Donald Gerald Bamford was born on August 4, 1935 and died on January 29, 2021. In the 85 years in between, he found the love of his life not just once, but twice, raised four children, taught mathematics to thousands, and coached hundreds of runners. Don was born to Marjorie Wall and knew his stepfather Joe Arnao as his Dad. His youth was spent in Dorchester and Needham. He was raised as a Baptist, and developed a love of track and field, cross-country and running. At some point, he realized that his future was in mathematics education, and he matriculated at UMASS Amherst. He also met Claire Bamford on campus and after courting they wed in 1957. He obtained a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and relocated to the Ludlow Area. He was hired for the opening of Minnechaug Regional High School in 1959. Shortly after, he and Claire were blessed with the arrival of Daniel, their first child. Settling on James Street in Ludlow, they were further blessed by children Thomas, David, and Kathleen. These years were filled with running, naps, vacations to Cape Cod and Maine, teaching and coaching. He eventually chaired the math department and developed a long-lasting friendship with his coworkers. He inspired blossoming runners through his track and cross-country coaching. He raced competitively himself, even placing first once. He taught all of his children invaluable lessons that they will never forget. On February 2, 1992, Claire passed away. He retired early a few years later. Don met Joyce Hinch at a parents without partners meeting. She too had lost the first love of her life and together they found love again, marrying in 1995. Joyce has five children, who became near and dear to Dons heart. Don and Joyce lived at her familys vacation home on Cape Cod, spending time in Springfield around the holidays and wintering in Florida as well. When the rigor of running became too much, he resorted to biking for daily exercise. When that became a struggle, he took long walks. When diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, he met the challenge with his typical response to adversity; perseverance. The walks became shorter but continued right up to the end of his life. Throughout his life, he brought joy and humor to those around and his propensity for love and generosity was immense. Don leaves behind a rich legacy in the memories of the family he spent those blessed years with. Cherishing those memories are his wife Joyce, children (spouses) Dan (Dottie), Tom (Kim), Dave (Jenn), and daughter Kathi;step-children Judy, Dianne, Jerry (Anna), Karen (Duncan), and Sheliah (Richard), along with 15 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Memorial service will be held at Ludlow Funeral Home on Thursday February 4th, viewing hours from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M.; with interment in Maine in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.
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Published by The Cape Codder from Feb. 3 to Feb. 4, 2021.