Bradley Big Tree Walley, 73
Milford - On February 9, 2021 Bradley R. Big Tree Walley, Medicine Man of the Nipmuc Tribe, came full circle, journeying into the arms of the creator.
Brad was born on September 16, 1947 in Worcester, MA. As a youngster, Brad would strategically get himself into mischief to persuade his parents to bring him on outings (instead of trusting him to stay home). His grandmother, tribal matriarch Elizabeth Morse, often coordinated family clamming and camping trips, pastimes he’d continue to enjoy throughout his life.
Adolescence saw Brad off to the US Navy, mirroring the path of many other vets in his family. After his service, Brad celebrated the birth of his first daughter, Christine, who would go on to inherit his love of fishing. This tradition is on track to continue through the next seven generations of his family tree.
After working as a supervisor at Digital Equipment Corporation, Brad earned his BS at Framingham State College. He then found employment as a park ranger, the career he’d continue until his retirement. In addition to standard ranger duties, Brad launched cultural education programs on local Indigenous peoples. His daughter Brittney continues similar cultural initiatives. Brad truly enjoyed connecting with the water and land at West Hill Park and Dam, where you could, as he dared to joke, "take all the dam pictures you want."
Brad’s family honors his memory by encouraging everyone to find laughter (even in tough times), share your family’s stories (no matter how mischievous), and always hug or kiss your loved ones before heading out the door.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah E. Walley; their daughter, Brittney R. Little Leaf Walley, and her fiancé, Jonathan M. Ruf; his eldest daughter, Christine G. Spring Rain Ocain; his son-in-law, Joe N. Ocain; grandchildren, James T. Laughing Bear Raine & Tracy R. Spotted Doe Raine; great-grandchildren, Christopher J. Sleeping Wolf Conner & Renee L. Autumn Wind Raine; siblings Ralph White Bear Walley, Elizabeth (Cookie) Cold Wind Santana-Kiser, and Lucille (Susie) Wild Flower Walley; and many nieces & nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Ralph E. Walley; daughter Tracy Renee Walley; mother, Lucille (Billie) E. Red Tree Walley; and his brother and first mate, Henry (Hank) Sly Fox Walley.
His graveside services with military honors will be held on Thursday, February 18 at noon sharp at Hope Cemetery on 119 Webster St., Worcester, MA 01603. For everyone’s safety, social distancing in a traditional prayer circle will be practiced, and face masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Brad’s memory to the Joslin Diabetes Center.
Arrangements are under the care of the Ginley-Crowley Funeral Home of Medway.