GEORGE STEWART BEDFORD Dec. 19, 1920 -July 3, 2014 George Stewart "Stew" Bedford, 93, passed away peacefully at his Chico residence on July 3rd, 2014. He was born and grew up in Greeley, Colorado, son of Rose Bell and John Everett Bedford. He was the last surviving child of what became known in the family as the "Thundering Herd" whose members included brothers Jack, Don and Dick, and sister Marjorie. Three of Everett's and Rose's sons served in WWII, including Stew who enlisted in the Army Air Corps, Don in the U.S. Coast Guard, and Dick in the U.S. Navy. Stew flew 49 missions from Grottaglie, Italy over Germany with the 449th Bombardment Group in the famous "Flying Boxcar" B-24 Liberator and reported colorful stories reminiscent of the novel Catch 22 - crews routinely checked parachutes to ensure silk canopies had not been removed for sale, and Stew often covered for an intoxicated bombardier, climbing from his remote tail-gunner position into the bomb-bay to arm ordinance. He fondly told of excursions into Grottaglie where the flyers would bring chocolate and cigarettes to local children, who made a living selling the contraband. He received the Three Oak Leaf Air Medal awarded for distinguished service to enlisted flyers, as well as his Gunner's Wings and the Victory Europe Medal. Stew and Mary Anderson married in June 1944. They have three surviving children, Sandra Rogers of Reno, Nevada (husband Jim, sons Ben, Judd, and Tyler), Gary Bedford of Boulder, Colorado (wife Anna), and Scott Bedford of San Mateo, California (wife Phyllis, daughters Sarah and Rebecca), along with five grandchildren. Stew married Myrti Neves in 1999 who was by his side at his passing. After the war, Stew returned home and dedicated himself to the healing arts, receiving his PhD in clinical psychology from Denver University in 1954. He moved his family to Chico in 1954 and served as resident psychologist in the Chico Mental Health Clinic until entering private practice in 1960. Stew was known as an imaginative and innovative therapist, and early in their development introduced bio-feedback and group therapy techniques to his practice. In his later years he re-dedicated his work to the study and healing of post traumatic stress syndrome, working with Viet Nam veterans in particular. Friends and family will celebrate a public mass Saturday, July 12th 10AM at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church, 566 East Lassen Avenue, Chico, to be followed by a veteran's memorial service at 11:30AM at Newton-Bracewell, 680 Camellia Way, Chico. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Wounded Warriors Project, or a
. Please share thoughts and memories of Stewart online at nbcfh.com.
680 Camellia Way Chico, CA 95926
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on July 9, 2014