Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

August 12, 2013

Chandor Gardens benefactor dies


Special to the Democrat

A Weatherford man instrumental in restoration of the historical Chandor Gardens died Wednesday, Aug. 7, at a Fort Worth hospital.

Charles Bradford was born April 11, 1934, in Petrolia. He served in the United States Army two years and was a business major at Texas Christian University. Over the years, Bradford had many successful business ventures. He was a stock broker, invested in self-service car washers, storage warehouses in seven states and later studied ranch management at TCU. That study brought him and his family to the Aledo area, where he raised cutting horses for 25 years.

Friend and neighbor Jamie Bodiford Brinkley said the Bradfords discovered the gardens when they were students at TCU. The historical 3.5-acre garden was developed by famed English portrait artist Douglas Chandor who came to Texas after he married Ina Kuteman, of Weatherford, in 1935.  Chandor’s talent was sought worldwide, and some of his subjects included the young Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

When Bradford and his wife, Melody, purchased Chandor Gardens in 1995, the property had been unattended and overgrown for 20 years. She said restoring the gardens and home was the greatest challenge they ever faced and they spent years clearing and cleaning the debris of decades of neglect..

Brinkley said the Bradfords’ work was a labor of love and was very well done.

“When I think of Chuck Bradford, three words come to mind – integrity, style and class – whether it is with his business endeavors, Chandor Gardens or his personal life and family. Chuck’s philosophy was doing things the right way and first class,” Brinkley said.

Longtime friend and former schoolmate John Campbell agreed with Brinkley’s sentiments and described Mr. Bradford as a great man with a good sense of humor. “Chuck was a very honorable man,” Campbell said.

The Bradfords sold the gardens to the City of Weatherford in 2002. Karen Nantz is facility coordinator for the city and described Mr. Bradford’s humor saying that after the gardens reopened to the public, he would sometimes help give guided tours to visiting groups and he would embellish on its history.

“He would improvise and actually make things up sometimes. He had an incredible sense of humor and always had a twinkle in his eye,” Nantz said.

“All of the citizens of Weatherford owe a debt of gratitude to the Bradfords for their insight and incredible preservation of Chandor Gardens,” Brinkley said, noting that the gardens received a historical marker from the Texas Historical Commission this year.

“Their legacy lives on,” Brinkley said.

A memorial service for Charles Leland “Chuck,” Bradford, 79, is 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Chandor Gardens, 711 West Lee Ave., in Weatherford was Bishop Jack Leo Iker officiating. Memorials may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, 123 South Waco, Weatherford, TX, 76086, or the charity of choice.

Bradford is survived by his wife of 50 years, Melody, of Weatherford; son, Charles Leland Bradford Jr. and wife, Roslyn, of Brenham; daughter, Murray Allen Bradford, of San Antonio; granddaughters, Chandler Lenoir Bradford and Melody Merrick Bradford, both of Brenham; and brother, George David Bradford and wife, Cindy, of Crowley, plus many nieces and nephews.

Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • 0725 one arson.JPG Suspicious house fire under investigation

    The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • CPS data.jpg Case overload

    Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richard Adams Sr. Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges

    A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period. 

    Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Developer withdraws site plan

    ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aledo City Council to meet July 24

    The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.

    July 22, 2014

  • oak leaf ladder shot.jpg Fires damage business, home

    Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear Editor,
     Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 22, 2014

  • ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site

    Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.

    July 22, 2014

  • Registration has begun for Aledo ISD

    Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.

    July 22, 2014

  • County scrambling to fill elections post

    Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.

    July 22, 2014

Must Read
House Ads
Top News
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow