Leo Herman Bradshaw, Jr.
September 12, 1934 - March 9, 2019
Leo Herman Bradshaw, Jr., 84, of Waco, Texas, passed away on March 9, 2019. A celebration of Leo's life will be held at The Lee Lockwood Library and Museum, 2801 West Waco Drive, Waco TX 76707, at 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 15, with Clifton Robinson and The Rev. Lori Cotton officiating. The family will host a reception at The Lee Lockwood Library and Museum following the service.
Leo was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 12, 1934, to Leo Herman Bradshaw, Sr., and Eleanor Rose Cogdell Bradshaw. He attended Dean Highland Elementary, North Junior High, and Waco High School. His final years of high school were spent at New Mexico Military Institute, earning dual diplomas from New Mexico Military Institute and Waco High School. After graduation, Leo attended Baylor University, earning a BBA in 1956.
From an early age Leo loved guns. Much to his mother's surprise, he ordered and received his first gun through the mail when he was nine years old – what would become a lifelong passion had begun. While a student at Baylor, he worked part-time at the family appliance and furniture business of Cogdell's on Valley Mills Drive in Waco. In June, 1954, Leo suggested to his father that space from a recent expansion of Cogdell's be used for a gun shop. Leo Sr. agreed, provided Leo Jr. would stay and run it. By September that year, the gun shop was up and running with Leo at the helm. The foundation for his life's work was in place. He continued to operate the gun shop at the Valley Mills location for 49 years. In 2003, he moved the gun shop to the Wooded Acres location, where he operated until his death, bringing his total years in the gun business to three months shy of 65 years. In a 2011 Waco Tribune article, Leo estimated that he sold 225,000 firearms during his career and that helping young people select their first shotgun was one of the most rewarding aspects of being in the gun business.
Over the years, Leo became recognized both locally and nationally as a premiere gun dealer, appraiser, and consultant. He generously volunteered his time with local, state, and national organizations for more than 60 years to share his vast experience and knowledge.
Nationally, Leo was a Benefactor Member of the National Rifle Association, a member of the National Rifle Association Whittington Center Founders' Club, and a Ducks Unlimited Diamond Life Sponsor.
On the state level, he was a Benefactor Member of the Texas State Rifle Association and a life and charter member of the Texas Gun Collectors Association that he served as president for three terms.
Combining his love of Texas history and guns, Leo was very active over the years with events commemorating the Texas Rangers. In 1973, he served on the Texas Ranger Advisory Commission and the Commemorative Commission celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Texas Rangers. 25 years later in 1998, he again chaired the Commemorative Commission celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Texas Rangers. Since 1990, Leo has been an active member of the Fort Fisher Advisory Committee to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame where he served as chairperson for multiple terms.
Locally, he was a life member of the Waco Skeet and Trap Club and the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club. Leo was active throughout his life with the Waco Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and was named Sportsman of the Year by the organization in 1980.
A longtime member of Waco Masonic Lodge #92, he was a member of Karem Shrine, Scottish Rite, and The Royal Order of Jesters. He was a member and past president of the Northwest Optimist Club of Waco.
Leo was the last surviving charter member of Cogdell Memorial United Methodist Church. The Cogdell family, Leo's maternal relatives, for whom the church was named, donated the land on which the first church was built and supported the church through the years.
For 47 years, Leo served on the Board of Directors of Community Bank and Trust in Waco.
The family extends thanks for the love, kindness and support from his many friends and most of all the wonderful gun buddies Leo loved so dearly. Your frequent visits over the last several months were a blessing and the highlight of each day. We will cherish the many stories you shared that are a constant reminder of Leo's amazing time on this earth.
For the loving and compassionate care, the family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Providence Hospital of Waco, Senior Care of Hewitt, Kindred Hospital of Fort Worth, and Providence Hospice of Waco. Special thanks to Dr. David Hoffman, Dr. Ben LaGrone, and Dr. Steven Burgard of Providence Hospital and Rebecca, Dawn, Brenda, and James of Senior Care of Hewitt.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Leo Herman Bradshaw, Sr., and Eleanor Rose Cogdell Bradshaw; brothers, James Edward "Jim" Bradshaw and Bob Cogdell Bradshaw; and son-in-law, Robert Dennis "Bobby" Smith.
Leo is survived by his wife of 41 years, Beverly Jean "Jeannie" Bradshaw, of Waco, who is the mother of their daughter, Brande Colt Bradshaw Draper; his children, Brande Colt Bradshaw Draper and her husband, William Adams "Will" Draper, of Austin, Leo Herman "Trey" Bradshaw, III of Waco, Dana Rose Smith of Boerne, Karen Rezi Maxwell and her husband, John Pat Maxwell, of Boerne, and Andrew Thaxton "Andy" Bradshaw and his wife, Margaret Lowry, of Fort Worth; his sister, Patricia Ann "Pat" Edge of Houston; his sisters-in-law, Ouida Massey Bradshaw of Fort Worth, Janice Bradshaw of The Woodlands, and Jayne Hicks of Waco; his sister-in-law, Rebecca Bosley and her husband, Jim Bosley, of Kirvin; his brother-in law, James Richard "Dicky" Thornton, Jr., and his wife, Lynita Thornton, of Wortham; his first wife, Audra Rose Bradshaw of San Antonio, who is the mother of Leo Herman "Trey" Bradshaw, Dana Rose Smith, Karen Rezi Maxwell, and Andrew Thaxton "Andy" Bradshaw; his grandchildren, Julia Frances Draper, William Adams Draper, Jr., William Robert Bradshaw, Richard Ross Bradshaw, Brandon Travis Smith, Charles Lowry "Charlie" Bradshaw, and James Lowry "Jay" Bradshaw; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews; and his longtime employee, Patsy Berry and her husband, Bill Berry, of Waco.
The Board of Directors of Community Bank and Trust and Leo's beloved Spit and Whittle Club will serve as his honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of floral arrangements, memorials may be made to one of Leo's favorite charities in his honor: NRA Golden Eagles, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax VA 22030, Cogdell Memorial United Methodist Church, 1201 West Hwy 6, Waco TX 76712, Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 85, Waco TX 76703, or Fuzzy Friends Rescue, P.O. Box 20966, Waco TX 76702.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.
Sign the Guest Book at www.wacotrib.com
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.