|Bradford Newton Pusey, Sr.
Published in Syracuse Post Standard from Jun. 18 to Jun. 21, 2020.
Bradford Newton Pusey
Bradford Newton Pusey June 13, 2020 Bradford Newton Pusey was
born in 1929 in Washington, D.C, the son of Elmer and and Hazel
He spent his youth there as a part of the fabric of the nation's capital,
knowing the pastures which became The National Institutes of
Health and even putting mementos into the cornerstone of that first
building with his buddy, the son of the Surgeon General. That was the beginning of a long
and incredible life which ended on June 13, 2020.
Brad's parents were deeply committed to education, traveling the country before WWII with
their two sons, calling it a "classroom beyond walls". Brad then was admitted to St. John's
College High School (1947) and became a Major in its strong military corps, marching in
President Franklin Roosevelt's last Inaugural Parade.
Although his family had a strong Presbyterian affiliation, Brad was deeply influenced by his
Christian Brothers education and theology. He was also a very, very good basketball player!
Other meaningful parts of his childhood in Washington involved riding, and then training,
horses in Rock Creek Park and spending as much time as possible at his parents' farm
near Sugar Loaf Mountain. There he met Lassie, his beloved Tennessee walking horse,
raised her colts and learned to farm. As his years of formal education progressed, Brad
spent his undergraduate years at Williams College in the purple hills of western
Massachusetts. It was hard work, a rigorous liberal arts education that became a life
changing experience. Like his revered St. Paul, Brad began a life of Christian activism. As a
student leader, he worked to bring about the end of fraternities, even while a member of one.
He was initiated into the Gargoyle Honor Society before he graduated and went on to New
York City and Union Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree.
He thrived under professors like Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebhur, learned to preach under
the likes of George Buttrick, and spent much time as a chaplain in NYC hospitals.
During this time, he married Florence (Dolly) White and they began their family of five
children. The professional challenges of the next 35 years were yet to come. Brad was
ordained at, and spent several years at, Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland
Heights, Ohio, as part of a multiple staff ministry. Other opportunities beckoned , however.
The first was working for the Cleveland Presbytery, purchasing 125 acres of land and then
developing and building The Highlands, a unique camp and conference center. The next
project was the creation of a new church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Valley Presbyterian Church
started in a high school cafeteria, progressed shortly to a barn belonging to an estate
previously owned by a notorious convicted gambler. Brad subsequently shepherded his flock
into a large new church sanctuary with a vital congregation. Dolly was a significant person in
that creation as well as in her role as wife and mother.
As the sixties rolled on, Brad felt compelled to participate in the growing civil rights
movement and accepted a call as Senior Minister at Park Central Presbyterian Church in
downtown Syracuse, New York. His staff of four ministers included a full time Neighborhood
Pastor for the blighted community of the inner city. It wasn't enough. Brad became a founder
and activist in the Syracuse Community Development Association, working closely with the
leadership of the Saul Alinsky movement and participating in numerous protests and
marches in the city.
As the voting rights act became a reality and the unrest abated somewhat, Brad found
himself at a turning point in his personal life. His marriage to Dolly ended and his parish
ministry seemed no longer relevant. For a while he tried to involve himself in business (life
insurance) but that was not a satisfying experience. A new chapter began when he married
Win Pusey and they moved to a small parish in Rangeley, Maine. Several years later,
however, he began to feel a tug to individual counseling. In order to prepare for that, Brad
and Win moved to Boston and he began his doctoral studies in psychology and pastoral
counseling at Andover Newton Theological School. At the same time, Win enrolled in Boston
University for a doctoral program in organ performance and served as Music Director of
Andover Newton and organist at Tremont Temple Baptist Church in downtown Boston. They
were priceless years.
Brad discovered the writing and psychology of C. G. Jung and became a disciple of that
incredible figure. Upon receiving his Doctorate, the couple moved back to Maine to live and
work in Brooklin, a tiny community on Penobscot Bay which proclaimed itself the Boat
Building Capitol of the world. There they spent twenty six years working, sailing their beloved
boat, taking several wonderful trips to Europe and Alaska to fulfill dreams, skiing as long as
they could, toting wood for their home in the woods and entertaining family with lobster feasts
on the beach. He was also during this time, a founder of the C.G. Jung Center in Brunswick,
When the winters finally became too much, Brad and Win moved to Naples Florida and
spent five years in the sunshine before he passed away.
Brad leaves behind his wife, Win, five children, Deb (Bill Case), Brad Jr. (Stephanie), J.
Scott (Paula), Meg (Jim Anthis) and Dan (Tana). He also leaves four stepchildren, Jeffrey
Isaac (Laura), Jennifer Isaac (Ballard), Tom Isaac (Angela) and Cara Isaac (Wes Morrison),
several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Memorial arrangements to celebrate Brad's remarkable life will be made at a later date by