Obituary of Calistra Bradley
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven... (Ecclesastes 3) Today and forever-more, we celebrate the life of Calistra Bradley (October 14, 1953 to April 5, 2019)
Calistra Bradley was born in Curepe, Trinidad on October 14th, 1953 to Mable Bernadine Nesbitt (the future Mrs. Keith B.P. Thomas). She was the second grand-daughter of Georgiana and David Bernard and James Nesbitt. She attended the Curepe Fatima RC School in Trinidad for her elementary education. She migrated from Trinidad to Brooklyn, NY USA with her four brothers and Aunt Elma Nesbitt at the age of 9 on October 10, 1964. There she enrolled in St. Gregory’s Catholic School and attended mass at St. Gregory’s the Great Roman Catholic Church. She then attained her secondary education from St. Edmunds Catholic HS where she excelled academically, artistically and socially. She received her high school diploma in June of 1971. Some of her favorite electives and experiences during school were swimming, obtaining a scholarship for her natural prowess as a pianist, drama class and her visit to Switzerland.
On January 30, 1972, Calistra gave birth to her first son, Shawn Oswald Thomas in Brooklyn, NY. Two years later, Calistra met and married Edmund A Smith on October 13, 1974 and out of this union had her daughter, Shaneka Marie Smith, on October 12, 1975. They relocated with Shawn and Shaneka to Torrance, California and were married for five years. Some of her fondest memories in California included singing in a trio and her job at the radio station where she met many interesting artists.
Calistra enlisted in the United States Navy in 1983. She served her country proudly as a Data Processor and retired as a Petty Officer First Class (E6) after 20 years (2 tours). Three years after enlisting, Calistra met Timothy Charles Bradley in Charleston, South Carolina. They were married on January 17, 1986 and relocated to Washington, DC where they had Timothy C Bradley, II (aka, “the baby”) on June 6, 1991. They relocated to Puerto Rico in 1993 and, four years later, relocated to Florida where Calistra retired. Calistra and Tim were married for 29 years.
Shawn was blessed with a beautiful baby-girl named Meaggan S Thomas on May 18th, 1994. Calistra treasured her new title of “Nana” and treasured Meaggan even more. When Shaneka and Leon Harvey married in 2007, she was introduced to her first grandson, Leon “LT” Harvey and embraced him as her own even from afar. Three years later, Shaneka and Leon Harvey gifted her a second grand-son and grand-daughter, Liam and Lia Harvey (“the twins”). She was a very generous and loving grandmother and put those little kiddos on the tallest pedestals. She became the ultimate Mama-bear when she was with them.
Calistra was preceded in death by her brother Everard Thomas, her father Keith Thomas, her mother Mable Thomas and her Aunt Elma Bernard.
She leaves behind a host of loved ones to celebrate her life including (but not limited to):
· Aunties that she regarded as “honorary sisters”: Ruth Bernard, Doreen Bernard and her loving Auntie Carol
Calistra Bradley was consistent in her meditation and study of God’s Word. She consistently and faithfully allowed God to use her to bless those in need - even when it hurt. She was the definition of “generosity”. Calistra was an amazing mother, daughter, sister, grand-mother and friend to many. Her loyalty, love and kindness were abundantly apparent. She will be missed and forever-loved.