Dewey Bradford

Dewey Bradford

Keeper of the Widows and Orphans


Bernice C. Alien

It is 1997 and the time of fast pace living and never enough time for all we want to do. Some say the old fashioned values of visiting with and helping neighbors has slowed down a good deal… every time I hear these kinds of complaints I think of my dear friend and cousin, Dewey Bradford who remains the helper to many even into his own seventies.

Dewey and his Margaret have lived in Rising Fawn most of their lives, where Dewey kept a barber shop and also did carpentry work until his retirement a few years ago. Margaret taught school at the Rising Fawn School and worked as a substitute in the post office for many years. They raised and educated two sons and have one grandson, Bruce, of whom they are rightfully proud. Both have earned the respect and love of many people by their consistent love and consideration and helpfulness of their fellow citizens.

Dewey laughingly goes on his way to help his ‘widows and orphans as he calls those who feel free to call on him for tasks such as lighting the pilot lights, repairing a faucet, and other necessary chores that are beyond some of us. And some who don’t ‘call might well be checked up on now and then to ensure that they are not in need of his services… which are not small indeed, and can loom very large to the elderly and some not so elderly. Dewey is not a handy-man, but rather does these things from the goodness of his heart. Margaret lets him.

One community service with a priceless value that he has done for the last dozen years or so, is making grave-markers for the many unmarked graves in local cemeteries. Dewey and Margaret together encourage anyone who knows the names of people in these unmarked graves to give them the information. They will make the stones free of charge and place them in the proper places.

Dewey has created forms in which he casts the stones, and Margaret inscribes them. They have placed the names of far more than a hundred people on graves where it would very soon be impossible to establish identity.

It has been a privileged to know them and be their friend.

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