Grady Bradfield

From 2004

A man of vision

Ex-commissioner loved to laugh

“He enjoyed campaigning so much because he got to meet people who never would have,” said Martha, his wife of 67 years.

The Yellow Spring stalwart died last Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va., at the age of 89.

“The best way I can think to describe Grady is he enjoyed life,” said longtime friend Steve Slonaker. “He enjoyed his friends and people. He liked to laugh and he liked to talk and tell stories.”

But there was a serious side to him as well.

“He could be just as firm as he was joking,” Slonaker said. “He had a conscience that kind of steered his course.”

That conscience led him to take an early stand advocating for a new hospital in Hampshire County.

“He foresaw that need and laid some groundwork for that,” Slonaker said.

Bradfield served on the County Commission from 1992 to 2004. The new Hampshire Memorial Hospital opened in 2011.

“We’ve got it now and it was needed,” Slonaker said.

Likewise, Bradfield played a part when the county decided to build the nursing home.

“That was good foresight,” Slonaker said, “and it’s paying dividends every day.”

The former government worker turned trucker turned farmer pushed into more than politics.

“He was very community oriented,” Martha said.  He was a member of the Lions Club and the Capon Valley Ruritans. His love of old cars led him to join an antique car club in Winchester. 

In 2011, Grady Bradfield was in the 1st class of the County Commission’s honorees, where his service to the Region 8 Planning Commission and his role on the Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Foundation board was noted.

“He was a real gentleman,” Jerry Giffin of Capon Bridge said. “We just loved him to death.”

A service for Bradfield will be conducted at a later date. To read his full obituary, turn to page 2A. 

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