Those who knew Chris Bradley best say they will remember his relentless optimism and joyous spirit, even as cancer sapped his body.
The chief meteorologist for WBNS-10TV died Dec. 5 at his home in Worthington after a 20-month battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was 53.
"He had this enthusiasm for living that was incomparable and a spirit that was irresistible," said John Keeny, senior pastor at King Avenue United Methodist Church, where Bradley and his family were longtime members.
Bradley is survived by his husband, Jason Bradley-Krauss, and their two children, Spencer, 14, and Maria, 11.
In a 2011 interview with Columbus Parent magazine, Bradley said his personal motto was "Don't worry, be happy" -- which he apparently followed well.
"I never saw Chris have a bad day," said Ashlee Baracy, a WBNS meteorologist. "He was just this chipper weather guy who could light up a room. Even in the hardest of times, he never lost that smile and that optimism. He will always be an inspiration to me, and he touched so many lives."
WBNS news anchor Jerry Revish will remember Bradley "for his exuberance about life," he said. "He really liked to drink deeply from that cup."
Bradley, an Indianapolis native, was adopted by Walter and Ann Bagot and raised as an only child. (He later changed his name to Bradley.) His father, now 83, lives in Fishers, Indiana; his mother died in 2002.
After graduating in 1987 from Indiana University in Bloomington, Bradley worked at TV stations in Dayton and Detroit before moving to Columbus in 1998 to become chief meteorologist at WSYX-TV (Channel 6). Channel 10 hired him in 2006.
Bradley also contributed the "Weather Where You Live" column published for several years in all ThisWeek editions.
He and Bradley-Krauss, a graphic designer, were together for 23 years; they married in 2014 in New York City.
"Christopher was the most magnanimous person I know," Bradley-Krauss said. "He had that rare ability to walk in a room and the energy changed, and suddenly people were happier and everyone felt at ease approaching him and talking with him.
"And the Chris that people saw on TV is really the Chris I knew at home. He was just as charming and funny and kind and goofy as he came across on TV."
He and Bradley adopted Spencer in 2004 and, four years later, Maria. Both children were born in Guatemala.
"He was a great dad; the kids just adored him," Bradley-Krauss said, adding that Bradley was the type of parent "who had the bad jokes."
Bradley fell ill in March 2017. What he thought was the flu turned out to be an aggressive strain of leukemia.
His best hope for recovery was to receive a bone-marrow transplant, but the illness never remained in remission long enough.
Instead, he endured five rounds of chemotherapy, a stem-cell transplant, clinical trials and immunotherapy. By the fall, doctors had run out of options, compelling him to announce on Nov. 18 that he was entering hospice care.
"I don't think I have ever seen anybody fight harder than him," Revish said.
Throughout his ordeal, friends said, Bradley relied on his faith and retained his zest for life.
"Even in this big challenge here, he never got angry with God about anything," Revish said. "We would talk about that quite a lot."
Keeny recalled what Bradley said during a recent visit when he asked Bradley how he was doing.
"He said, 'I'm content.' And I thought: 'Whether or not you have cancer, how many of us can say that?' "
Bradley-Krauss said the outpouring of support for Bradley throughout his illness reflected the person Bradley was.
"I think he has touched people in a very positive way," he said. "Just the way that Chris expressed joy for life reminds people that they have to be in the moment and reminds them to look for joy in simple, everyday things.
"And that truly was Chris."