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Claudia Jane Trewyn Bradley

Claudia had hopes and dreams which she achieved in spite of many obstacles. Born to alcoholic parents
in a poor but scenic town in Guatemala, she endured much. Her twin died of TB, among many other
family tragedies, including Claudia being cared for by one neighbor who practiced witchcraft.
Eventually, after much moving around, Claudia was abandoned by her parents at the age of 7.
Fortunately, Claudia did not become a victim of the “mercy killings” which happened to other orphans in
Guatemala, but instead Claudia was taken by the police to Remar, a Christian orphanage. There she
went to school for the first time at the age of eight, was fed, and cared for. She grew in the knowledge
and love of Jesus, learned life, and work skills. She even developed the desire, as she put it, “to the be
the first in my biological family to go to college.” Struggling with a learning disability and having no
family, she thankfully didn’t realize what an “impossible dream” going to college was for her at that
Fast forward. Claudia is now in her mid-teens. She’s become one of the orphanage’s child-leaders. Yet,
it was the younger children who were always the ones who became part of forever families. Finally, it
was Claudia’s turn. She became part of her forever family and flew for the first time on a plane, to her
new home in Florida. She soon experienced her first family Christmas, her first ever Easter egg hunt,
and a birthday celebration at Disney World with a former friend from Remar who’d been adopted by a
family in Orlando. Claudia’s first Florida hurricane was watched from the safe distance of Washington
D.C., having gotten out with her new family on the last plane out of West Palm.
Upon returning to Fort Pierce, Claudia enrolled in school, having to repeat a grade and coursework in
order to catch up academically. Still, she persisted. She excelled in History and Geography, and for a
time explored being an Archeologist, participating in active digs in both Central Florida and Northern
After overcoming many challenges, she eventually earned a high school diploma. Plus, in high school she
met Michael Bradley, the young man who would become her future, loving husband.
Claudia had begun developing skills and working in the Culinary Arts and the Food Service Industries
while in high school. It was then she decided on her goal for her persisting ambition to go to college.
She enrolled, and as the now Mrs. Bradley, she successfully completed a degree in Culinary Arts at
Indian River State College.
Once graduated, Claudia began working her way up in her chosen profession. She was a hard worker,
and even loved cleaning her kitchen so well that it was spotless when she left. She was continually
learning, and had her sights set on one day becoming a chef at the prestigious Breakers Hotel in Palm
Beach. Everything else she had set her mind to accomplishing, she had. So, this dream, too, was just a
matter of time!
Claudia and Michael had their first child after a few years of marriage. In spite of some complications,
they eventually had a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Finally, life was going well for her, and the road to
her future seemed smoother than it had ever been.
It was February 7 th , 2021. Her daughter would be a year old in just over a month, and it was Superbowl
Sunday. There was time to relax and spend watching the game with family, before the workweek ahead.

On the other side of St. Lucie County, Ryan Luke Hester, age 19, was being overserved mimosas at On
The Edge Bar and Grill. So many mimosas in fact, that they left the pitcher with him. Then they served
him two vodka shots, having not carded him even once. The reason they gave was, “He comes in here all
the time.” Later when Ryan Luke left to get in his truck, though he was hardly able to stand according to
the surveillance cameras, he was allowed to take an open “to go” cup of an alcoholic beverage. It was
an illegal “one more for the road.”
At the south end of the county, Claudia was getting ready for a Sunday drive to get a pizza for her family.
Leaving her daughter with the sitter, she drove out of her apartment complex by Indian River Drive,
which ran in front of the complex. Claudia’s plan was to go to Fort Pierce, get the pizza, pick up her
daughter, and enjoy the afternoon and evening together as a family. Instead, she would never see her
daughter again.
Meanwhile, Ryan Luke sped away from the bar and drove south in the northbound lane of Indian River
Drive, going twice the speed limit. He came around the bend, and Claudia didn’t even have a chance to
get out of the way.
A motorcyclist, who saw the horrific crash as it was happening in front of him, rushed to put out the fire
that started in Claudia’s car. He then stayed with Claudia, praying for her and commending her spirit to
the Lord as the first responders arrived.

Now three years old, Claudia’s daughter, has no memory of Claudia. Only photos.
Claudia, in spite of her early abuse and neglect, never held a grudge. Though she had every right to do
so, she never, ever played the “victim” card. Whenever she was wronged by anyone, even if it had only
been a few months before, she would wave it away with her hand and say, “That was a long time ago.”
She had the gift of being able to forgive, live in the moment, and though not forgetting, move on
positively with her life.

Recently a citizen of Fort Pierce stated that those who had overserved were counting on it being just a
matter of time before the causes of Claudia’s death would be forgotten, like those other preventable
crashes that had gone before. The citizen said that, with such forgetting, establishments would
continue to not card underage patrons. That they would continue to overserve those who would choose
to get in their vehicles and drive impaired. Forgiveness is one thing, and yes, life must go on…. eventually.
However, Remember for Change was established in Claudia’s memory, so no one in our community
would forget, and no other family would have to go through what we have experienced!

Thank you for reading this memory of Claudia and supporting Remember for Change.

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