James Arnold Bradford was born October 18, 1933 to Harold E. (H.E.) and Nellie Irene (Moss) Bradford. He was born and raised in Parmelee, S.D. He graduated from Bennett County High School in 1951. He passed from this world November 16, 2020.
Jim was a rancher, business owner, coach, referee, teacher, politician, stock contractor, and father.
Jim and his first wife, Dorothy (Hicks), had seven children –Debra, James, David, Teddy, Teresa, Jack, and Tracie.
With his second wife, Shirlee (Bettelyoun), Jim had five more children, Justin, Misty, Stacee, Tyson and Kobe.
Jim was a coach and referee for many years and owned several businesses. Jim was a stock contractor with long-time friend, Joe “Bad” Waln. B & W Rodeo supplied stock for rodeos in S.D. The sport of rodeo and his rodeo family were an important part of his life.
Jim had always wanted to become a teacher and returned to school and achieved this goal. He became an elementary teacher and spent his career at the Wolf Creek Elementary School. Many children over the years have remembered their time spent with him and the things he taught them.
He began his political career in 2000. He spent several terms in both the South Dakota State House of Representatives as well as the S.D. State Senate. He enjoyed his time as a politician and liked to debate about his views.
He spent his retired years with his wife, Shirlee, traveling between his two homes in Pine Ridge and Rapid City. He loved spending time and helping his kids and grandkids with school and life lessons.
He is preceded in death by his parents, H.E. and Irene Bradford, his children, James, Teddy, Teresa, and Jack Bradford. He is survived by his children, Debra (Les) Cotant, Gordon, Neb., David (Sheryl), Canton, S.D., Tracie (Harvey) Hahn, Martin, S.D., Justin, Pine Ridge, S.D., Misty, Tyson, Stacee, and Kobe of Rapid City, S.D., 22 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be Saturday, November 28, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at Martin Community Cemetery.
Cards can be sent to BC Funeral Services, Box 56, Martin, S.D. 57551.