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Celebrating the life of
John Elliot Bradshaw, Sr.
June 29, 1933 - May 08, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Reception
  • 11:00am - Saturday, May 14, 2016
  • St. John the Divine
  • 2450 River Oaks Blvd. (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77019

  • (713) 622-3600
  • Funeral Service
  • 10:00am - Saturday, May 14, 2016
  • St. John the Divine
  • 2450 River Oaks Blvd. (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77019

  • (713) 622-3600
  • Visitation
  • 5:00pm - Friday, May 13, 2016
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066
  • Burial
  • 1:00pm - Saturday, May 14, 2016
  • Earthman Resthaven Cemetery
  • 13102 North Freeway (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77060

  • 281-443-0063

Today, June 28th, I learned of Mr. Bradshaw's death. I am deeply saddened to hear this. I never met the man but was facinated by him. I very much enjoyed "Homecoming" and attended one of his appearances at a local television show and at a main venue here in Toronto many years ago. He always struck a chord with me and always made me feel better. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this difficult time.

Nancy Haines, Toronto, On

Have been reading John's books - all photos of John on his books are a mirror image of my brother, who is 87 this year. Is John's gen on line. Thanks, Al

Alvin Bradshaw, Durham, NC

I first met John Bradshaw in 1959/60 when he was my High School honors history teacher during my senior year at St. Thomas High School in Houston. He clearly was the most influential of all the teachers I had in high school and later at Rice University. At St. Thomas, he was viewed by us all as a kindred spirit. For me in particular, he played a major role in recognizing and nurturing my early potential -- encouraging me in the essays I wrote for his class and broadening my horizons. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he was an inspiration to me then and later to try to make something of my life. Although my field of endeavors later was to lie in the engineering and major project management areas, I attribute much of my later success achieved over many years and in many different countries and cultures to being able to grow beyond my initial technical competencies to a broader liberal outlook and appreciation. This has helped me immeasurably in my dealings with all types of people, situations, and cultures. I attribute this in large measure to his influence. What measures of success I have had in life and business, I can largely attribute to the kind help and encouragement of a few key individuals along the way. John Bradshaw was one of the earliest and most influential of these individuals, and for this I will always be grateful. May he rest in peace, and find favor with the Lord.

Uriel Hawe Jones, Houston, Texas

Love and condolences from a former Basilian. John will be missed. We all gained from his life and what he taught us all. Heaven is now going to be s lot more interesting.

John Gorman, Houston, Tx

As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic who attended many of John's workshops, read many of his books and even spoke to him personally many times, I'm saddened by his passing; he still had so much to share with the world. May the family find comfort knowing he lived a full and adventuresome life and will be missed by many. Blessings especially upon his latest grand daughter who will grow up without her grandfather who was father to so many such as I.

Josie Estes, Arlington, TX

There just isnt enough space here or anywhere to fully express the impact John had on me and the direction of my life, and the fulfillment of so many of my dreams and goals. How can i ever say it in words. I am creating the "City of the Human" as he would have said it. i am aspiring to become a Saint as he would have said it. I have found the source of my pain, and i have found the solution(s). And all of this was because of the great pioneer that he was in the depths fo the human heart. he showed us his humanity, his great and trembling heart. He gave me and so many permission to be human. i am filled with a grief and a groan. But i know this ache will only carve out more space to hold the love of God and the love of this world. All i have is legacy, and i will continue all of my days to "carry this message" to others and "to practice these principles in all of my affairs". My deepest love to all of the family. May your grief go quickly and turn to the joy of memory. Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox, Livingston, TX

JOHN ELLIOT BRADSHAW SR of Houston passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2016, at the age of 82 due to heart failure.

A fourth generation Houstonian, John was born on June 29, 1933, to Norma Elliot of New Orleans and John McCullough Bradshaw (aka "Jack") of Houston. John attended St. Anne Catholic Community School and graduated from St. Thomas High School, after which he attended the University of St. Thomas before joining the Basilian Fathers (Congregation of St. Basil) and studying for the priesthood. He remained in seminary for roughly a decade, leaving just a few days prior to being ordained. During that time he earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He returned to Houston in the early 1960s and began post-graduate studies at Rice University as well as teaching religion and history at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory.

Throughout his early adulthood, John developed a drinking problem, and on December 11, 1965, committed himself to Austin State Hospital for treatment. After release, he entered an alcohol recovery program and—one day at a time—had achieved over fifty years of sobriety by the time of his death. Within a few years of his early addiction treatment, he began to lecture at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, and became a sought-after counselor, teacher, public speaker, and consultant in Houston throughout the 1970s, including his role as host for a locally-televised talk show called Spotlight.

From early notoriety in Houston, his career skyrocketed to the national level with the release of several televised series on PBS in the early 1980s. This success led to a prolific writing career starting with his first book, Bradshaw On: The Family, published in 1986 and based on his earlier PBS series of the same name. John wrote six additional books, three of which were New York Times best sellers: Healing the Shame that Binds You (1988), Homecoming (1990), Creating Love (1992), Family Secrets (1995), Reclaiming Virtue (2009), and Post-Romantic Stress Disorder (2014). In total, his books have sold over 12.5 million copies and have been published in over 40 languages. He was elected by a group of his peers as “one of the most influential writers on emotional health in the 20th Century.”

A pioneer in the self-help movement, his writing career led to television appearances on every major talk show throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. John was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host for his series Bradshaw On: Homecoming in 1991. In 1996, John hosted the nationally syndicated talk show, The Bradshaw Difference with MGM Studios.

