Obituaries » Mary Ann Bird Bradford
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March 10, 1936 - June 1, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
Mary Ann Bird Bradford passed away peacefully on June 1, 2021 in Bountiful Utah at the age of 85. She was born March 10, 1936 in Mapleton, Utah the daughter of Freeman Crandall and Eva Marchbanks Bird. She is the youngest of six children with two brothers, Robert Freeman Bird and Norman Willis Bird, and three sisters, Virginia (Bird) Allred, Genevieve (Bird) Whiting (twins), and Barbara Joyce (Bird) Robertson. Her siblings left home for school, military service, careers and marriage through her early years in Mapleton; these brothers and sisters and her aging parents loved and nurtured their littlest, Mary Ann. As a youngster she adored occasional times they gathered at home to eat and sing around the piano; at age 8, before the close of WWII, she marked and mourned with them the passing of her military brother, Norman. She grew to be popular with school friends and activities, and cherished her small valley home and community with its view of Maple Mountain.
Mary Ann attended one year at Brigham Young University. She married William Rawsel Bradford June 22, 1955 shortly after he returned from serving an LDS mission to Japan. Soon after they were married Bill was called into military service in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There the oldest two of Bill and Mary Ann’s six children were born.
They moved back to Utah after military service, living in Pleasant Grove a short time where their third child was born. In 1960 they relocated to Mission, Texas near the Mexican border where Bill established a citrus and truck garden farm. Through fifteen long years in South Texas they raised their family and developed their livelihood. The family lived in a couple of homes in Mission and later in several in neighboring McAllen. Mary Ann reared the six children, the last three born in Mission, and served in various assignments in the fledgling branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alongside Bill who was learning Spanish and serving in assignments within the full district of the church.
Mary Ann and Bill enjoyed taking their family and friends to the Gulf of Mexico along the coast, and to Padre Island. Bill would fish from his boat in the gulf waters while Mary Ann and friends with all the children drove their station wagons onto the island’s sands – and opened the tailgates! These trips to the coast brought in pounds of fish and forged relationships and much-loved friend and family time!
In early 1975, Bill and Mary Ann were called to preside over the Chile, Santiago Mission. At age 39, Mary Ann set aside life as she had known it and with five of the six children, accompanied Bill to South America, a Mission President’s wife. At the October 1975 LDS General Conference Bill was called as one of three men to serve as new members of the reorganized First Quorum of the Seventy. Mary Ann again shifted job descriptions and future expectations and steadily over the next 28 years accompanied this General Authority for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as beloved wife and companion. Alongside him she traveled and served extensively. From 2006-2009 Elder and Sister Bradford served as president and matron of the Houston Texas temple.
Mary Ann has given her life to service. Brought from her home and family in Mapleton, Utah to the border of this country and beyond, her life-service has been to her husband and children. She has, besides, every day included others: her husband’s family, neighbors, church friends and associates, missionaries, temple-goers, the needy and troubled. She seldom lived close to her married children and grandchildren, though she communicated constantly with phone calls, personal cards and letters and by e-mail. Mary Ann understood how important it would be for her growing family to know her, hear her voice, and receive her testimony of Jesus Christ; and her love – and His – for them. She loved receiving phone calls and letters and e-mails in return. Her favorite scripture – which she would quote often – is 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Mary Ann is survived by her six children: Natalie (Kent) Holbrook, Marcia (Brent) Nielson, Mark (Valerie) Bradford, Laura (Sharman) Smoot, Sarah (Glen) Hale and Chris Bradford; 28 grandchildren; 60 great-grandchildren. Her husband, parents and siblings preceded her in death.
A private family memorial service will be held June 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Russon Mortuary, 295 N. Main St, Bountiful, Utah. The service will be live streamed on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and will be posted below at around 9:50 a.m.
Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery (2224 South 200 West, Bountiful, Utah) following the funeral service.