Friday, January 6, 2017
3:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
5975 Lovers Lane
Portage, MI 49002
A Rosary will take place at 7:30pm
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Levine & Dickson Hospice House
Levine Children's Hospital
Carolinas HealthCare Foundation
attention: Levine Cancer Institute Brain Cancer Fund
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Reflecting on the life of Rebecca Yonker Bradley, words such as faithful, strong, and courageous come to mind. She lived her life selflessly putting others first and going out of her way to give back to the communities she loved. Social by nature, Becky was a lover of all people. Very independent, articulate, and organized, she never let her illness define her. She leaves behind a rich legacy of living each day to the fullest and not spending a single day with regret. Her positive outlook and sweet personality will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many close friends and family.
Rebecca's story begins in the year of 1983. Swatch watches, Cabbage Patch dolls, and the Atari 5200 were collected in homes across the nation. The Space Shuttle Challenger launched on its maiden flight, the final episode of M*A*S*H* was aired, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi opened in theaters. Fraggle Rock made its debut on HBO, while the music of Michael Jackson and David Bowie gained in popularity. With Microsoft Word being released and the Internet boom soon to be born, Steve and Sandy (Piechocki) Yonker welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Rebecca on September 22nd in South Bend, Indiana. She brought much joy and happiness into their home and was later joined by her baby brother, Daniel.
Growing up in Portage with her father, Steve a Kalamazoo Public Safety officer and her mother, Sandy a middle school teacher, helped keep Becky focused. Extremely social, even as young as preschool age, Becky could often spend an entire afternoon dancing with her close friend, Summer Mucha to the soundtrack from Dirty Dancing, their favorite movie! She also enjoyed countless hours with her grandparents; Merlie and George who had a backyard pool and loved to dote on her whenever she was over visiting. Becky never lacked for entertainment and always had a large group of friends during her high school years. Wherever Becky was, so was her best friend, Jessie Sanders. The two of them attended many Portage Central High School events together over the years before their graduation. East Lansing became her college hometown when she was accepted as a Michigan State Spartan! Studying advertising and public relations, Becky could be found at many of the football tailgates each fall with her close friends Lisa Degan, Kate Bialkowski, and Kelly Love as well as her parents who were season ticket holders! She landed her first job at the Lansing Humane Society in public relations before taking a leap of faith and accepting a position in North Carolina! Spending a short time in Raleigh before settling in Charlotte, Becky kept up her football tradition of flying home for an early fall game to cheer on her Spartans! Although she loved returning home to her alma mater and tailgating with her parents, Charlotte’s warmer weather had quickly turned her into a Southern girl.
Not to be forgotten is the year 2012, when she met the man of her dreams; Jarrod Bradley. For Becky, it was love at first sight when they were introduced at a birthday party of their mutual friend, Rachel. They hit it off and soon after began dating, sharing in many commonalities. Jarrod was just the type of man she needed when into their first year together, she was delivered the diagnosis of Stage 4 Glioblastoma. His love for her never wavered as he stayed diligently by her side through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Throughout their four years of dating, her illness challenged them with long periods of being symptom-free to recurrences that included surgery on Christmas Eve of 2015. Always a fighter, she received chemo until its second recurrence where she would need infusions twice a month with radiation. During this time, Jarrod proposed to his sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. The undaunted couple joined in marriage in a civil ceremony on April 4, 2016. Later that August, Becky left her role as the marketing coordinator with Business Ink, a position she loved for the past six years, to focus on her treatments as well as prepare for their formal ceremony in Charlotte on October 9, 2016. Knowing that Becky’s cancer was terminal, their story was the definition of true love. Becky’s medical team were honored to coordinate a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. With the help of Dr. Ashley Sumrall, Ann Elrod, Serena Perera, and many others from her medical community, they secured the chapel, the reception venue, the catering, the music, the flowers, and the photographer! The chaplain from the Levine Cancer Institute was happy to marry them in what would be the most romantic and memorable wedding! People magazine and the Today Show made their wedding public when Levine released an article about Becky’s story. In true Becky style, she did not want the focus to be on her but rather on the medical team’s tremendous efforts to support her in amazing ways.
As a matter of fact, Becky had many special interests and talents that she never let cancer steal from her spirit. For example, she had an insatiable appetite for shopping! She loved to find the greatest bargains on clothing and purses, but especially shoes! In her opinion, she could never have too many shoes! She and Jarrod both loved to travel. They toured France and Switzerland together. In Paris they even saw Beyonce in concert! Along with her mother, father and brother, she travelled to Ireland and England. Being foodies, she and Jarrod loved to try new restaurants and especially savored their time in Asheville, their favorite North Carolina destination. While undergoing infusions, she even managed to sneak away to Michigan, to Nashville to visit a close friend, and to Austin, Texas to see her brother, Dan, before he left for a tour in Afghanistan. Becky was an extraordinary artist who loved to explore photography and drawing with pastels. Never one to remain idle, she also enjoyed exercising. However, nothing brought her greater joy than the time she spent with family and friends. Becky never turned down an invitation, whether it was a local concert or a musical or just chatting at home! She also had a special relationship with her two furry companions; Bobo and Millie. Bobo was devoted and happy to curl up on her lap in the Lazy Boy chair on days when she was sick, especially during her last three months. Described as compassionate and kind beyond measure, Becky’s wonderful collection of memories are etched on the hearts of countless friends, family, and even strangers her life has touched.
Cancer didn’t define Rebecca; it’s a part of her story. Her legacy is to show a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean your life is over. She never lived her life like it was the end. Positive and strong in her faith, with lots of love from her supporters.
Rebecca Yonker Bradley, age 33, of Charlotte, North Carolina passed away on December 15, 2016. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Friday, January 6th, from 3-8pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage (344-5600). A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 7th, 11 am at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 5855 E. W Ave, Vicksburg. Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Jarrod; her parents, Steve and Sandy, brother Dan, her two kitties, Bobo and Millie; Grandmother Mary Carolyn Howard; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and so many loved friends. She was preceded in death by Grandfather, George Howard and Grandparents, Richard and MaryLou Yonker. Cremation has taken place. Please visit Becky’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations may be made to Levine & Dickson Hospice House (www.hpccr.org), or Levine Children’s Hospital, Attn: Pediatric Cancer Care (www.carolinashealthcare.org),