Tribute to ‘compassionate and loyal’ campaigner Jean

Jean Bradbery. Photo courtesy of Michael Wolff
Jean Bradbery. Photo courtesy of Michael Wolff

A close friend of an autism and political campaigner who died on Christmas Eve described her as a ‘compassionate and loyal friend’.

Jean Bradbery died ‘courageously and peacefully’ after a short illness in St Michael’s Hospice on December 24, according to Michael Wolff.

The Hastings resident was an ‘unrelenting’ campaigner for Autism Sussex as well as helping to bring down a government bill in the 1970s.

Michael said Jean also helped set the Wonky W1 groups in St Leonards and loved living in the town.

“A great maxim in life is that being ‘interested’ will bring you more joy and friendship than being interesting,” he said.

“Jean embodied this maxim in how she lived her life.

“We, her family and friends, will miss her wisdom, her humility, her generous spirit, her sense of humour, her affection, her scrupulous honesty and integrity, and the enriching and inspirational wide-openness of her mind.”

Michael said Jean loved the sea and enjoyed all the pranks of the seagulls as she grew up, as well as the town’s shops and art galleries, especially the Jerwood Gallery.

“She was a highly intelligent and articulate woman, a talented writer and great appreciator of the many realms of art,” he said.

“She could always find the right language to express the opinions she held about many aspects of life.

“Often they were opinions that many people were inspired by and valued. She became a wise touchstone for many of her friends.

“Her empathy for, understanding of, and concern with autism and how to bring a greater acceptance and understanding of it to the wider world were a passion of hers.

“She was an articulate, unrelenting activist for this cause.”

The bill Jean helped to stop was designed to inhibit and even prevent spontaneous public meetings from taking place without official permission and three weeks notice.

She spotted the anti-social implications of the drafting of the bill and organised a successful petition to quash it, according to Michael.

“She was fearless and railed with effective anger at many of life’s injustices and her spirit of what was just and fair was with her until the end of her life,” he said.

Her funeral will be at 1.15pm at Hastings Crematorium on Monday, January 18. Jean requested no flowers, instead you can donate to St Michael’s Hospice or Autism Sussex.

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