Obituary of James Elden Bradford
James Elden Bradford
“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart” --Mahatma Gandhi
James Elden Bradford passed away peacefully on December 3, 2023. James Bradford was born December 10, 1928, in Philadelphia, PA. He spent his childhood and early adult years in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 1951 he received his draft paperwork and went to serve in the U. S. Army as a Platoon Sargeant with the 24th Division in Korea. He met and married the love of his life, Rebecca. They moved to Winter Haven, FL. in the mid 1950’s where his business career included 20 years with First Federal Savings and Loan, retiring from there he went on to spend the last 15 years of his career with the Polk County Tax Collector’s Office. He was an active member during this in the Winter Haven Lion’s club serving as President and on various committees. In June of 1969 he found his true servant calling joining Winter Haven Masonic Lodge #186. His Masonic service continued until the time of his passing, receiving his 50-year service award in September of 2019. Over the course of his lifetime within the Masonic Organizations he served as Worshipful Master in 1974. His service continued on within the Grand Lodge of Florida where he was Deputy District Grand Master-1980, State and Zone Chairman for LYPMGC committee 1984-1988, Junior Grand Deacon- 1988, Zone Chairman Grand Master’s Charity Committee-1988, Corporate Board, Grand Lodger- 1990, Masonic Home Board of Trustees, Grand Lodge -1997, Panel Affairs Panel, Grand Lodge- 1998 as well as serving on the Jurisprudence Committee, Grand Lodge- 1999, 2002-2007. He was a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies. He was invested with the Knight Commander Court of Honour and in 1987 he was coronated an Inspector General Honorary 33rd Degree. He was a member of the Lake Region Scottish rite club serving as President in 1978. He was a member of the York Rite Bodies of Winter Haven, Commandery #37, where he served as High Priest in 1976 and Illustrious Master in 1977. A member of St. Sebastian Conclave, receiving the Red Cross of Constantine in 1980. He spent many years in the Masonic light receiving the Grand Cross of Color Rainbow for Girls, while serving on the Advisory Board as he supported his daughters through their time within the organization and beyond. He was a member of the Egypt Temple, Tampa, Florida serving as President of the Director Staff in 1986. James remained an active and dedicated Mason throughout his residency at the Masonic Home until his passing.
James is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Rebecca.
He is survived by his daughters Elizabeth Smith and her husband James, Ellen Wilson and her husband Kevin. His two grandchildren, Jeremiah Begley and his wife Alisha, and Heather Bailey. He was blessed to be survived by 6 great grandchildren who were the light of his life.
Masonic Service to be held at the Masonic Home of Florida, 3201 First Street NE, St. Petersburg, FL on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at 3 PM
Memorial donations may be made to the Masonic Home of Florida in his memory.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Bradford , please visit Tribute Store