Valparaiso, IN – William E. Bradford (Gene, Age 90, of Valparaiso, IN) passed away Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021. Born April 23rd, 1931, married Joan Smith.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle. He enjoyed every moment of watching his children, grandchild, and great-grandchild athletic endeavors. Gene was an avid Chicago Cubs fan, a few of his favorite fun memories were attending two Cub World Series appearances. He enjoyed golf and all the friendships he made playing. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.
William Eugene Bradford is the loving husband of Joan Bradford, proud father to Paula Dick (Randy Dick), Bill Bradford, David Bradford (Renee Bradford), Jean Wiesemann (Jeffrey Wiesemann), Teresa Karp (David Karp), and Brian Bradford. He is the beaming grandfather to Adam Bradford (Jenn Bradford), Brent Bradford (Holly Bradford), Curt Bradford (Liann Bradford), Tony Bradford (Lindsay Bradford), Andrew Bradford (Carensa Bradford), Courtnie Dick, Melissa Bustos (Michael Bustos), Eric Wiesemann (Annette Wiesemann), Ashlee Helmer (Jack Helmer), Bradley Karp (Wesley Jones) and Madison Karp. He is the joyful great-grandfather to Kyle Bradford, Brody Bradford, Brooklyn Bradford, Ian Bradford, Dylan Bradford, Ryan Bradford, Benjamin Bradford, Lilly Bradford, Jovi Bradford, Franklin Bradford, Nya Bradford, Oliva Paulette and Sophia Paulette.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, brother Gary, and grandson Mark Wiesemann.
To have known Gene Bradford is a gift and great blessing. He was a man of love, respect, discipline and a class act who exuded kindness, humor, honesty and a great love for his family. Gene would do anything he could for anyone who asked. If he built your house, it came with his own personal lifetime warranty and you could call him at any time to fix or build anything needed. His pride in his craftsmanship and level of detail cannot be matched by anything or anyone. His discipline and honesty made him a success in the contracting world and each of his clients became his friends and family.
While he was a man of few words, his words were always full of kindness, love, humor and wit. His laugh brought the biggest smile to everyone’s face and he was always prepared with a joke of the day.
His greatest joy was supporting his family. Gene rarely missed a basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball game, gymnastics, track or cross country meet of which any of his children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren participated in. He had a reserved seat at Liberty Middle School, where he may be the man who has attended the most games over a single decade. He travelled the nation to support his kids and grandkids as they competed at every level. He would never miss the concession stand grabbing his box of popcorn as he walked into the Shannon Center at Saint Xavier University where he never missed a home basketball game in four years.
His love for sports transcends all levels. An avid baseball player who played for the minors and US Army, passionate golfer who had a hole in one at the age of 87, lifelong Chicago Cubs fan attending both World Series which Cubs played, and coach to countless little league teams throughout the Duneland Area. At 90 years old, his golfing buddies were 30 years younger and he refused to let them go easy on him. He wouldn’t miss a Saturday golf morning with his friends and family. He was also a talented ballroom dancer which he and his wife would dance each weekend throughout their marriage and he was still spinning her around the dance floor at 90 years old.
Behind his love for family, craftsmanship and sports came his life long love of ice cream and donuts. He would have a donut every Saturday and bowl of ice cream each night. No one loves sweets as much as Gene.
Gene’s legacy is one of love, kindness, discipline, honesty, hard work and deep love for family. His legacy lives on with his 70+ family members who loved him dearly and deeply. The mere mention of any family members’ name would bring a beaming look of pride to his face. To have known Gene is to have been touched by his kind and gentle soul. He leaves behind a family who is proud and honored to have known and loved him.
A visitation will be held at Bartholomew Funeral Home on November 5th 5pm-7pm. A funeral mass will be held at Saint Paul Catholic Church (1855W Harrison Blvd Valparaiso) at 11am Saturday November 6th with a visitation one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gene’s name to National Kidney Foundation or Arthritis.org
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