John Bradford

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BARDSTOWN, Ky. -- Dr. John C. Bradford Sr., 79, affectionately known as "Gaga" by his grandchildren, died peacefully Friday, March 2, 2012, at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Aug. 5, 1932, in Diehlstadt, Mo. He grew up in Benton in Southeast Missouri where, as a standout basketball player, he set several scoring records on his way to becoming a four-year letterman at Benton High School. John also excelled at softball and was active in the Boy Scouts, eventually becoming Benton's first Eagle Scout in 1950.

He attended Southeast Missouri State University on a basketball scholarship, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 1954. During his time, John played on the university's basketball team and became a founding charter member of the university's chapter of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity in 1952. Following college, John received a dental (DDS) degree from the St. Louis University Dental School in 1959.

During his college and dental school years, John proudly served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1951 until 1959. Following his honorable discharge and graduation from St. Louis University in 1959, he moved to Bardstown and set up a solo dental practice at 101 E. Flaget St., where he worked until his retirement in 1995.

He was a member of the Kiwanis Club, in which he served as a treasurer for many years; a member of the Louisville Dental Society; a 50-year member of the Kentucky Dental Association; and a member of St. Joseph Parish in Bardstown.

Dr. Bradford was preceded in death by an infant brother, Jerry Bradford; and his parents, Thomas Carlisle "Buck" and Nina Mae English Bradford.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Margie Tudor Bradford of Bardstown; two sons, John Bradford Jr. (Luci) of Bardstown and David Bradford (Erin) of Southlake, Texas; four daughters, Lisa Pinkston (Donnie) of Bardstown, Laurie Bradford (Dave Schnall) of Erie, Pa., Karen Conway (Chris) of Frankfort, Ky., and Christina Bradford (Chris King) of Bardstown; 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a brother, Larry Bradford (Judy) of St. Louis; two sisters, Sharon Klein (Jerry) of Ladue, Mo., and Sarah Bradford of Bardstown; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today and Monday and from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Mann and Greenwell Funeral Home. A prayer service will be held Monday evening at the funeral home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery. The Rev. Bill Hammer will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Nelson County, Ky., the Bardstown Foundation for Excellence in Public Education or the First Christian Church of Bardstown Building Fund.

Mann and Greenwell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.