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Mary Oliver Bradley

September 28, 2009

Mary Oliver Bradley


Mary Oliver Bradley, a member of the Dining Services staff for 42 years, died Sunday, September 27, 2009, in Saratoga Springs.
Born October 25, 1946, in Saratoga Springs, Mary was the daughter of Violet and the late Charles R. (Dick) Oliver. A lifetime resident of the city, Mary frequently visited the Saratoga Race Course. She also enjoyed trips to Atlantic City and was a big fan of the New York Yankees.
Mary joined the Skidmore Dining Services staff in 1967. She belonged to a family long associated with Skidmore–her brother Jesse is in the facilities department; her mother was on the housekeeping staff for many years; her husband, John W. (“Jack”), was on the maintenance staff before retiring; and her sister Joyce and her daughter Tracy also worked at the College.
Dining Services colleague Charles (“Chuck”) Ure worked many years with Mary, at both Moore Hall and Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. Chuck remembered that Mary “was a very determined person in all aspects of her life, and capable of making her points.” She was also quite generous, he added, citing Mary’s longtime involvement with the local Give a Child a Christmas organization. “Mary helped a lot of people,” he said.
And she was a hard worker, according to Chuck. “On those occasions when the power failed, Mary would make sure everyone had the flashlights and the Coleman stoves, to get the job done and the students fed. Mary’s macaroni and cheese was a favorite of many who dined at Skidmore," said Ure.
Mary’s work on behalf of others prompted longtime colleague Joanne Dugan to communicate with the Skidmore community earlier this year, when Mary was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Said Joanne, “I learned from Mary that people who need help don’t often ask for it. I never saw one person do so much for so many.”
During the summer, as news of Mary’s illness spread, Joanne emailed the Skidmore community, seeking contributions for ALS research. She said, “I could not believe the amount of support provided by the Skidmore campus. People reached out to help her from all levels of the college community.” Funds raised were directed to the ALS chapter in Liverpool, N.Y., the ALS Regional Center in Albany, and to St. Peter’s Hospital, where Mary received treatment.
Mary’s father; a brother, Charles Oliver; and stepson David Bradley predeceased her. Her survivors include her husband, Jack; mother, Violet; two brothers, Jesse and Richard (Becky); sisters Joyce Oliver and Wanda Wren; daughter, Tracy (John) Bateholts; and stepdaughters Alinda (CK) Nichols and Aleah (Kirk) Wendell.

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