Arlette Eleanor (Bergeron) Bradford was born on March 14, 1935, in Albany, N.Y., to Richard (formerly of Quebec, Canada) and Eleanor (Tenney) Bergeron. Arlette departed this life on March 9, 2017, just five days before her 82nd birthday, at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. She was a resident of Rector, Ark., since 1975.
She is survived by Edgar Lee Bradford, Sr., of the home in Rector; a son, Edgar Lee Bradford, Jr. (Sonny) of Rector; a son, James “Michael” Bradford and daughter-in-law, Kimberly (Cossey), of Nashville, Tenn. and a daughter, Laurie Ellen Bradford of McDougal, Ark.; as well as six grandchildren, Colleen Bradford of Russelsheim, Germany (Sonny’s daughter); Jordan Bradford and wife, Mindy, of Syracuse, Ohio, and Isaac Bradford of Nashville, Tenn., (Michael’s sons); Matthew Pumphrey of Anderson, Ind., Sarah Oxford Parks and her husband, Darrell, II, of Jonesboro, Ark., and Joey Cox of Rector, (Laurie’s children). Arlette treasured her eight great-grandchildren, Parker Pumphrey of Paducah, Ky., London Pumphrey of Anderson, Ind., Darrell Parks, III, Adam Parks, Bailey Parks and Kyle Parks of Jonesboro and Grayson Cox of Rector. Just days before her passing, Arlette celebrated the news of another great-grandchild on the way, due to Jordan and Mindy Bradford in October 2017. Britnee Sauters (friend to the family) of Nashville, was especially dear to Arlette, as well as two nieces, Deborah Ortiz and Michelle Klingbeil, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and special friend and neighbor, Tess Jorgensen, of Rector. She had a favorite brother-in-law, James Bradford, of Tulsa, Okla., and leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Arlette was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Richard Struwe of Albany, N.Y., and Lawrence Struwe of Fallbrook, Calif.; a sister, Charlotte Bergeron Smith, of Phoenix, Ariz. and a nephew, Richard Sherlock, also of Phoenix.
At the age of 50, Arlette went back to school to become a nurse and graduated with honors. She scored the highest of her entire class on the state exams and excelled on local, state and national levels with V.I.C.A. She worked for a brief time at The Corning Community Hospital Emergency Room and The Piggott Community Hospital, but spent most of her 28 year nursing career as a Supervisor of Nursing at The Piggott Nursing Center, in Piggott, Ark. In 2006, she was voted “Nurse Of The Year” for the state of Arkansas.
Prior to nursing, Arlette worked in the cafeteria at Rector School Systems, as well as Rector Sportswear and Ely Walker in Kennett, Mo. She was also a forklift driver at U.S. Chemical in Michigan City, Ind., and a bank teller for several years in Indiana when she was very young.
Arlette attended Catholic schools in Albany, N.Y., and graduated from Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, Ariz., at the age of 16 years old. She had a brilliant mind and enjoyed reading and learning, but was best known for her kind spirit.
Arlette was a long-time member of The Blooming Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Rector, where she was active in the church choir and author of the weekly bulletin until her illness. She certainly loved these duties and adored her church family.
Arlette’s passions included cooking, organic gardening, canning vegetables, bowling, square dancing, crocheting and animals. She especially loved horses and her little Dachshund, Bitsy. If you visited Arlette’s greenhouse, you would find her Bible on a table there beside her lawn chair, where she often studied and prayed. She was well-known for encouraging others to look only at the beautiful and positive things in life and to enjoy them fully.
A Celebration Of Life Service was held on March 11, 2017, at The Blooming Grove Missionary Baptist Church, in Rector, with Pastor Jordan Bradford officiating. The eulogy was given by Rev. Owen Little. Worship Pastor and Isaac Bradford presented some of Arlette’s favorite hymns in song on piano; accompanied on guitar by Jordan Bradford and Michael Bradford. Arlette had made her wishes for cremation known and desired a celebration service. She specifically asked that her family and friends celebrate her transition to Heaven with uplifting words and good memories. During the service, loving comments were given by Michael Bradford. He left the audience with this statement--“Arlette Bradford was a rare individual that could take the lemons that life handed her, take time to truly admire the beauty in them, make the most delicious lemonade one had ever tasted and share it with those around her!”