Bradley John Stafford was born November 19, 1984, in Victoria Texas to parents Johnny and Ginny Stafford and siblings Clay and Carla. He attended Victoria schools and then graduated with honors from Texas State Technical College in Waco with a degree in laser electronics. Growing up, he was a real mischief maker. He and his best friend Kevin, painted the neighbor’s house in mud, spent considerable time on the church roof, and blew up or burned every G-I Joe either one of them owned. Bradley was a talented soccer player, loved by all of his coaches and teammates throughout the years. He was also a gifted piano student and continued to play as an adult, choosing music from Beethoven to Limp Bizkit. He was smart and could figure out how to fix almost anything, from autos to fences to plumbing. Bradley learned how to fish from his grandparents Sonny and Elsie Stafford and spent some of his happiest days on the bays of Port O’Connor, Seadrift, and Indianola. But his happiest days were the ones he spent with his son Strider, who was born in 2021. He was crazy about that boy and looked forward to the day he could teach him to fish. Bradley was a baptized believer in Christ and had a big heart, especially for the less fortunate. He would give away his last dollar, if he had one. Losing his brother Clay in 2005 left a sadness that he carried for his lifetime. He had many questions and theories about God, the universe, and his place in life. He left many writings to remind us that our souls are housed in temporary space suits and not destined for eternity on this planet.
Bradley left this life October 23, 2022, while fishing at Port O’Connor. He joined his brother Clay R. Stafford, grandparents P. M. and Bernice Nelson, and pawpaw David Sonny Stafford, who all preceded him in death. Survivors include his son Strider Stafford, memaw Elsie Stafford, parents Johnny and Ginny Stafford, sister Carla Nolen and husband Kyle (who was just like a brother to him), nephews Jayden Dolezal and Carter Nolen, and niece Harper Nolen. The family will never forget the people who helped search for Bradley after he disappeared in the water, including the members of the Coast Guard and Game Wardens. Many others, including people of Port O’Connor (POC) as well as friends of the family, dropped what they were doing and spent countless hours in the sun, wind, and water to assist with the search. At the same time, countless friends, acquaintances, and strangers prayed for Bradley and our family. We can never repay or forget the kindness extended to us during those awful days.
Bradley’s ashes will be scattered in the bays he loved, with a celebration of life scheduled for a later date. For today, we must believe that he is fishing the best spot ever with his brother, pawpaw, and maybe even getting advice about where the fish are biting from the apostle Peter himself.