Joe Russell Bradley was born August 13, 1919, in Ava, Missouri to Joseph Robert and Bertie Bradley.
His family relocated to Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1919 where he graduated from Stillwater High School. He enrolled at Oklahoma A&M and played basketball under Mr. Iba.
He joined the Stillwater National Guard and was called to active duty with the 45th Infantry Division in 1940. The 45th was sent to North Africa in pursuit of the “desert fox” and also made invasions in Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio. As a First Sergeant, Russell was awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his valor during these campaigns.
Upon returning to the States, he was stationed in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was assigned to the Military Police and remained there until his discharged in 1945. On October 6, 1945, he married Neoma Councille in Hot Springs. They returned to Oklahoma A&M to complete their degrees.
Upon graduation in 1948 the couple moved to Muskogee where Russell began his coaching and teaching career at West Junior High. He then coached the Greenies team, and later became the Rougher head coach at Muskogee High School. He left coaching in 1972 moving into administration where he served as principal at Muskogee High and Sadler Junior High. In 1981 he became the Director of Transportation and remained there until his retirement in 1986. In his spare time, he officiated both high school and college football and was an avid quail hunter.
He was a member of First Methodist Church, a member of Masonic Lodge #28, a Bedouin Shriner, and a former Rotarian. He remained a loyal and true OSU fan.
He is survived by his loving son Mike and his wife Stephanie and grandchildren Jack and Kate. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Neoma, and his brothers Ray and Ernest.
Visitation will be from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Tuesday at Checotah Funeral Home. Private interment will be at Fort Gibson National Cemetery. The family thanks those former Rougher players and Marva for remaining in contact with him through all the years.
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