James Hughes Bradford, son of George Washington Bradford and Lillie Belle (Rogers) Bradford, died Aug. 6, 2008 at the age of 89. Born June 9, 1919 in Higden, Ark., he married Emma L. Gibson (deceased) in 1940 and fathered six children, all of whom grew up in Arizona.
Mr. Bradford was a soldier in World War II serving in the Pacific theater from 1944 to 1946. He returned from the war to Morenci, Ariz., where he spent his 37-year career as a locomotive engineer and a shift supervisor for the Phelps Dodge Corporation open-pit copper mine.
In his time, he fished a lot, took his family on camping trips, hunted a little and played the guitar.
In 1981, he and Emma retired to Payson. After his wife died in 1982, Mr. Bradford spent his last 27 years in Payson, which became the hub for family gatherings. He stood up against Alzheimer's as long as he could, and beat everybody at dominos until the end.
He is survived by two sisters, Estle Chalk and Helen Nelson; two brothers, Marvin Bradford and Dewey Edward Bradford; and his cat and constant companion Mister Lucky.
He is also survived by his children Nita Piper, Robert (Helen) Bradford, Lynda (George) Vanlandingham, Brenda (Hector) Ruedas, Donna (Harvey) Goth and Jim (Cherie) Bradford; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Emma; two sisters, Sybil Kuykendall and Ethel Cullum; and three brothers, Ray Bradford, Roy Bradford and Chester Bradford.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to RTA Hospice and Palliative Care, 511 S. Mud Springs Road, Payson, AZ 85541.
Services were held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 at Messinger Payson Funeral Home, 302 W. Aero Drive.