Irene Mae Bradfield

November 17, 1924August 26, 2013

Irene Bradfield, a writer and resident of Gresham for 49 years, passed away on Monday, August 26, 2013 at her home. A funeral will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, August 31 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 507 W. Powell Blvd. Interment will follow at Lincoln Memorial Park, 11801 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd, Portland. She was born November 17, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the fifth of seven children of Edward and Lillian Mantoen. Her father was a printer’s pressman, which she said accounted for the “printer’s ink” in her veins. During WWII she worked in Washington DC as a “Government Girl,” in the War Department at the Pentagon, one of thousands of young women who used their secretarial and administrative skills to further the war effort. She received a Meritorious Service Award in 1947 from the War Department. After the war she returned to St. Paul, Minnesota, and worked as a secretary for the Corp of Engineers from 1947 to 1953. She met her future husband Billy Bradfield at a square dance class and they were married September 15, 1951. They had three children, Nancy, Stephen, and Douglas and were married 53 years until Bill’s death in 2005. Irene fulfilled her dream to attend college as a member of the first graduating class of Mt. Hood Community College in 1968 with a degree in journalism. In 1982 she earned a BA degree in Communications/Management from Marylhurst College. She worked as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers in Portland including the Gresham Outlook, the Community Press, the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian. She returned to civil service, doing public relations work for federal agencies. She retired in 1984 but continued to work as a freelance writer. Her writings included editing a 75-year history of her congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church in Gresham, a history of the beginnings of Mt. Hood Community College titled “Lest We Forget,” numerous articles and photos published in local and regional publications and a novel. She received triple honors in 1984 at the Willamette Writers Annual Conference: First prize for non-fiction, Best Manuscript and Conference Grand Prize for her article on Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an avid letter writer and corresponded regularly with family and friends. Irene is survived by a sister Elsie Skoog of Seattle, Washington, her daughter Nancy Sayler of New Canaan, Connecticut , three grandchildren Laura, Eric and Brian Sayler, and her son Stephen Bradfield of Gresham.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 31, 2013
  • Graveside Service Saturday, August 31, 2013

Irene Mae Bradfield

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Susan Isaacs

August 30, 2013

Irene was a smart, warm and caring person with a great sense of humor and a talent for writing and research. Always supportive and encouraging, Irene had a kind word for everyone. Our wonderful memories of her will stay with us, along with a cache of those terrific letters. Our condolences to the Bradfield and Mantoen families. Wish I could be with you at the service. Love and prayers, Susan

August 30, 2013

We are thinking of you all. Our deepest sympathy and love. We will miss Irene, her quick smile. her knowledge and her many special cards that always included a memorable picture. A legacy to remember. Martha and Bob

Joe May

August 29, 2013

It is hard to imagine a better aunt, make that person, than Irene. When I've delved into a box of memorabilia of mine, I invariably find cards and letters from Irene. She was generous with her time (writing extensively on those cards and letters) and her love. She had a great fun-loving spirit and laughed easily. Irene was another member of that greatest generation that will be sorely missed! I am comforted by the thought of her being reunited with her husband Bill and son Doug. My condolences to her family and friends.

The Staff of Bateman Carroll Funeral Home

August 28, 2013

Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.