Paula Jean Bradford was born in Montague Texas on March 29, 1943. She was one of five children born to Andy and Dorris Jackson. Her childhood was spent in Pyote, Texas where her father remarried and gave her two more siblings. Paula spent some of her time in Kermit, Texas where her mother lived. Paula and her siblings developed a close loving bond that people only dream about. She attended Pyote School and graduated in 1961. While at Pyote, Paula excelled in sports with the distinction of being most athletic female in the school. She was three times a Texas state champion in tennis. Everyone in the town of Pyote became family, and her tennis coach Mr. Chrane was like a second father to her. Paula developed many lifelong friendships with the people of Pyote, and they always referred to themselves as Pyote Strong. Paula met her best friend, Ann Wiley (Dowty) in Pyote, and they stayed best friends for over 67 years. After graduation, Paula moved to Gallup, NM where she and Ann lived and played, as young women do. After a while, they moved to Cortez, Colorado where Paula met and married Doug Bradford. Paula and Doug moved to Kirtland, NM where they raised five children together. Paula made many friends as an active member of the community. She played in many city leagues in Farmington, using her amazing athletic abilities, well into her fifties. Paula won many tournaments against women half her age. She was an avid supporter of all of her children’s sports especially her boys' dirt track car racing. She went to work for Central Consolidated Schools administration department until she retired. Paula was well known for her sewing and crafting, and she was always busy working on weddings, home decor and the many gifts she gave. Her blankets were the favorite gifts of her loved ones, and highly sought after. Paula put her creativity to work on a large scale, helping her good friend Cerena paint window fronts for local businesses. Paula never met a stranger, and she was so kind and non-judgmental. So many kids came into her life, and adopted her into their heart, that the words "my kids" included more than just her five. The impact she made on folks with her generosity will be felt for generations. After retirement, Paula spent some time relaxing and watching her favorite movies on the Hallmark channel while continuing to do her crafts and sewing. She didn't stay still for long though, and traveled many miles vacationing, visiting family, going to Pyote reunions, and even went on a cruise to Alaska with Cerena. Paula was the ultimate fan for her family and friends. Just as she supported her children, she went to as many of her grandchildren's activities as she could, no matter how far she had to travel. Paula loved concerts and attended many. Country Jam in Grand Junction was a favorite destination. One very special trip was made to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary with her best friend Ann. Paula was an animal lover and enjoyed helping the animals. Paula was always available for her family whenever an emergency or need came up. She was the rock that her family relied on for help with fixing, nursing, child care, rides, dog sitting, home maintenance and just about anything and everything needed. Paula's life was always fast paced until her diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis slowed her down quite a bit. She'd always taken care of others, and now it was time for her to get taken care of. She moved to Kerrville Texas to be cared for by her daughter Debbie and Brian, her son-in-law. Brian got her interested in car shows, but in turn; he had to watch all those Hallmark movies. While in Kerrville, Paula was put in the care of Peterson Hospice, she was very appreciative of her nurse Debbie, and became good friends with her. Paula's ultimate desire was to spend whatever time she had left in the place she considered home. She made her final trip back to the four corners where she spent some time in the care of her son Donny and daughter-in-law Lora. Her final months were spent in a place she felt most at peace, a beautiful setting in upper Fruitland with her granddaughter DeLacey, grandson Landon, their mother Virginia, and their uncle Farrell. The care she received from Basin Hospice and her nurse Faye was top notch. During her time in hospice care in Texas and New Mexico, Paula enjoyed many visits from family and friends. She thought that was the best part of all. On July 24, 2022, Paula passed away peacefully in a home full of love, surrounded by her loved ones.
Paula is preceded in death by her father Andy, mother Dorris, brother Jerry, brother-in-law Bill, brother-in-law Vot, step-mother Maggie, sister Joyce, brother Arthur, niece Jamie, and great-niece Kaitlin. She is survived by her loving siblings, sister Colleen, sister EuDell, and brother Alton; best friend Ann, and goddaughter, Tonia.
Her loving family also includes son Doug(Beverly), daughter Debbie(Brian), son Derrall, son Danny(Sondra), son Donny(Lora), son-in-law Boof, and daughter-in-law Virginia; grandchildren Danielle, Ryan(Brandy), Paul(Camber), Machell(Curtis), Michael(Lacey), DeLacey, Landon, Jacob, Brandy(Mike), Dillon(Katie)and Audri; great-grandchildren Darren, Bailey, Gage, Gavin, Paisley, Olive, Eloise, Haley(Bryson), Addison, Keegan, Sebastian, Violet, Kaytlin, Hunter, Mary Alice, and Davidson; great-great-grandchildren Kingston and Koi; and numerous nieces and nephews that loved her dearly. Paula has also adopted many grandchildren into her heart that fondly refer to her as Granny. She leaves behind numerous friends that truly adored her.
Although a big void has been left in the world by the loss of Paula, she wanted her loved ones to celebrate her life, not mourn her death. A celebration of Paula's life will be held on Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside Ave, in Dolores, Colorado. Paula requested no flowers, but balloons are welcomed. Her favorite ice-cream from Chick-fil-A will be served along with pizza.
In lieu of flowers, Paula asked that contributions be made in her memory to the following organizations to honor her grandchildren:
JDRF South Central Texas Chapter, https://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?fr_id=8731&pg=team&team_id=324052&fbclid=IwAR30eXo93f4MbDO0IP2MNH4vhVCrhYoqHB3-0NUC8hGsC5GtXYI4gJjIsdI
Autism Speaks, https://www.autismspeaks.org/
The Epilepsy Foundation, https://www.epilepsy.com/