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Bradley Was a 'Consummate Gentleman'

Neighbors and friends share fond memories of the Hopatcong man who was found dead in the woods near his home Saturday night.

It still makes Phil Santangelo smile.

Craig Bradley and his wife, Marge, were hours from leaving the country for vacation. But Bradley was still calling Santangelo, apologizing because he wouldn't have time to transport downed branches and debris near their Lakeside Boulevard homes to Hopatcong's recycling center.

"[Bradley] had to worry about getting to the airport and getting through customs and he was worried about twigs getting to the dump," Santangelo said.

It was one of the many fond memories Bradley's neighbors and friends shared with Patch on Sunday, less than a day after Bradley was near his home. Police said an autopsy Sunday morning confirmed Bradley, who friends said was in his late 60s, was killed earlier in the day when his car rolled over him while he was removing brush from his property.

Bradley, who friends said owned Van Genderan Auto Parts in Stanhope before spending his remaining years as a real estate agent, "would go above and beyond the call for anyone," Santangelo said.

Neighbor Bill Nagy Jr. agreed. Nagy befriended Bradley when Nagy owned a Mine Hill auto body shop. Nagy said Bradley would often give customers extensions on payments for car parts.

"He was just very pleasant, just a good guy," Nagy said.

Police Chief John Swanson knew Bradley, a member of Hopatcong's Municipal Alliance, for 26 years.

"He was a consummate gentleman," Swanson said. "Always congenial. Always a gentleman. He took an active role in what was happening in the community at a time where a lot of people settled into themselves."

Neighbor Scott Prior said Bradley "always looked out for his neighbors." Prior's wife, Lorie, said the couple was considering moving out of their Lakeside Boulevard home about 14 years ago when Bradley gave them some free real estate advice—don't do it.

"He told us not to move and that we had such a great spot," Lorie Prior said.

Said Scott Prior: "He was just a genuine guy who wanted to help you out."

Share your memories of Craig Bradley in the comments.

Roll Back Our Tax November 07, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Sold my wife Diane and I our lakefront home. Yes he was a gentleman. We enjoyed seeing him riding his boat around the lake and waving to his neighbors and friends. As a matter of fact in the picture above is Janet MacDonald, the woman who sold us her house.
Concerned November 07, 2011 at 11:44 AM
Craig was a great guy. Knew him from the days he owned an auto parts store in River Styx. He went out of his way to help others! Also was good friends with his brother Wayne who passed away a few years ago. RIP.
Teena Roth November 07, 2011 at 08:42 PM
What I knew of Craig dealt mainly through real estate. He was a gentleman and a good person. Haven't seen him in several years since I've moved out of Hopatcong(wish i was still there) My heart goes out to his family, close friends, etc. RIP Craig.
Jim Copeland November 08, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Craig has been my friend going back as long as I can remember. He was a really easy going guy (one of those people that as as soon as you meet him you just like him)I have never met a calmer man in my life. Nothing could rattle him. I had his boat The "Redwing" painted into my invitations (in my boat house) when I lived on L.H. Marge and Craig and I had lunch at the Breakers in W.Palm when they came down to FLA. We had a great time. I will miss him alot. JC
ken November 08, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Hi Jim, Craig talked of you often. I know he thought the world of you.
NAOMI M November 09, 2011 at 01:38 AM
RIP..My thoughts fo out to the family. Craig was a kind, professional man. I worked with him at Prudential & he always had a kind word. Such a tragedy.
Joe Carneglia May 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I'm devastated,can't believe what I'm reading.Such a great person. My sincere condolences go out to Marge and her family. Joe Carneglia
Roll Back Our Tax August 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I don't know if anyone knew this but I found out this weekend from the former owner of our house Janet McDonald that Craig's wife passed away suddenly August 11th. The obituary was written up in Jefferson Patch. The family pets were up for adoption and I think they all found homes. http://jefferson.patch.com/articles/obituary-margaret-deermount-bradley

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