Throughout his life, John remained a popular public speaker and continued to tour the world giving lectures and workshops. Beginning in 1999, John became a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Institute, a multi-disorder in-patient facility specializing in the treatment of a broad range of addictions.

John married Nancy Gail Swanberg Isaacs in 1969, a union which produced his son John Elliot Bradshaw Jr. He remained a father to Nancy’s two children from a previous marriage, Joseph Bradley Isaacs and Brenda Isaacs Booth. John and Nancy were married 20 years. In 2003 after a lengthy courtship, John married Karen Ann Mabray. Together, they parented daughter Ariel Harper Bradshaw and enjoyed a full and vibrant life in Houston society.

John was preceded in death by his father Jack Bradshaw in 1975; mother Norma Elliot Bradshaw in 1996, sister Barbara Anne Bradshaw in 2010; and brother Richard Allen Bradshaw in 2013. He is survived by his wife, Karen Ann Bradshaw; children, John Elliot Bradshaw Jr. and Ariel Harper Bradshaw; stepchildren Joseph Bradley Isaacs and Brenda Isaacs Booth; niece Kathleen Bradshaw and her husband Matthew McCracken; grandchildren Rina Vibella, Liam Elliot Booth, Jackson Cowdrey Booth, and Cassie Rose Isaacs; great-grandchildren Nevaeh Izabella Balderas and Heaven Mevele Vibella; and great-nephews Joshua Phillips, Christopher Phillips, Jes Bradshaw, Zachary Phillips, and Conor McCracken. He also leaves behind one aunt from his maternal line, Miriam Elliot Nolen, as well as numerous cousins, friends and former colleagues.

Close friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, May 13, at the Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home, 1734 West Alabama Street in Houston. The funeral service will be held at 10 am on Saturday, May 14, at The Church of St John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston. Rev. Dr. Douglas Richnow will officiate. Reception to follow. Burial will follow via escorted cortege at Earthman Resthaven Cemetery, 13102 North Freeway in Houston.

Pallbearers will be Brian Starrett, Pedro Herrera, Joshua Phillips, Christopher Phillips, Jes Bradshaw, Zachary Phillips, Conor McCracken, Liam Booth, and Jackson Booth. Honorary pallbearers will be James Boland, Michael Butera, Robert Cagle, Barney Cearley, Dr. Mark D’Andrea, Rev. Michael Falls, Joseph Goeters, and Walter Shepherd.

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services, (713) 521-0066. In lieu of flowers and customary remembrances, gifts in John’s memory may be directed to The Council on Recovery (www.councilonrecovery.org) or Houston Public Media (www.houstonpublicmedia.org).

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

Today, June 28th, I learned of Mr. Bradshaw's death. I am deeply saddened to hear this. I never met the man but was facinated by him. I very much enjoyed "Homecoming" and attended one of his appearances at a local television show and at a main venue here in Toronto many years ago. He always struck a chord with me and always made me feel better. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this difficult time.

Nancy Haines, Toronto, On

Have been reading John's books - all photos of John on his books are a mirror image of my brother, who is 87 this year. Is John's gen on line. Thanks, Al

Alvin Bradshaw, Durham, NC

I first met John Bradshaw in 1959/60 when he was my High School honors history teacher during my senior year at St. Thomas High School in Houston. He clearly was the most influential of all the teachers I had in high school and later at Rice University. At St. Thomas, he was viewed by us all as a kindred spirit. For me in particular, he played a major role in recognizing and nurturing my early potential -- encouraging me in the essays I wrote for his class and broadening my horizons. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he was an inspiration to me then and later to try to make something of my life. Although my field of endeavors later was to lie in the engineering and major project management areas, I attribute much of my later success achieved over many years and in many different countries and cultures to being able to grow beyond my initial technical competencies to a broader liberal outlook and appreciation. This has helped me immeasurably in my dealings with all types of people, situations, and cultures. I attribute this in large measure to his influence. What measures of success I have had in life and business, I can largely attribute to the kind help and encouragement of a few key individuals along the way. John Bradshaw was one of the earliest and most influential of these individuals, and for this I will always be grateful. May he rest in peace, and find favor with the Lord.

Uriel Hawe Jones, Houston, Texas

Love and condolences from a former Basilian. John will be missed. We all gained from his life and what he taught us all. Heaven is now going to be s lot more interesting.

John Gorman, Houston, Tx

Candle tribute lit by JohnGorman — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Leslie Culhane — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Josie Estes — Texas

As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic who attended many of John's workshops, read many of his books and even spoke to him personally many times, I'm saddened by his passing; he still had so much to share with the world. May the family find comfort knowing he lived a full and adventuresome life and will be missed by many. Blessings especially upon his latest grand daughter who will grow up without her grandfather who was father to so many such as I.

Josie Estes, Arlington, TX

There just isnt enough space here or anywhere to fully express the impact John had on me and the direction of my life, and the fulfillment of so many of my dreams and goals. How can i ever say it in words. I am creating the "City of the Human" as he would have said it. i am aspiring to become a Saint as he would have said it. I have found the source of my pain, and i have found the solution(s). And all of this was because of the great pioneer that he was in the depths fo the human heart. he showed us his humanity, his great and trembling heart. He gave me and so many permission to be human. i am filled with a grief and a groan. But i know this ache will only carve out more space to hold the love of God and the love of this world. All i have is legacy, and i will continue all of my days to "carry this message" to others and "to practice these principles in all of my affairs". My deepest love to all of the family. May your grief go quickly and turn to the joy of memory. Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox, Livingston, TX


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