Kenneth R. Bradshaw, 77, of Raymore, MO, passed away on Feb. 13, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held at First Baptist Church of Kansas City, MO, 100 W Red Bridge Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114, on Thursday, February 21 at 11am.
Ken was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 19, 1941 to parents, Harriet and Willard Bradshaw. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Willard and Harriet Bradshaw, sister, Nancy L. Seck and grandson, Dominic Bradshaw. Ken is survived by his wife, Gayle Bradshaw, of the home, his sons, Jeff, Craig, and Kenny Jr., his daughters, Jeanette and Krystal, his grandchildren: Justin Wendleton, Andrew Logan, Carlie Bradshaw, and Nathan Bradshaw, his brother, David, his sisters, Joyce Lankford and Denise Des Marteau, his aunt, Rosalie Perkins, many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and numerous friends and colleagues.
Ken played football and graduated from Paseo High in 1960. Ken worked before and after school delivering newspapers and in the summer with his dad at Crooks Terminal Warehouse. After graduation, he held positions in marketing, advertising and sales with several companies, most notably The Kansas City Star, WHB Radio, and was the broadcasting manager at WDAF TV (now Fox 4).
Ken devoted his life to his family, friends and the Kansas City sports scene. He managed baseball teams and served as vice president on the board of directors with 3&2 Baseball for 40 + years. As an avid hockey fan he was a season ticket holder for the Kansas City Blades for all 11 seasons and enjoyed taking his kids to the games. He started a 50 + year stint with The Missouri State High School Activities Association(MSHSAA) with the help of family friend, Bill Grigsby (yeah, that Bill Grigsby) and he refereed many local high school and college games. After his time as a referee he served as an observer for MSHSAA. He was also a baseball scout with his friend, former professional baseball player, Jay Hankins, for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1990 and 2000’s.
He was at a referee's meeting in 1970 when a phone call came from the KC Chiefs asking Ken if he knew anyone that would be interested in officiating the Chiefs practices. Of course, he did-- HIMSELF!! He began working for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1970 for 47 years, as head of the “Chain Crew” and refereeing home practices and summer camps. He worked with many head coaches including Hank Stram, Marty Schottenheimer, Herm Edwards, Dick Vermeil and Gunther Cunningham. He enjoyed a great relationship with the Chief’s organization and many staff and players including Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Len Dawson,, Derrick Thomas, Donnie Edwards, and Trent Green. He retired from the Chiefs in 2017. He sure had a lot of interesting stories to tell! He was recently quoted in the KC Star last month during the Chiefs playoffs.
Ken was always the life of the party. He loved rock and roll music and dancing. He worked at Mission Bowl in the 1990s and was himself an excellent bowler. Ken DJ’d lots of parties and wedding receptions for friends and family just for fun and had a great record collection. He always looked forward to his Paseo High School events and enjoyed reminiscing with friends. He enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas and there is a police report that he and his brother mooned his mother and sisters right on the Vegas strip in broad daylight. He took delight in playing jokes on and teasing his parents, siblings, kids, grandkids, and friends. He loved the holidays and at Easter, he relished his role in hiding Easter eggs in the most unusual places to frustrate the kids in finding them. He so loved the Fourth of July when he could celebrate his and Gayle’s wedding anniversary and have fun with his kids setting off fireworks in his backyard.
Ken had an infectious laugh and a great joy of life. He had a heart attack in 1991 and had some other health issues. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year. He had issues with balance while walking and recently sustained a fall which he did not recover from.
We will dearly miss his jokes, laughs, spinning stories, talking smack, watching the Royals baseball, Chiefs football, basketball and hockey games with him, and talking about Big Brother and General Hospital.
His wife, Gayle, was the love of his life and he could not have gotten this far in life without her. She was his rock, his soulmate, his everything and one will never be the same without the other.
Ken, you can rest now and cheer us all on from the sidelines.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Michael J. Fox Foundation or First Baptist Church of Kansas City, MO.
If you would like to read more about his time with The Kansas City Chiefs follow the link below.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First Baptist Church of Kansas City, MO, 100 W Red Bridge Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114, on Thursday, February 21 at 11am.