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Apex Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Bruce Alan Radford

March 23, 1955August 11, 2021
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Bruce Alan Radford, 66, of Apex, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at home with his beloved wife, Kelly.

Bruce was born March 23, 1955 in Fayetteville. He never stayed in one place very long, as his father was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army. This constant moving was certainly a factor in his ability to make new friends and adapt to new locations, which served him well in his career as town manager!

When his family moved one last time from South Dakota to NC, Bruce walked in to Smithfield-Selma (SSS) High School wearing the latest South Dakota fashion: bellbottom pants embroidered with flowers. An astute observer of people, Bruce showed up the next day in khaki pants and a button down. Following that, he settled in nicely at SSS where he served with pride as drum major. Many years later he was inducted into the SSS Alumni Hall of Fame for his many years of community service, this time wearing a suit.

Bruce graduated from SSS in 1973, then spent four years in the United Sates Air Force honorably discharging as a sergeant. He attended Campbell University on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1983. Following that, as a life-long learner he also attended the Appalachian State University Town and City, County Management Program. He completed courses at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Government and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Bruce served as town manager for several municipalities including Troy, Washington, Mount Olive, Selma and most recently retiring from the town of Apex where he served for over 14 years. His proudest career achievement was leading Apex into the number 1 “best place to live” spot in Money Magazines rating of “Best Places to Live in America” in 2015.

In 1997 Bruce served as President of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce; in 1998 he was awarded Citizen of the Year in Smithfield-Selma. He was Rotary Club of Apex’s Jim Weaver “Service Above Self” Award winner. He was also a proud member of the American Legion. He was deeply honored to be recognized in 2015 by Governor Pat McCrory with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine which is the highest award in NC for state service.

Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Marvin and his mother Eula Mae “Lee” Radford. He is survived by the two loves of his life, his beloved wife Kelly Martin Radford and daughter Alexandra L. Radford (“Ally”).

As many of you may know, Bruce was adopted. In the last few years, Bruce was able to meet many of his biological family members, which gave him great joy. Bruce Radford never met a stranger, and he left everyone he met feeling better about themselves. He was a huge presence in many, many lives and will be deeply missed.

A funeral service will be held 2pm Saturday, August 21, 2021 at Apex Funeral Home Chapel, 550 W. Williams St., Apex, NC 27502. Burial with military honors will follow the service at Apex Cemetery. The family will receive friends 1pm – 2pm prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to www.ApexFuneral.net

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Michael Saunders, Pallbearer
  • Michael Kanters, Pallbearer
  • Sean Kanters, Pallbearer
  • Pryer Gibson, Pallbearer
  • Chip Warren, Pallbearer
  • Keith Weatherly, Pallbearer
  • Mike Sayers, Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, August 21, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, August 21, 2021

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Memories

Bruce Alan Radford

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Matt Runyan

September 28, 2021

As a volunteer firefighter, I had the occasion to work with Bruce from time to time. Sometimes it was a good day like the holiday lunches, others it was a tough day (or days) like the EQ fire and other incidents that affected the town. What I remember most about him is that he always took care of the people he was responsible for, both the employees and residents of the town. Thanks for all the support over the years, Bruce!

Barbara Boob

September 13, 2021

Bruce was a dear family friend. I will always remember him. My prayers and thoughts go out to family and friends. Thank you for all of the fond memories that you shared.

Doris McMilan

August 20, 2021

Bruce and I were classmates from SSS class of 73. My fondest memory was in Feb.2020. I cooked dinner at my daughters house in Raleigh ,N.C.. Bruce and Kelly came and we had a ball. Plenty of food, lots of fun and great fellowship. I will miss my friend. Sleep In Peace Bruce. Your classmate Doris McMillan.

Bonnie Moore

August 19, 2021

Kelly Leroy and I are so sorry to hear about your loss. We knew Bruce growing up. Marvin and Lee were some of our best friends. We al l attended West Calvary in West Smithfield. Everyone who knew Bruce loved him. He was a special man. Our prayers are with you and Ally. Love and hugs to you.

Gary Austin

August 17, 2021

Vicki & I are praying for both Kelly & Alex during this very difficult time.

I first met Bruce when he bought a home one house away. We immediately struck up a friendship that I will not forget. Bruce first met me as he met everyone - with a smile and big roundhouse handshake that made you feel welcome, important and appreciated.

