Life Story / Obituary
Gracious, sweet, and generous to all who were near, Dorothy Bradfield was a blessing in the lives of all who were within her reach.
It was during the exciting Roaring Twenties that Dorothy Lucille was welcomed into the world on April 10, 1927, by her parents, Stephen and Ida (Olson) Sandwell, in Marion, Kansas. The oldest of eight, she was joined in her family by her siblings, Norma Jean, Lucy, James, Mary, Evelyn, Cora, and Ken. Dorothy’s father was a farmer while her mother was a homemaker. Living on their farm meant that Dorothy helped with daily chores, and as the oldest she also helped her mother care for her younger siblings. They grew wheat and also had cattle, chickens, and pigs. Dorothy attended local schools through the eighth grade, and she got her first job at the jewelry counter at Duckwalls Department Store.
New and exciting changes were in store for Dorothy when she met Charles Bradfield while traveling on a train, the “Doodle Bug.” He was from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and traveling to Ft. Riley, Kansas as he was in the Army during WWII. They wrote letters to one another while he was gone and decided to marry when he returned. They exchanged their vows on August, 28, 1946, in McPherson, Kansas, and the newlyweds then settled into an apartment at his parents’ home on Scribner, NW, in his hometown of Grand Rapids. Together they were blessed with three children, Gloria, Gary, and Sue. The family later moved into a home on Warwick Street in Grand Rapids and then moved to 84 Larry Street in Cutlerville.
Dorothy was deeply devoted to her family. She was a wonderful cook of things like meat and potatoes, chicken, roasts, and chicken soup with homemade noodles, and she was also an amazing baker whose pies, cakes, breads, and cookies were family favorites. Dorothy made a heart shaped cake every Valentine’s Day. They traveled to visit her relatives in Kansas each year, and Dorothy and her husband also traveled to Branson, Missouri, and Mackinac Island. She made every day special for her family, and she was sure to be there for the activities of all of her grandkids and great-grandkids. Dorothy always made all of her family members feel special in their own unique way. She was a fabulous letter writer, and she faithfully sent cards to her family members for holidays and on all their special days.
Throughout her life Dorothy was one to keep busy. She was a longtime member of Carlisle United Methodist Church in Byron Center where she volunteered in a variety of ways. Dorothy also volunteered within her community in other ways as well. She loved old television shows like Lawrence Welk, and as an avid Detroit Tigers fan she often watched their games on television. Dorothy looked forward to the “girls weekend” with her daughters, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters every year.
On June 12, 1985, Dorothy was deeply saddened with the death of her husband. Although she missed him dearly, her unwavering faith and the love of her family sustained her during this time. Dorothy kept busy with her friends and with her church, and she remained in good health until just this past year.
A fantastic wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, Dorothy Bradfield will never be forgotten.
Dorothy L. Bradfield, aged 91 of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Trillium Woods Hospice. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Bradfield, her brother James Sandwell, and her sister, Norma Jean (Ed) Tussey. She is survived by her children, Gloria (Allen) Palmbos, Gary (Kathy) Bradfield, Sue (Jim) Patnoude; grandchildren, Heather (James), Nichole (Rob), Jen (Ed), Christy (James), Scott (Kari), Justin (Mindy), Sarah (Nick); 14 great grandchildren; brothers and sisters, all of Kansas; Lucy Janzen, Evelyn Sandwell, Mary (Bob) Roblin, Cora Rogers, Kenny (Margie) Sandwell; many nieces, nephews and friends. Dorothy was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to all who knew her. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. She was a longtime member of Carlisle United Methodist Church. Cremation has taken place. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Tuesday, November 27, at 11:00 am at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Burial in Brooklawn Cemetery. Family and friends may visit the family at the funeral home on Monday, Nov, 26, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Contributions in her memory may be made to Carlisle United Methodist Church. To read more about Dorothy’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com