Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Don C. Bradford died Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 at home near Soldotna. He was 89.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at Soldotna/Sterling Funeral Home, 35910 Jawle Street, behind Big John's Tesoro. Nathan Morrison will officiate. Mr. Bradford will be buried with his wife, Beatrice, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery at a later date.
Mr. Bradford was born Sept. 27, 1919 in Alamogordo, N.M., the oldest son of Doss and Vivian Bradford. He was raised on a ranch that is now a part of White Sand Missile Range in southern New Mexico. He served in the U.S. Army for 27 years. He started when the Army still used horses for maneuvers and ended his career as one of a few special weapons inspectors in the country.
During his career in the U.S. Army, he served as an Infantry Sergeant in Europe and later in Korea as a Warrant Officer. He was qualified for many awards with both rifle and pistol after the war, while stationed in Germany. He was stationed in Alaska beginning in 1962. He was at Gun Mountain Lodge on a caribou hunting trip during the 1964 earthquake. He left Alaska in 1966. He retired in 1967 with the rank of Warrant Officer Grade 4. Mr. Bradford returned to Alaska in 1989.
Mr. Bradford was very active in the Church of Christ throughout his life. He was a preacher and song leader from approximately 1952 though 2005 working with congregations in Texas, New Mexico, California, Washington and Alaska. He maintained correspondence with many preachers and religious educators throughout the United States. He was considered by many to be a religious scholar of note.
Mr. Bradford was an avid hunter and fisherman. His love of the outdoors was one of the things that brought him back to Alaska.
Mr. Bradford was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Beatrice Effie (Ingram) Bradford.
He is survived by his children, Don Bradford Jr. of Anchorage, Doss Bradford of Spokane, Wash., Darlene Steddum of Santa Monica, Calif., and David Bradford of Soldotna; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; brothers, Walter, Max and Jack Bradford all of California.
The family prefers memorial donations rather than flowers be sent to the Heritage Place Bea Bradford Scholarship Fund, 232 Rockwell Ave., Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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