Ralph Eugene Bradford Jr., of Columbia, died Jan. 26, 2015. Memorial service for Ralph Eugene Bradford Jr. will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 2, 2015, at Northeast Presbyterian Church. Burial will precede the service at 12:00 noon Monday in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church Memorial Garden. The family will receive visitors from 4-8 pm on Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 818 S. Kings Grant Drive. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. Mr. Bradford died Monday, January 26, 2015. Born March 29, 1930, in Columbia, he was the son of the late Ralph Eugene Bradford Sr. and Martha Lovvorn Melton. A 1948 graduate of Dreher High School, he attended The Citadel from 1948-1950 where he was a member of the boxing and track teams. He transferred to the University of South Carolina in order to enroll in the Air Force ROTC program and was a member of the golf team. After graduation in 1952 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, received his pilot’s wings in 1954, and was stationed at Spangdhalem AirBase, Germany. Upon his return to the United States, he joined the South Carolina Air National Guard (SCANG) in 1957 and was stationed at McEntire Air Base until 1982. During these years he served in a variety of duties to include Fighter Pilot, Squadron Commander and executive Support Staff Officer. He achieved numerous awards and decorations during his service. He retired on July 2, 1984, as Chief of Staff, Headquarters SCANG with the rank of Major General. During his retirement he spent the majority of his time on the golf course, playing bridge and poker, and enjoying the beach with friends and family. He attended Northeast Presbyterian Church where he was past president and member of The Good News Sunday School class. He married the love of his life, Betty Ann Williams in 1952 who predeceased him in 2011. He is survived by his brother, Fraser Bradford; daughters, Beth Kincaid (Terry), Laura Meggs, Ann Lonon (Gerald); son, Ralph Bradford III; grandchildren, Brad Martz (Kem), Jennifer Jernigan, Jake Meggs (Natalie), Jennifer Meggs, Andrew Lonon, Lizzie Lonon, Marianna Lonon, and Joseph Lonon; great-grandchildren, Ellie and Ford Martz. The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to all the medical staff at Providence Hospital for their love and care during his time there. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Oliver Gospel Mission, 1100 Taylor Street, PO Box 7791, Columbia, SC 29201 or Northeast Presbyterian Church Nicaragua Missions, 601 Polo Road, Columbia, SC 29223. Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.
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