying names for your children. Travel safely. God speed.


Jane said...

Such a wonderful tribute to your precious Aunt! How amazing that she achieved her goal of turning 90 years old - a long life, well-lived. Your love of family shines throughout all your writings. May light perpetual shine upon your aunt as she joins her family in the heavenly choir! Peace to you, Jane

Jeanie said...

Oh, Laura, my sympathies. But what a wonderful life lived and such an amazing woman. The photos are simply spectacular. Don't you love those classic images? You are fortunate to have them. And I think she was fortunate to have you. said...

Laura, so sorry for your earthly loss. What a wonderful tribute this post is to your dear aunt. It's so nice that you've kept a bond with your cousins, too. I was also saddened to hear you lost your dear mom at such a young age. Glad you had loving aunts and grandmother around you. May God comfort you and the family as you grieve this great loss...

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

This post touched me deeply, Laura.

Donna said...

What a sweet tribute to your aunt. She was truly a remarkable person. Sending hugs and prayers for you.

Daniela said...

I'm so very sad for your loss, my dear friend, for sur your Auntie lived so long, but we're never ready to lose the oldest branches of our family, I know !
I want you to know that you wrote such a wonderful tribute which I'm sure she appreciate so much and don't forget that people who loved us, will never forget us or leave us completely, they're going on driving us from up above, Love is much more stronger than death, never forget it, my wonderful Laura !

Sending blessings on your weekend,
praying for your sad heart,
with love


Eilis said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'm sure your auntie knew how much she meant to you.

GSGreatEscaper said...

Dear Laura, my thoughts are with you as you travel the hard road. The be the last leaf left on your branch at such a young age is a very hard thing to process along with the loss of so many dear ones as you have weathered in the last short years. Remember to take time to refresh your own spirit as you care for others.

Laura said...

Thinking of you Laura.
Traveling mercies-


Maria Elena said...

Laura this post is a beautiful tribute to your aunt. It sounds like she was such a lovely person.You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care. xxx Maria

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt's passing. Your tribute to her is so beautiful and really gives us such a true sense of who she was and what she meant to you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Kelley Dibble said...

Dearest Laura,

I cannot imagine this deep loss upon your life. Praying for you, sweetie.


craftyles said...

Laura, Just read about your special Aunt. What a beautiful tribute to her and your whole family. So sorry for your loss.

Karena Albert said...

My dear Laura, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, you have been through so much. It is good that you are taking some time off. Healing and self-care is important. Love and prayers are with you.

The Arts by Karena

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear Aunt Beth, Laura. I know from all that you shared, that she was a much loved and special person in your life. My prayers are with you. God bless you.

sarah said...

Laura, I am so sorry you continue to suffer loss. Hold your family tight as they give you love at this difficult time.