Archie J. Bradford

Obituary
  • "I will always remember Mr. Bradford. He was such a great..."
    - Crystal Wigfall
  • "im now living in georgia .and im so sad to hear the passing..."
    - ronald brantley
  • "Just to have an uncle of inspiration and well..."
    - Otis Bryant
  • "My heart was broken yesterday when I learned of Mr..."
    - Stormi Garab (Heilman)
  • "I am so sorry to hear of Archie's passing. You have my..."
    - LaVerna Thomas

Feb. 6, 1931 - Aug. 9, 2009
SOUTH BEND - Archie J. Bradford, 78, was born to Mildred and Archie Bradford February 6, 1931, in Ripley, Tennessee. Though Archie dropped out of high school, he went on to accomplish many things educationally and professionally. After his high school experience, he served in the United States Army which he considered a life-changing experience. He was discharged in February 1953 and then re-enlisted in the United States Air Force in April 1953, serving four years at Scott Air Force Base. Upon discharge, Archie earned his G.E.D. and enrolled at Southern Illinois University in August 1957 where he received his bachelor's degree in three years. He continued his education, earning two master's degrees-one in guidance and counseling from Ball State University and the other in school administration from the University of Notre Dame. Archie pursued his passion of guiding youth to achieve at the best of their abilities through education during his 31-year career. He worked with students as a teacher, principal, counselor, and a director in the South Bend Community School Corporation, but retired as principal of James Monroe Elementary School in 1991. He also served as the Director of Upward Bound at the University of Notre Dame from 1970 to 1975 which he considered one of his best professional experiences. There he met lifelong friends and touched and shaped many lives. Throughout his life Archie was active in many civic and social organizations, donating his time and talents to society including service to the United Way Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, St. Joseph County Urban Coalition Board, Mayor's Committee on Education, National Association of Elementary School Principals, the American School Counselor Association, and more. His contributions have been acknowledged with various awards including the Boy's Club O.C. Carmichael Award (first recipient), the Indiana Chapter of the Mid America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel's Most Outstanding Service Award (first recipient), the Kappa Alpha Psi's Outstanding Service Award, and the Kappa Alpha Psi's Polemark's Fidelity Award. Beyond a stellar professional and service track record, Archie enjoyed time with family. Archie loved his family. His great example, his loving but stern manner, his concern for their well-being, his watchful eye, and his giving ways will remain a family legacy. He especially enjoyed time at the family lake cottage, family vacations and family get-togethers (especially on holidays where he was always the most excited in the room). He was very proud that his sons and grandchildren felt comfortable and welcomed to visit often and without prompting or hesitation. Some of his most cherished moments involve his children and grandchildren, from their impromptu visits, to the family meals and rituals. Archie loved and adored his wife of 53 years and considered her his best friend, his inspiration, his anchor, and the love of his life. Archie met his wife, Mariejo (Harris) Bradford, while on a visit home from military service in 1953. They married July 1, 1956. He ensured his sons understood that his wife, Mariejo, was the reason he was the man he was and how he could never thank her enough. Archie is a man of strong faith and was an active and dedicated member of Olivet AME Church. It is very accurate to say that Archie had many friends in South Bend and the neighboring areas. He enjoyed his friends abundantly and loved them. He was outgoing, considerate and caring which allowed him to make good impressions and friends quickly. There are many of his past students that to this day view him as a father figure and feel like part of his family. Over the years there are countless stories of people who he has helped. Archie had many interests and hobbies that kept him engaged and active throughout his life. Archie excelled in bowling, highlighted by "300" games and an 822 three-game series. In 2008 he was inducted into the St. Joseph County USBC Bowling Hall of Fame. If you know Archie, you know he was an avid basketball fan, and particularly a fan of Notre Dame basketball. He had season tickets for over 30 years, seldom missed games, and was considered a Notre Dame Basketball insider. To this day, he has many friends who are current and past Notre Dame players and coaches. He was also a longtime supporter of high school and college track and field, and especially enjoyed the Drake and Penn Relays. He was a Notre Dame football fan, participated in the Couples Club, supported his wife as a Driftwood of Drifters, Inc., and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Archie was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Mattie, and brother, James. Archie is survived by his wife, Mariejo; his sons, Kyle Sr. and Kevin (Tonya); his grandsons, Kyle Jr., Kevin II and Zachary; and his great-granddaughters, Markeeta, Kyle, Katelyn and Makayla, all of South Bend, Indiana. He is also survived by his siblings, Ophelia Jeter of Vincennes, Illinois, Henry Bradford of Chicago, Illinois, Opal (Paul) Dietzel of Everett, Washington, Archie Jr. (Delois) Bradford of Spanaway, Washington, Ruby Bradford of East St. Louis, Missouri, Lawrence (Hiromi) Bradford of Federal, Washington, Marie Holt and Creasy (Drefus) Reed, all of Ripley, Tennessee; sisters-in-law, Mabel (Henderson) Meeks, Betty Harris, all of Centralia, Illinois, Lillian Davis of Detroit, Michigan, Ruth Hedrick and Bobbie (Robert) Taylor, all of Gary, Indiana, Joyce (Richard) Hayes of Carbondale, Illinois, Martha (John) Lambert of Indianapolis, Indiana; brothers-in-law, George (Alma) Harris of Jeffersonville, Indiana, Ronald Harris of St. Louis, Missouri; and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, and friends throughout the United States. Funeral services for Mr. Archie J. Bradford will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, 2009, in Olivet AME Church, with burial following at Highland Cemetery. Viewing will take place at the church from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Alford's Mortuary, where bereavement messages may be e-mailed to Alfordsmortuary@comcast.net, c/o the Bradford family.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 13, 2009