I enjoyed every moment with Bruce because he was always optimistic. Bruce spent every moment hoping to find humor and good in others. This also applied to daily events, activities and life's challenges.

I already miss his "surprise" trips, our alley cookouts and the occasional "Drive-By-Margarita". I am proud to have had him as a friend and will miss him deeply. Again, our thoughts and prayers are for Kelly & Alex. If there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to call upon us.

Gary & Vicki Austin

Nan Holcomb

August 16, 2021

I never met Bruce but he was the reason that there is an Anderson St Soap company. Throughout all its many changes in the 20 years since, Bruce was a kind and meaningful memory of my now deceased husband David Holcomb, the creator of said soap company. It was under the influence and tutelage of Bruce that David had the confidence to take his first steps into the craftsman/artisan world of all natural and nutrition based skincare and opened a shop on Anderson St in Selma.
Bruce will be greatly missed!

George Delahooke

August 16, 2021

I met Bruce in high school at SSS. We became friends like we had known each other our whole life. He was "one of a kind" The kind our world needs more of. Glad we got a chance to reconnect a couple of years back with other classmates eating lunch and exchanging stories. He will be missed and so glad he and I were friends.

George Miser

August 15, 2021

Bruce and I met when I was a volunteer fire fighter at Apex and he had just become town manager. When he moved to his current home and was recovering from being sick, I sat on the front porch with him and talked for hours. He was so kind and easy yo be around. As I got ready to leave that day, Bruce looked at me and said "George don't work so much slow down and enjoy life - its too short". I smiled and said thats the truth. Bruce is one of the few people in my life that touched me with a lifetime impact. So blessed to call him a friend. Good bless you sir.

Linda Cornetti

August 15, 2021

Bruce hadn't been in West Smithfield long before my siblings and I got to know him. They both went to school with him and our daddy had known his parents growing up. Those parents could never have known the day they took that wee bundle home from the hospital ( at four days old, as I recall) that they had been blessed with such an exceptional individual. Those of us who have known him can agree he is one of a kind. Warm, intelligent, thoughtful, fun, adventurous. If his uniqueness is in question, look at all the photos of him eating and drinking while forever remaining the leanest man in town! I am sure his legacy will be a comfort to those who dearly love him, but for now the notion of life without him seems impossible. I'm so sorry.

Suzanne Magnus

August 15, 2021

I met Bruce around 2007 at the start of The Villages of Apex. I will never forget how awesome he was and how welcoming. What a wonderful man. So sorry to read about his passing.

FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Bruce was born March 23, 1955 in Fayetteville. He never stayed in one place very long, as his father was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army. This constant moving was certainly a factor in his ability to make new friends and adapt to new locations, which served him well in his career as town manager!

When his family moved one last time from South Dakota to NC, Bruce walked in to Smithfield-Selma (SSS) High School wearing the latest South Dakota fashion: bellbottom pants embroidered with flowers. An astute observer of people, Bruce showed up the next day in khaki pants and a button down. Following that, he settled in nicely at SSS where he served with pride as drum major. Many years later he was inducted into the SSS Alumni Hall of Fame for his many years of community service, this time wearing a suit.

Bruce graduated from SSS in 1973, then spent four years in the United Sates Air Force honorably discharging as a sergeant. He attended Campbell University on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1983. Following that, as a life-long learner he also attended the Appalachian State University Town and City, County Management Program. He completed courses at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Government and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Bruce served as town manager for several municipalities including Troy, Washington, Mount Olive, Selma and most recently retiring from the town of Apex where he served for over 14 years. His proudest career achievement was leading Apex into the number 1 “best place to live” spot in Money Magazines rating of “Best Places to Live in America” in 2015.

In 1997 Bruce served as President of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce; in 1998 he was awarded Citizen of the Year in Smithfield-Selma. He was Rotary Club of Apex’s Jim Weaver “Service Above Self” Award winner. He was also a proud member of the American Legion. He was deeply honored to be recognized in 2015 by Governor Pat McCrory with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine which is the highest award in NC for state service.

Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Marvin and his mother Eula Mae “Lee” Radford. He is survived by the two loves of his life, his beloved wife Kelly Martin Radford and daughter Alexandra L. Radford (“Ally”).

As many of you may know, Bruce was adopted. In the last few years, Bruce was able to meet many of his biological family members, which gave him great joy. Bruce Radford never met a stranger, and he left everyone he met feeling better about themselves. He was a huge presence in many, many lives and will be deeply missed.