Dorothy Ellen Kemper “Dot, Dottie and Nana” Bradford left this mortal coil on April 1, 2021. We estimated it would be Good Friday and she had the last laugh with April Fools.
Born in New Orleans on Oct. 26, 1932, Dorothy grew up in Covington and went to St. Scholastica Academy. She attended LSU and completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.For 35 years, she taught physical education, Mississippi history and other subjects in Shaw, Laurel, and Gulfport with 25 years in Hattiesburg Public Schools and touched hundreds of lives.
She was a member of McIntosh Sunday School Class at First Presbyterian and a Charter Member of Institute for Learning and Retirement/Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Dorothy enjoyed and supported USM Symphony Orchestra, USM Jazz Band, theater, Friends of the Library, Partner for the Arts, Tulane Summer Lyric Theater, Hattiesburg City Light Opera, and Ballroom and Line Dancing. She excelled regionally and nationally in Ballroom Dancing competitions and loved playing the piano. Her sheet music collection was formidable.
She had an appreciation for delicious food, from comfort to fine dining, especially artichokes dipped in sauce. She followed and watched her beloved LSU and USM teams when possible. She will be reunited with her close circle of girlfriends, sipping on an old fashioned, playing bridge and sharing the latest gossip.
She was a loving, generous soul and loved being a grandmother/Nana. Her wonderful sense of humor and mischievous spirit touched so many, like when she played the secret Great Pumpkin with her friend Joanne, leaving her pumpkin/fall gifts in front of her house.
Preceded in death by parents Dorothy Deane Haas and James L. Kemper, she is survived by sons Jim Bradford (Kristina) and Paul Bradford (Julie) and two granddaughters Hannah Grimes (Jarred) and Jessica Bradford.
The family extends gratitude to the staff at Forrest General Hospital, Bedford and especially Asbury Hospice for the exceptional care. You worked miracles! A special thank you to Hospice Nurse Marilyn and Social Worker Denise for their friendship and TLC to Dorothy. She treasured time spent with you and appreciated the meals and errands you lovingly did for her. Many appreciations to Pastor Knox Baird at First Presbyterian for the time spent reading to Dorothy and visits to check on her. She was so thankful of the comfort you provided her. Thank you to the many friends who visited and sent Dorothy cards and thoughtful notes. She appreciated them and felt your love.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date, with music and many fun stories to share of cherished times with Dorothy. For any honorary donations in Dorothy’s name, please consider First Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, USM Jazz Band or other Hattiesburg arts/culture organizations.