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Van E. Bradford
July 21, 1934 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
7 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Van's family - View on Tribute Wall
Van Earl Bradford, 89, longtime Gruver resident, passed away Tuesday, January 16, 2024, in
Van was born July 21, 1934, in Paducah, Texas, to Roy Earnest and Opal Cleo (Newman)
Bradford. He loved telling stories about growing up in King County where his dad worked on the
Pitchfork and the 6666 ranches. Van graduated from Guthrie High School in 1952 and attended
Texas Technological College in Lubbock. He was united in marriage to Gena Lee Harmon in
December of 1956. Van received his draft notice a month after they wed, and the young couple
spent a year in Hawaii while Van was in the United States Army. In 1959, Van and Lee made
their home in Gruver where they raised their children. They were married nearly 60 years until
Lee’s passing in 2016.
Van had a long and rewarding career with Diamond Shamrock beginning in 1959. He was a
faithful member of First Baptist Church of Gruver. He was a true outdoorsman and loved
spending time hunting and fishing. Van was a loving and devoted family man. He took so much
pride in his children and grandchildren and their activities. He especially enjoyed helping his
kids and grandkids with livestock projects and attending major livestock shows across the state.
In their retirement years, Van and Lee enjoyed participating in craft shows and traveling with
their RV Club, High Plains FMCA.
In 2021, Van married Cheryl Gunderson of Guymon. Van and Cheryl enjoyed dancing and
traveling with friends. They made a lot of beautiful memories in their time together and were
lovingly devoted to each other.
Van was preceded in death by his first bride, his daughter, Vana Mans, and his parents.
Surviving relatives include his wife, Cheryl, his son, Jody Bradford and wife Eadie of Panhandle.
He was “Grandy” to his grandchildren, Chase Reid, Chelsea Leicht and husband Jake, Jade
Bradford and wife Jordan, Jacy Hammer and husband Travis, and Jett Bradford. Van had six
A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 20, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church in
Gruver, Texas, with Rev. Scott Curry officiating. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 pm on
Monday, January 22, in Matador, Texas, at the East Mound Cemetery, under the direction of
Henson-Novak Funeral Directors.
Memorials may be given to Gruver First Baptist Church or to East Mound Cemetery, c/o
Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, PO Box 1306, Guymon, OK 73942.
Friends and family may sign the online guest book or leave a condolence at www.hensonnovak.com.