BANGOR — Wilma “Willie” (Additon) Bradford, 97, passed away Tuesday, July 18, after a brief illness. She was born April 9, 1920, in Leeds, the middle child of Leslie F. Additon and Stella (Prince) Additon.

Willie grew up in Oxford and Rumford. She graduated from Westbrook Junior College in 1939. She was a legal secretary in Portland with Hutchinson, Pierce, Atwood for five years before marrying the love of her life, Merrill R. “Pappy” Bradford of Bangor in 1945. They were married for 67 years until Pappy’s death in 2012.

Willie was a dynamic optimist who actively participated in many activities at the leadership level, both locally, statewide and nationally. She was a lifelong Republican and longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bangor. Among the many organizations she actively helped and led were the Girl Scouts, Maine and American Lung Associations, Junior League of Bangor, Chapter B-ME, P.E.O. Sisterhood, Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Maine Center for the Arts, International Women’s Forum of Maine, and Quipus.

She was often selected to be the first woman on many civic and business boards of directors as well as leader in the Maine-wide higher educational systems as a trustee of Westbrook College, University of New England, the University of Maine President’s Advisory Council and Husson University, where she received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1985. She also served as one of the first female court mediators in the state, interacting with many local judges and attorneys.

Willie was an instrumental force in the creation of the Acadia Hospital in Bangor and served as a trustee of that, as well as Eastern Maine Medical Center for many years. She was also the first woman appointed to the Department of Environmental Protection, by Gov. James Longley in 1977.

Surviving Willie are four children: M. Ray Bradford Jr., Esq. and wife, Marlo, John A. Bradford, MD, and wife, Marjorie, Ann Bradford Ligums and husband, John, and Lynn Bradford Silva. Eleven grandchildren: Ryan Bradford, Abby Bradford Levy and Andrew Bradford; Will Bradford, Leslie Bradford Long, James Bradford and Marion Bradford; Jeb Ligums, Jenny Leonard and Ben Ligums; and Alex Silva. Twelve great-grandchildren: Garrett and Griffin Levy, Liam Bradford; Madeline and Merrill Long; Bea and Lewis Bradford; Jet and George Ligums; Jilly, JJ and Johnny Leonard. She is also survived by many devoted nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her older brother, Elwood P. Additon, and survived by her younger brother, Donald L. Additon.

The family thanks all of those who have helped Willie over the years, particularly Balenda Ganem, and her many friends at Boyd Place in Bangor.

Wilma Bradford

Comments are not available on this story.