Cover photo for Virginia P. Bradshaw's Obituary
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1929 Virginia 2022

Virginia P. Bradshaw

February 21, 1929 — February 9, 2022

Virginia Browning Bradshaw, newspaper reporter, public relations director, college instructor, author of two books, member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, devout Episcopalian and beloved mother of three children, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at her home in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She was 92. She was born Feb. 21, 1929, during an oil well gusher in the northern Oklahoma town of Braman. Her family moved to Chandler where in high school, Virginia began what would become her life’s work – journalism. For almost a half-century, she wrote newspaper stories about the life and times of the Oklahoma people with whom she lived. At age 17, she began writing for the Chandler News-Publicist. Upon graduating as salutatorian at Chandler High, she entered the University of Oklahoma in 1947 where she was one of the few women on campus. At the time, the ratio of men to women was 7 to 1. In fact, there were so many men and so few females that the ladies would sometimes have dates with two men at a time. While at the OU journalism school, she was society editor of the Oklahoma Daily student newspaper and hosted a women’s news program on KUVY, the OU student radio station. In summers, she worked for newspapers in Woodward, Alva and Anadarko. One day while back home in Chandler, a life-changing event occurred. She stopped by the Chandler bureau of the Shawnee News-Star where she spoke with reporter Jim Bradshaw. She inquired if the newspaper had any job openings. Unfortunately not, Jim said. But, he asked Virginia if she would like to go to a town dance that night. Yes, she replied, she would. From that first date, a budding romance developed and on Jan. 18, 1951, they were married in Chandler. Virginia worked for more than 40 years in Oklahoma journalism, including 26 at the Shawnee News-Star during three different periods. Among her News-Star assignments, she covered the Pottawatomie County courthouse. She would often be seen running in high heels and a dress back to the News-Star. During that time, she also worked three years at the Norman Transcript. She also served as public information director for St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee. During six years at the institution, she wrote press releases, taught journalism and served as advisor for the student newspaper and yearbook. In 2002, Virginia retired for the first time from newspaper reporting and began writing a book about the history of the Shawnee Milling Co. She and Jim also started building a cabin at 9,000 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountain town Angel Fire, New Mexico, with the help of their children. When Jim passed away in 2006, Virginia returned to reporting, writing articles for The Oklahoman. Around 2016, she began working on a more regular basis for the Countywide & Sun in Tecumseh – a job she continued until early 2020 when she retired for a second time from the news business. During their 55-year marriage, Jim and Virginia traveled on vacations to nearly all 50 states, numerous Canadian provinces and deep into Mexico. They were huge Oklahoma Sooner football fans and attended more than 50 Oklahoma-Texas games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. She was an active member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Shawnee and at the time of her passing, was updating a history of the church, which Jim had finished 20 years earlier. Virginia was also a Cub Scout den mother. Survivors include her son, Jim Bradshaw and wife Peggy of Springfield, Virginia, son Tom Bradshaw and wife Lara of Justin, Texas, and daughter Nancy Antosh and husband Jim of Shawnee. Grandchildren are David Antosh and wife Ashley of Edmond, Robert Antosh and wife Robin of Choctaw, Peter Antosh of Norman, Jimmy Bradshaw of Harrisburg, Virginia, Robert Bradshaw of Richmond, Virginia, Kai Bradshaw of Justin, Texas and Julianna Bradshaw of Norman. And, great-grandchildren Eve, Mark and Luke Antosh of Edmond. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Shawnee. Preceding the service, a reception with finger foods will be held at the Emmanuel parish house adjacent to the church. Burial will be at New Zion Cemetery east of Chandler.
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