Samuel Joseph Bradford

December 5, 1919October 27, 2018

Samuel Bradford passed away on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the age of 98. He was born in LaGrange, Georgia on Dec. 5, 1919, to Samuel and Mary Bradford.

Samuel spent his childhood growing up in the country side around La Grange where he was the fourth of six children, three older sisters, Vera, Lena, and Ruth. A younger sister Lillian and a younger brother Lowell. When WWII broke out he joined the Army Air Corp. where he served flying with the 721st Bomb Squadron of the 450th Bomb Group(H), 15th Air Force based in Manduria, Italy in mainly B-24H & J four engine heavy bombers. During his time in Italy he made a few life long friends one being Roy Corson of Boston, Mass. It was at this time in Italy, that he and Roy made an agreement that if they survived the war Roy would drive down to Georgia and pick Sam up and they would drive around and see America. So after Sam and Roy were discharged from the military in late 1945. The two of them did just that. Until they reached Los Angeles, at which point Sam turned to Roy and said, this is as far as I'm going. He had found paradise.

In 1948 Sam met Madeline Lajigian, who had come to LA in 1943 from Detroit, MI, on the steps of the LA County courthouse where Sam was paying a traffic fine. They started dating and eventually married on April 2, 1949 settling in Pacoima, Ca. and on Oct. 23, 1952 they had two sons, Samuel J. Bradford Jr. and Stephen J. Bradford. During his time in LA, Samuel worked for United Parcel Service being one of the first employees they ever hired. His route consisted of delivering furniture between LA and San Diego, but after ten years of living in paradise, it was time to move. So in 1956, Sam, Madeline, and their two sons packed up and moved to Fresno, Ca. where Madeline's immediate family lived. In 1958 they bought their first house at 3067 E. Harvard where they lived for 18 years and in 1976 they built their dream home at 629 W. Fremont. During their fifty-four year marriage they owned several properties in Shaver Lake, Cambria, and Puerta Villarte, Mexico. But their passion was traveling the world, which they did for decades, to virtually every place imaginable. Even attending a wedding in Italy in 1970 of the daughter of one of two Italian soldiers he befriended while stationed in Italy during the war and whom he found 20 years later in a small village in northern Italy.

When Sam moved to Fresno he obtained his Real Estate license and eventually became a Real Estate Broker which he held until his death. In 1981 Sam founded Bradford Messenger Service which he owned until 2001. At the time of his selling the business to Norco Delivery service, BMS had become the second largest courier service in the central valley employing over 40 people.

In 2003 Sam lost his wife Madeline, of fifty-four years but 5 years later found love again when he and Shirley Riggs met and eventually married on Dec. 24, 2008. They moved to the California Veteran's Home on April 2018 where he lived until his passing.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley and her daughter Kathy and son Michael and their children; a son Stephen Bradford, a granddaughter Kristin Bradford.

A Graveside Service will be held at Belmont Memorial Park on Wednesday November 7, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.

Donations in his memory may be made to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301,Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.


  • Disabled American Veterans


  • Graveside Service Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Samuel Joseph Bradford

have a memory or condolence to add?