Virginia Elizabeth Brooks Bradford died Tuesday, September 27, 2011, following a brief illness.
She was preceded in death by sisters, Kathleen Murphy and Nell Evans; and a brother, James Brooks.
Survivors include her husband, William C. “Bill” Bradford; sons and daughter-in-law, Michael Joseph Bradford, Mark William Bradford, Mitch Alan and Stephanie Bradford, all of Conyers; sisters, Emma Dennis, Atlanta, and Patricia Maddox, Statesboro; brothers, Emory Brooks, Lawrenceville, Bill Brooks, Smyrna, and Davis Brooks, Rome; grandchildren, Laurie, Mollie, Tyler, Daniel, Andrew, Jarrett, Davis; and great-grandchildren, Isabelle and Beth.
Mrs. Bradford was born in Jackson County on November 9, 1929 the daughter of the late Earnest and Rose Haggard Brooks. Her mother died when she was 11 years old, leaving a family of nine children. Her father later married the children's first grade teacher, Hester Tanner, who became an important figure in her life. She graduated high school in 1948 from the Berry Schools in Rome and studied Early Childhood Education at Berry College. After leaving Berry, she was employed by The First National Bank of Atlanta in the bookkeeping department. It was in Atlanta that she became reacquainted with Mr. Bradford who had been a high school classmate at Berry. They met again at the old Plaza Drugstore on North Highland Avenue and discovered their apartments were only a few miles apart with hers in the old Candler Mansion in Inman Park and his in a home on Springdale Road. They eventually married on October 30, 1955. In 1962, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford and their two young sons, Mike and Mark, moved from Atlanta to Conyers to live on the old family farm home place of Mr. Bradford's mother, Belle Wilson Bradford. Third son Mitch was born in 1965. In 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford established the first professional child care center in the county, and operated Bradford's Day Care for ten years before selling the successful business. It is still in operation. Following a few years of early retirement, Mrs. Bradford began a new career as substitute teacher for the county and then as permanent teacher for the Rockdale Head Start program. For many years she utilized her love for teaching small children and her skill for leading a disciplined classroom for the benefit of hundreds of children. Her exceptional wit and sense of humor was also important to her success in the classroom as well as to the enjoyment of family, friends and all who met her. She finally retired at the age of 75, and enjoyed traveling with her husband as well as trips with her beloved four sisters. Her family was the most important thing in her life, and she will be missed by each and every one.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Rockdale Baptist Church, 1295 Smyrna Road, Conyers, GA 30094 the with Revs. Fred Maddox and Billy Moss officiating. Burial will be at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens.
Family will receive friends Friday, September 30, from 2 until 4 p.m. and 6 until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Those who wish may honor her memory by contributing to a favorite charity.
Condolences may be submitted on-line at www.scotward.com.
Scot Ward Funeral Services, Conyers, is in charge of arrangements.