Marvin Bradford of Milltown, NJ passed away peacefully on July 2, 2019. He was 76 years old.
Born in New Brunswick, NJ, Marvin experienced, some might say survived, an adventurous upbringing in New Brunswick, Somerset, and Edison prior to settling in Milltown for his remaining 52 years. His affability and easy-going personality allowed him to make friends where ever he went. He was loved and respected by many people throughout his full and accomplished lifetime.
Marvin spent his career at Finger’s Radiator Hospital in North Brunswick, working for 43 years as a radiator mechanic. He genuinely enjoyed his work, coworkers, and customers, even returning to the shop to visit the guys after his retirement. He started his career at age 17 as a driver, learned the business, and became the heavy equipment manager, repairing radiators for construction equipment, trucks, buses, tug boats, and barge cranes. He also built customized radiators for antique fire engines, race cars, and even race trucks. He was an amazingly smart guy, performing thermodynamic calculations on the back of a napkin to size these special radiators.
Being the oldest resident on the block, Marvin was the Patriarch of School Street. For over five decades, he reached out to new neighbors and developed strong relationships that tied residents together in a friendly and supportive way.
Marvin pursued many interests throughout his life, always willing and eager to learn something new. From welding and carpentry to photography and flying, he took classes and learned from others in the field. And along the way he made wonderful lifelong friends. He never bragged and rarely told others of his many accomplishments.
Marvin enjoyed supporting his community through generous donations and actively participating in many service organizations. Earlier in his life, he was a member of the Milltown Jaycees, earning the Key Chairman of the Year Award. Marvin was an honorary member of the Milltown Fire Department as recognition for his support and contributions to the department. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, Milltown Lodge #294 and Raritan Valley Lodge #46. Marvin was an active member at the Milltown Lodge, serving for many years as Treasurer and Steward and participating on several committees. He was recognized by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, receiving the White Apron Award for selfless service and dedication.
Marvin was an avid shooter and traveled the country competing in skeet tournaments in NJ, Oregon, and Nevada. He shot 39,400 registered targets in 12 years of competition and was recognized by the National Skeet Shooting Association in 2010 for his accomplishments on the field, earning Class C Second Team national honors. Marvin enjoyed shotgun sports so much he even took a “sporting clays vacation” down south, striking up fun and engaging conversations at every gun club during the adventure. He was a longtime member of the Central Jersey Rifle & Pistol Club and enjoyed shooting with his buddies on weekends and then Tuesday mornings after his retirement. He was honored by the club with the Jerry Schoenbart Sportsman Award in 2007. He shared his love of the sport by patiently teaching many others how to properly handle firearms and introducing them to the joy of shooting.
His love of photography lead to a side career as a wedding photographer and he even helped fill in for a friend and teach a class once. Marvin enjoyed photography so much that he even converted his downstairs bathroom into a development lab. One iconic photo he took was of the World Trade Centers from an airplane flying over the North River in the early 80’s. Fortunately, he was not piloting the aircraft that day, just snapping great photos.
Predeceased by his parents Frederick and Evelyn Bradford. Marvin is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years Karen (née Nielsen), sons and daughters-in-law Darren and Bianca Bradford and Michael and Melissa Bradford, daughter and son-in-law Lauren Bradford and Karvin Ma, three grandchildren: Dallas, Alexander, and Ani Olivia, and siblings Armand Bradford and Leilani and husband John Rojek.
Family and friends will be received Thursday 3 to 7 pm at the Bronson and Guthlein Funeral Home of Milltown. The funeral service will be celebrated Thursday at 6:30 pm at the funeral home. A catered repast will be held at East Brunswick VFW hall immediately after the service, to which everyone is invited to share their Marvin stories. Final disposition will be private.
In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to the Milltown Rescue Squad.
To send flowers to Marvin's family, please visit our floral section.