Nancy Carol Barton Bradford was born September 24, 1934 to Lloyd Lional and Williamelia Frost Barton, in Monticello, UT, the fifth of eleven treasured children.
She returned to the arms of her earthly and heavenly parents the night of February 19, 2017 at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, NM, her earthly body overcome by sepsis and heart failure.
Nancy started grade school in the venerable Miss Bradshaw’s classroom and often told of the two Texas sisters she had for fifth and sixth grade who chewed tobacco and spit into their hankies.
She played clarinet in the high school band, received the Outstanding Student Award in ninth grade, was art editor for the school paper, on the yearbook staff, and in the pep club.
She met Cleal Bradford — a Blanding boy — when he showed up at a Sadie Hawkin’s dance in Monticello in April of 1950. Though Nancy had taken a date, she danced “many times” with Cleal.
They began dating regularly and were engaged on her 16th birthday, marrying three weeks later on October 12, 1950 in the Mesa Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Their 66 years of love, service and devotion is an example to their posterity, which began with four sons and three daughters and has now grown to 48 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
When Nancy was 12-years-old, she was visiting relatives in Salt Lake City, and while crossing a street, she was hit by a car on her right hip. That injury would result in hip surgery a year later and three subsequent hip replacements before the joint had to be removed altogether.
She went from a pronounced limp to using a cane, to crutches to twenty years in a wheelchair, which became her only mode of transportation after her right leg was removed last year.
However, her physical handicap never handicapped her zest for life; she loved parties and fixing meals and gathering her family around her.
“Family” included foster children, Indian Placement and foreign exchange students, and lonely people in town who needed a place to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
A lifelong active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nancy loved the gospel and served faithfully in many church callings throughout her lifetime. She attended the Monticello Temple regularly.
She and her husband lived in Blanding for most of their married lives. They started the Patio Drive-in and The Flower Shop.
Nancy was very talented, creative and an excellent cook. She loved the color “clean.” She composed poetry, enjoyed drawing and painting, sewed clothing, drew up house plans, catered meals, and was well-known for the beautiful cakes she decorated. She also loved traveling.
When her firstborn son was in high school, she returned to school and graduated in the same ceremony as he did. Later in life, she took a few college classes.
Her greatest accomplishment, besides raising her children and loving her grandchildren, was supporting her husband in his varied businesses and his many civic and church callings. The hospitality and meals enjoyed at her table by influential guests benefitted everything from education to health to water resources valuable to San Juan County.
Nancy is survived by her husband, Cleal; daughter Terri (Tom Winder); son Mark (Julie); daughter Valorie (Jason Rampton); son Andrew (Elena); daughter Lisa (Ivan Carr); and son Kelly (Cindy).
She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers Lloyd Lawrence, Silas, Bob, Stanley and Allen; oldest son Calvyn Boyd and his wife Ramona; and three grandsons.
Card of thanks
The family of Nancy Bradford would like to thank all those who have expressed love and support — through kind words, shared thoughts, and good deeds — since her passing. She left a pain-filled body as her youthful spirit undoubtedly danced away in freedom.
Also, we want to recognize the medical staff, especially Dr. McCullough, at Blue Mountain Hospital for their extensive care of Mom over the past year. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by good people in a caring community.