William Otis Bradford, 81, of Billings, passed away peacefully on May 16, 2013. Bill was born on July 18, 1931, in Butte, to Lorren and Catherine Bradford, of Livingston. He married, and is survived by, Jean Painter Bradford on June 14, 1958.
Bill is survived by a daughter, Ann (Scott DeBruler) Bradford, of Seattle; a son, Robert (Karee) Bradford, of Portland, Ore.; and two granddaughters, Kaylee and Rachel Bradford. Also surviving is his sister, Charlotte Hopper, of Lacey, Wash., and sister-in-law Grace Painter, of Helena.
A memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Billings on Friday, June 7, at 11 a.m.
Bill was a 55-year resident of Billings, no doubt to offset a childhood with stops in Livingston; Lewistown; Havre; Helena; Edmonds, Wash.; Bozeman; and finally back to Helena, where he graduated from Helena High School in 1949. He went on to earn a degree in business from Montana State College (MSU) in 1956 — with a slight detour of nearly three years in the army after receiving a personal invitation from Harry Truman. Bill was an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and later served as Province Archon for the national office of SAE.
He spent his entire career with the Internal Revenue Service, and later volunteered at the Billings Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center after retirement. He was also a longtime member of Ashlar Lodge and Scottish Rite, the Elks Lodge, the Billings Jaycees, a 10-year DeMolay adviser, a scout leader and a member of St. Luke’s for over 50 years, serving on the Vestry and as Senior Warden.
He always appreciated a nice car — starting with his first, a 1916 Model T and, later, a 1936 Ford 5-window coupe. Following retirement, Bill and Jean took numerous bike trips, cruises, and traveled to many foreign countries with good friends. He had a terrific, albeit dry, sense of humor, enjoyed golfing, and there wasn’t a puzzle made he couldn’t master.
Bill was an avid Bobcats fan, a member of the MSU Quarterback Club, and rarely missed a home football game — even venturing off to many road and playoff games to support the Cats. In 2011, Bill and Jean were recipients of the Blue and Gold Alumni Award from Montana State for outstanding contributions to the university. Bill was thrilled when both children and both granddaughters chose to attend MSU.
A big thank you to Robin, Laurie and the team from Rocky Mountain Hospice — providing knowledge, comfort and understanding in perfect measure.