John W. Bradford ’61

John W. Bradford ’61 died on November 10, 2016, in Yarmouth, Maine.

(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, November 13, 2016:)

YARMOUTH – John Wilson Bradford, 78, died on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, at his home in Yarmouth, after a long illness. He also was a resident of Phippsburg.

He was born in Portland, the son of Dura Shaw and Elizabeth Wilson Bradford.

He was a 1956 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School. Mr. Bradford also attended Deerfield Academy and was a 1961 graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was a member of the Meddiebempsters. For a year following his graduation in 1961, Mr. Bradford served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

For most of his career, from 1968 to the sale of the business in 1997, Mr. Bradford managed the Sebasco Lodge resort in Phippsburg (now the Sebasco Harbor Resort) with his wife, Dorothy Dana Bradford, whose parents had purchased the business with its 600-acre property in 1959. Prior to Sebasco, Mr. Bradford was employed by the Oxford Paper Company in Rumford (now Mead Corp.), and from 1973 to 1976, he worked for Bath Iron Works as a financial analyst.

For many years after his retirement from Sebasco, Mr. Bradford enjoyed something of a new career in archaeology and Maine history, with which he was always fascinated. He was actively involved in the nearby excavation of the original 1607 colony of Fort Saint George near Popham Beach, directed by Dr. Jeffrey P. Brain of Harvard. Between 1997 and 2013, the group’s targeted excavations revealed the ruins of much of the original colony as well as thousands of artifacts. Mr. Bradford also took an avid interest in the pinnace Virginia, constructed by the Popham colonists and the first commercial-grade ship ever built in Maine. He was a founding member of Maine’s First Ship, an organization devoted to public education about the Virginia and to constructing a replica of the craft.

In recent years, Mr. Bradford taught a course at Maine Senior College, entitled “England, France and the Wabanaki: Cultural Chaos in Seventeenth Century Maine.”

Mr. Bradford is survived by his wife, Dee Dee. Also surviving are a son, Mark D. Bradford, of Brooklyn N.Y.; a daughter, Jennifer N. Bradford, of Beacon N.Y.; and two grandchildren, Matthew Bradford and Andrew Bradford, of Brooklyn N.Y.

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