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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

Death of a Firm Friend


It was with heavy hearts that we heard that my former partner’s wife was killed in a car/bus collision in Wisconsin on Wednesday. It will be awhile before we find out all that happened, but right now it really doesn’t matter.

I met Joan Bradshaw when I first started working at the Bradshaw Law Office back in 1991. She was never an employee, but she was around the Eden Valley office a lot as I grew up there. She often would answer the phone when I would call for John and if nothing else she was always a positive and friendly voice on the phone.

Joan will be missed by all of us. Even as John retired we would still see her from time to time as they would stop in the St. Cloud office. It’s funny that she would chastise others for having offices that weren’t clean and one day I asked her why she never said anything to me. She looked around my cluttered office and said, “Well, you’re busy.”

It’s odd with lawyers’ wives that they sometimes seemed to get pushed aside at events because they aren’t lawyers. Many of them handle that slight in different ways. Joan just never seemed to let it bother her and she just went ahead and did or said whatever she would have in any other situation.

She helped John and many of us with trials, hearings, and just figuring out how to present issues. She was there to run ideas by or to just let you know she was with you when cases didn’t turn out as well. She said “That’s Wonderful!” in a way that was so real and did make you feel it.

Many years ago she used to be the one who interviewed jurors for me after trials. I always appreciated how good she was on the phone with people and never sugarcoated the tough responses for me. I’m a better lawyer because of that help and I’m a better person from even the short talks that I had with her.

As a firm that does wrongful death work, we see these tragedies many times. It helps that there is a distance and that we didn’t know the person before, but it makes a difference that we do get to know the family and do spend time trying to understand the loss. It still doesn’t make it easier to see the photos and to talk about all of our losses.

Joan’s family and friends are in my prayers and thoughts.

Arrangements have been set:


Date: June 05, 2011
Time: 4:00-7:00 PM
Location: Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, 233 N. State St., Eden Valley, MN 55329
Date: June 06, 2011
Time: 9:00-10:00 AM
Location: Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, 233 N. State St., Eden Valley, MN 55329

Mass of Christian Burial

Date: June 06, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Assumption Catholic Church, 464 N. State St., Eden Valley, MN 55329


Date: June 06, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Assumption Cemetery, Eden Valley


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  1. Joe Crumley says:
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    Well said, Mike. I join you in your thoughts.

    Be strong, John Bradshaw.

    Joan was certainly a beautiful and special person. She’s always have a huge smile on her face when she visited the office. She started calling me “Superman” because one day my hair (certainly nothing else) reminded her of Christopher Reeve’s.

    I’ll miss her. The whole office will miss her.

    So say we all.

  2. Ruth Block says:
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    I’m so sorry to hear about Joan. I haven’t been in contact the last few years, but I did think about you and Joan quite often and wondering how you 2 were doing. She was always so up beat and positive about life and everyone around her.
    Hope you are doing OK physically, I know it will take a long time to get over her loss, if ever. Just don’t blame yourself! It was an accident! Joan was called to a higher place and to do more wonderful things. We will see her again! Believing this has helped me with the lost of many loved ones the last 5 years.
    Don’t be afraid to call or e-mail if you just want to talk or get in contact. Phone # is 612-751-9540 e-mail is wrretired@live.com
    We are full time RV-ing and here and there. Always have the internet going thro.

  3. Mike Bryant says:
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    Ruth, I will make sure that John knows you left this message. Thank You.

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    Yes Joe she always liked your hair. You are right , she will be missed.

  5. Mark Bello says:
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    Mike and Joe: Please accept my profound sympathies for the loss of someone dear to you. Your post is a fitting tribute to her and to your former partner. My sympathies also go out to the entire Bradshaw family. Regards, Mark

  6. Mack Backlund says:
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    Please know that the Bradshaw family and every one of their friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Mike, if there is anything we can do to help, just call.

    Mack & Michelle Backlund

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    Mike & Joe: Lawrence and I are saddened to learn of the loss of such a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Joan’s family.

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    We’re so sorry to hear about the loss of a member of the Bradshaw & Bryant family. Our thoughts are with you, Joe and everyone at the firm. Joan sounded like a great person.


  9. Mike Bryant says:
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    Mack, Pierce and Pat Thank You , I will pass on your thoughts to John.

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    My condolences to you and to Joan’s family. Your kind and thoughtful words have made sure that she will be remembered. Without memories, the world gets a little smaller when we lose someone so special to us. Thank you for sharing your memories us, so that Joan will live on in our thoughts and in our knowng how she impacted the world.

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    Mike, I am sorry to hear of your loss. We send our condolences to the family and firm.

  12. Mike Bryant says:
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    Mike and Darren thank you for your thoughts.

  13. Pete Mackey says:
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    That was a nice post, Mike. Having lost a good friend and my dog (also a damn good friend) in the last two months, I feel your pain. The woman you described the type of person I would like to have in my office.

  14. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thank You Pete. We are sorry to hear of your loss.