Columbia – Catherine Spann Hammond Bradley, artist, teacher and rental property manager, died Monday morning, January 4, 2021, at Prisma Health Richland in Columbia. She was 74 years old.
Catherine H. Bradley was the oldest daughter of Ellene Hill Hammond and Edward Spann Hammond, II. Mrs. Bradley was born December 10, 1946, at the old Columbia Hospital. She was raised in Forest Acres and attended Taylor and Bradley elementary schools, Crayton Junior High School, AC Flora High School, and the University of South Carolina.
As a toddler, she showed surprising artistic talent when, after being presented with a set of finger paints, she took one color and made a recognizable copy of a photograph she had seen in the National Geographic Magazine, leaving her surprised mother to exclaim “Oh!, you’re an artist!” As a freshman in high school, she won the Hallmark Gold Key Award for a haunting portrayal of a window and a spiral staircase in mixed media. She later went on to place in numerous art shows around the state, and became the youngest member ever accepted into the Trenholm Artists Guild. A talented painter of Abstracts and semi-Abstracts, her family delighted in attending art shows where her works frequently became show-stoppers, creating traffic jams in galleries as attendees couldn’t help but keep staring at her works trying to figure them out. She did a painting that is in the ETV Collection of South Carolina Artists and proudly carried business cards with the tag line of “Artist-At-Large”.
At the University of South Carolina, Mrs. Bradley studied under Dr. Truman Teed and the well known Prof. Edmund Yaghjian, of the Ashcan School of art. She received degrees in art, early childhood education and became a certified teacher in grades K-12. In addition to working as a teaching assistant in the USC graduate art program, she supervised a special program of Saturday children’s art classes there, and she taught at local schools, including Fort Jackson and Benson elementary schools. Mrs. Bradley also worked as a teacher in the Head Start program of the Midlands. While continuing to teach and create art, Mrs. Bradley began to manage her own rental properties, and continued to do so for the next 48 years.
In 1972, a chance meeting renewed an old acquaintance with fellow elementary and high school classmate, Dennis Bradley. The two were married 11 months later at the Rutledge Chapel on the Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina. Dennis, a Vietnam veteran, was studying to become a mechanical engineer, a goal which he achieved a year later. When their only child, “Kit”, was born several years later, she was immediately incorporated into her mother’s artistic work. Her first work incorporated her baby footprints striding across a canvas in a successfully-selling series of paintings.
As a child, Mrs. Bradley was introduced to boating by her parents. When her mother and father decided to take up water skiing at ages 40 and 43, respectively, Mrs Bradley learned along with them, and became an expert at slalom skiiing. She even turned down an offer to go professional with her skills.
Though never published, Mrs. Bradley wrote poetry with the ease that most people address an envelope, and continued to do so almost daily until her death.
Mrs. Bradley was a dedicated Christian, supporter of Israel, and a loving daughter, sister, wife and mother. She loved Christmas and always did her best to make each one memorable for her family and friends, even in her final season.
Mrs. Bradley is survived by her husband, Dennis Stephen Bradley; her daughter, Catherine FitzSimmons Hammond Bradley; sister, Harriet Hammond Chamberlain; brother-in-law, Joseph Chamberlain; their son, James Henry Hammond Chamberlain; his wife, Stacy Wrench Chamberlain; and their two daughters.
Error reading charitable links
Due to Covid-19 concerns, a private graveside service will be performed for the family by the Rev. Nancy Kinney, at the Hammond Cemetery in Beech Island, SC. A gathering of joyful remembrance for family, friends, and close associates will be announced at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to His House of Columbia, Inc., 767 Meeting Street, West Columbia, SC 29169.
Moseley Funeral Home in West Columbia is assisting the family.