Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

August 12, 2013

Chandor Gardens benefactor dies

By GALE M. BRADFORD

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.

1
Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • IMG_1138.jpg Ride for Heroes a success

    Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • H. Harris.jpg Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates

    Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • D_Davis photo.jpg Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates

    Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anita Callaway.jpg Callaway gets A+

    Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man dies in Farmer Road crash

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire victims' fund established

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.

    April 23, 2014

  • Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project

    The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.

    April 23, 2014

  • Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11

    April 11
    Theft of property

    A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.

    April 23, 2014

  • East Parker County Calendar of Events

    April 24
    Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment

    • 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
    • Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
    • Tickets cost $100.
    • Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
    • Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.  
    • For more information, go to aledoef.org.

    April 23, 2014

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation

    For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.

    April 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers