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Deceased Information

Beverly Bradburn-Stern

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 (before sunset)

29 Elul, 5777

Sunday, September 24, 2017

3:00 PM

The Temple, Atlanta GA

Crest Lawn Memorial Park, Atlanta GA


Please contact Dresslers at 770-451-4999 to send a message to the family.

  • Southern Poverty Law Center 
  • National Public Radio 
  • American Jewish World Service 

    Beverly Bradburn-Stern, a nationally recognized authority on family counseling and divorce who devoted her life and career to the welfare of children, passed away Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at her home in Atlanta, Georgia, surrounded by friends and family. She was 72. A self-described “nomad” in her youth, Bev, daughter of decorated Air Force pilot Colonel Gordon F. Bradburn and Romayne Bradburn (née McLaughlin), along with siblings Barbara and Bruce, never stayed in any one place for more than a few years of her childhood. Home for Bev ranged from Taipei, Taiwan (where her father served as air attaché), to pre-statehood Alaska, to North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Washington, DC, California, Alabama, and Tennessee. As the middle child and perpetual “new kid,” she learned the art of mediation at an early age. She went on to pursue a Master’s in education and counseling at the University of Florida. After moving to Atlanta in 1969, Bev was named head counselor at the Galloway School, and then began work at the child advocacy organization Families First as director of education and training services. During her 23 years at Families First, she pioneered an innovative family counseling approach to recognize and tackle the adverse effects of divorce on children. She developed the “Children Cope with Divorce” seminar for divorcing parents, which was featured by news outlets across the country, including The New York Times, CNN, The Today Show, and 20/20, and which became legally mandated for divorcing parents in Cobb County, Georgia. Bev traveled nationally to train educators, and the program quickly spread to other jurisdictions; it was eventually adopted in 39 states, reaching well over one million parents nationwide. She later served for a decade as the executive director of DeKalb County Superior Court’s Dispute Resolution Center, using mediation to help clashing parents find common ground and do what was best for their kids. She opened her private counseling and mediation practice in 2008. Bev led a remarkable life of peripatetic travels, adventures, and deep, personal friendships. She constantly engaged her passions for theater, film, books, political activism, and social justice. Every child who came into Bev’s orbit soon found both a tireless advocate and a kindred spirit. Her irreverent, mischievous, infectious sense of fun lives on in her daughter, step-children, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and friends, as well as among the countless children whose lives she touched. She taught by example that it’s always best to confront a bully, and never back down—a lesson she learned in childhood and carried with her into adulthood. Bev was a fighter by nature and was fiercely committed to protecting the vulnerable throughout her life. In the early 90s, she was given a special commendation for bravery by the Mayor of Atlanta after rescuing a rape victim from her assailant on the street. Her courageous act was featured on CNN. News anchors described this as an extraordinary action by an ordinary woman, but those who know Bev recognized the opposite: an ordinary action by a woman who was in every way extraordinary. It was this combination of kindness and determined courage in the face of injustice that defined who she was. In the 1970s, Bev became an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. While teaching a continuing education seminar at the UUCA, she met Edwin H. Stern. They married in 1980 and had one daughter, Megan. After Edwin passed away in 1996, Bev would not remarry, saying Edwin was and always will be the love of her life. She will be buried with him in Crest Lawn Memorial Park. Since childhood, Bev was drawn to Jewish traditions and beliefs and felt a kinship with the Jewish people. She converted to Judaism in 1983 and became a heavily involved member of Atlanta’s The Temple, teaching religious school there for many years, and passing on to her students her fierce enthusiasm for the Jewish values of tolerance, dialogue, social justice, and care for the ill and elderly. Bev is survived by her beloved daughter, Megan Romayne Stern; sister, Barbara Bradburn (Mike Wood); brother, Bruce Bradburn (Fran); step-son, Richard Stern (Mindy Brown), step-daughter, Dana Meline (David); grandchildren: Ezra, Alex, Jared, and Rebecca; nieces: Kristen Oliver (Chuck), Sage Bradburn, and Erin Falls (Andy); nephew, Ryan Bradburn (Emily); great-nephews: Adrian, Riley, Graham, and Tate; great-nieces, Allie and Margot; sisters-in-law: Margie Kaplan, Nancy Chambers (Alan Smith), and JoAnn Singband (Larry); and their children: Hannah, Julia, Ruth, Naomi, David, Judy, and Lynn. Funeral services will be held 3:00 PM Sunday, September 24, 2017 at The Temple, 1589 Peachtree Street NE, with Rabbi Peter Berg officiating. Graveside services will follow at Crest Lawn Memorial Park. Sign online guestbook at In lieu of flowers, donations in Bev’s memory be made to her favorite organizations: Southern Poverty Law Center,; National Public Radio,; and the American Jewish World Service, Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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    The Dressler Family
    May the memories of our loved ones remain for a blessing.
    Amy KuhlmanSep 25 2017 09:34 am
    What a tremendous loss to all of us. Bev was an amazing person both personally and professionally. My thoughts and prayers are with Bev's family during this time of sorrow. She will truly be missed.
    The Ellis FamilySep 22 2017 11:23 am
    For Megan and the entire family - May your fond memories of Bev provide you with solace and strength at this difficult time. Our prayers are with you. Our memories of Bev will forever live with us.
    Jinny and Brett IsserowSep 22 2017 09:32 am
    I am a devoted supporter and follower of NPR and every contribution into the future will have Bev's name on it. We have had some (distant) relationship for 25 years and we love her and Megan. We send only love now at this sad time. May you find comfort in the days and the years ahead.
    Ted MarcusSep 22 2017 06:55 am
    Sorry for your loss. May her memory be for a blessing
    Sharon Mace MilanoSep 21 2017 11:52 am
    With heartfelt sympathy to family and friends; remembering Beverly, as a beautiful soul and just a lovely human being, she will be with us all in spirit....guiding our days, blessing our dreams and watching over she did in life! It is hardest to say good-bye to those who are easiest to love. Fondly remembering, Sharon Milano
    Nancy GhertnerSep 21 2017 10:00 am
    What an amazing woman! I had no idea that she was so accomplished and such a trailblazer. I knew Bev, not well, but it was clear that she was a lovely, very gifted person. She who never even spoke about all that she gave to our community to make our lives better. What a loss. My thoughts and prayers to her family.
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