A family physician, who practiced medicine for more than 50 years in the Lebanon community, died Monday night.
Dr. James Bradshaw died while in Naples, Fla. He was 81.
Bradshaw was born in the Tuckers Crossroads community near Lebanon. He grew up in Hartsville in neighboring Trousdale County before attending the former Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon as a post-graduate. Bradshaw attended the University of the South prior to serving four years in the U.S. Navy.
After his military service, he graduated from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville with a bachelor of science degree and went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis.
Bradshaw started his medical practice in Lebanon in 1961, and opened the Bradshaw Clinic three years later.
“The focus of this practice has been to provide the best possible care and service to the residents of Wilson and surrounding counties,” according to the clinic’s website.
“I came to town about a year before he did,” said longtime associate Dr. Morris Ferguson. “We were never partners, but we always traded out in our practices. When I was out, he worked for me, and I did the same thing for him.
“He was a good friend and a very good associate. He was a fine doctor as well. We practiced together for about 30 years. Our practices were very similar in what we did. He was always a very pleasant man. He was always very kind to his patients and mine as well. I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t like Jim Bradshaw.”
Rebecca Mathis worked with Bradshaw for 26 years as the clinic’s practice manager.
“He was a good friend and a very good associate,” Mathis said. “He was a fine doctor as well. We practiced together for about 30 years. Our practices were very similar in what we did. He was always a very pleasant man. He was always very kind to his patients and mine as well. I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t like Jim Bradshaw.”
Advanced practice nurse Brenda McFarland worked with Bradshaw for about six years and is one of the medical providers who took over Bradshaw’s practice.
“He was always kind to everyone,” McFarland said. “It didn’t make any difference whether you were a millionaire or didn’t have two pennies to your name, he treated everyone the same. I worked with him for many years, and I never saw him get mad. He thought his family and his church were important.
“I have worked with him in the hospital, as well as the office, and I have never seen him upset. He was always kind. He always made you feel special and smart. He always called me Mrs. Brenda. I have not known too many people in this world like him, and there are not too many Southern gentlemen left in this world.”
In addition to his practice, Bradshaw served on the board of trust and as chairman of the Tennessee Medical Association, as well as on the boards of directors of the University Medical Center and McFarland Hospital, also serving both facilities as chairman and chief of staff.
Bradshaw was one of the founders of Cracker Barrel Old County Store and served on the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. board of directors for 33 years.
He was also one of the founders and organizers of First Freedom Bank in Lebanon, where his son, John Bradshaw, currently works as executive vice president and director and chief operating officer.
“I can’t think of anyone who has influenced the community in more ways than Dr. Bradshaw,” said First Freedom Bank chief executive John Lancaster. “Not only was he a great physician with proven entrepreneur business skills, but he had a magnetic personality that made you love him and want to be in his presence. You will never hear Dr. Bradshaw’s name mentioned with any negative tone. He was loved and respected by all. The community has truly lost a legend.”
He was a 40-plus-year member of the Lebanon Rotary Club and was active in numerous civic organizations.
Bradshaw was a member of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon. He and his wife, Martha (Mann), were married for more than 47 years and have four children and 11 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Lebanon with Sellars Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Friday from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9-11 a.m. at the church.