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Jesse James Bradford (1938 - 2013)

Obituary
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Jesse James Bradford January 3, 1938 - April 12, 2013 Jesse James Bradford was born on January 3, 1938 to Mary and Leonard (Brad) Bradford in Crockett, Texas. He and his parents moved to Shafter, CA in 1951 where Jesse grew up until his parents later moved to Bakersfield, CA in 1959. Jesse was outstanding in track and field, set a record with a time of 18.4 seconds in the 1957 South Sequoia League meet, bettering the previous mark of 18.5 set by Charles Tidwell as a senior and was also a two-time Valley champion in the pole vault. He also won the pole vault, low hurdles and 100-yard dash in the high school division of the 1957 West Coast Relays. After graduating from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's degree in History, Jesse joined the U.S. Army, where he was a part of the 101st Airborne Division. After his discharge, he returned to Bakersfield in 1965 to teach at South High School in Bakersfield, CA. In 1968, after he completed his Master's degree, Jesse returned to Bakersfield College as a history professor. He was also hired as an assistant track coach for Bob Covey where he was the assistant coach for 20 years. Jesse was the first African-American coach in BC's history and only the third African-American instructor at the school. He went on to teach history at BC for 35 years. In the history of Bakersfield College, he is a real historical figure. Jesse Bradford was a man with class who exuded dignity. Always sharp in his dress and his demeanor. He was kind man well known throughout the Bakersfield community. More than that, he was an outstanding and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. A person you wanted as a role model. Though he is now at rest, he is forever in our hearts and will be forever and greatly missed. Funeral services for Jesse Bradford will be held Thursday April 18, 2013, 10:00 a.m., at St. John MBC, 1400 E. Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, CA with Interment immediately following at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 9101 Kern Canyon Road. Services Entrusted To: Beloved Care Funeral Service 4840 E. Brundage Lane www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Apr. 17, 2013
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