Elwood W. Bradford, a Yuma native, died December 17th while under the loving care of Hospice of the Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was two months short of his 99th birthday. Elwood, known to his friends as Brad, was born in Yuma, Arizona Territory, on February 11, 1909. He was one of four children of Walter E. and Lizzie Bradford and reared on a small farm in the Yuma Valley. His maternal grandparents, C.C. and Clarinda Dyer, came to Yuma in 1893. C.C. Dyer homesteaded in the Yuma Valley and worked in the Arizona Territorial Prison until its closure. Brad’s father, Walter, was born in West Texas and came to Yuma before the turn of the 20th Century. Brad was the first of his family to go to college, a goal which he achieved entirely on his own initiative and effort in spite of the Great Depression. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1933. Brad married Ruth Victoria Maye, August 17, 1937 in Tucson. She preceded him in death in 1999. He is survived by two children, son Michael Jean Bradford of Phoenix, Arizona and daughter Julie Wayne Battenfield of Omaha, Nebraska. He was blessed with six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. At the outbreak of WWII Brad enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned a Lt. J.G. He was discharged three and a half years later as a Lt. Commander, having been stationed in San Francisco and Honolulu. After the war Brad returned to Yuma with his wife and two children where he had a successful career as an agent for New York Life Insurance Company until retirement. Brad served eight years in the Arizona State Legislature as a Representative from District 5. He was a member of the Arizona State Board of Regents, the supervising body for the Arizona University System. He served fourteen years on the Board having been originally appointed by Gov. Ernest McFarland and then reappointed by Gov. Samuel Goddard. He was a life member of the Elks Club in Yuma and a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Mass and memorial service will be held at the St. Thomas Mission across the river from Yuma at 10:00 a.m. on January 11, 2008. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 East Flower, Phoenix, Arizona 85014.
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