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Robert Bradford died suddenly of a heart attack December 17, 2017. The only son of Virginia Bradford, he spent most of his life in Texas, with brief early stops in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He graduated with honors from Mesquite High School and went on to receive Broadcast Journalism and Political Science undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University and his M.Ed. in Educational Administration from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce). Robert retired as Director of Instructional Television, KHS-78, for the Mesquite Independent School District (MISD), the last person to hold this post. He was 63.
Robert was afflicted with poliomyelitis as a young child; as a result, his family moved to Mesquite for schools that were built with only one floor level. Robert excelled in school and in business. While an elementary student, he founded Bradford Services, specializing in printing business cards, stationery, wedding announcements, and specialized business forms. Bradford Services even achieved a Good rating from Dunn and Bradstreet before Robert had graduated MHS! He became interested in television through MISD’s KHS-78 Instructional Television while in high school, achieving Student Producer/Director rank and continuing to volunteer while in college. His major in Broadcast Journalism opened many doors, but he chose to stay in Mesquite at KHS-78 as Producer and Director.
He had several past, part-time careers: as a professional photographer, shooting weddings and parties for a number of years until his mobility restricted his ability to ‘get just the right shot’; working for WFAA-TV, manually maintaining the program log required by the FCC and doing live & recorded announcing; and as a Retail Credit Manager for Sanger-Harris Department Stores.
Robert was a long-time member and active contributor & advisor for many civic and professional organizations, including the City of Mesquite/MISD Communications Tower Advisory Committee, Mesquite Arts Council, and Mesquite Cable TV Advisory Board; additionally, he served on the MISD’s Long Range Technology Planning Committee, Professional Development Center Advisory Committee, and Professional Library Advisory Committee. Robert was a judge for the State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Department and a member of the National Association of Broadcasters, the Texas Commission on the Arts’ Media/Multimedia Advisory Panel & Media Task Force, the Texas Library Association, and Texas School Public Relations Association. Robert also independently consulted on media, instructional television, and practical implications of US copyright law for school districts.
Robert achieved excellence in everything he attempted – from education, to administration, to business, to gourmet cooking. He is survived by a small group of close friends and his faithful dachshund companion Ruby.