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Robert “Bob” William Bradford, CM
December 17, 1923 – May 25, 2023
Surrounded by the love of his devoted daughters and sons-in-law, Robert William Bradford took his last flight at dawn and passed away peacefully May 25, 2023, in the 100th year of his remarkable life. Robert is survived by his loving wife of 21 years Rosemary Booth, his daughters Kathryn (Alan) and Carolyn (Nap), and his step-children Diana (Randy) and Richard (Trish). Robert was a proud grandfather and great-grandfather to Kate, Lorien, Scott, Jamie, Alexandra, and Chelsea, Khrystea, Dean, and little Ruby and Olivia. Predeceased by his beloved wife and friend of 51 years Ruth Dorothy Hathway (“Tyke”, d. Dec 16, 1999), their son John, and his identical twin brother James.
Bob Bradford was many things in his long full life: a renowned Canadian aviation artist and historian, WWII pilot, technical illustrator at A.V. Roe Canada and de Havilland Canada, past director of Canada’s national aviation museum in Ottawa, Order of Canada recipient, member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Patron of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, recipient of the American Aviation Historical Society’s Aviation Art award as well as the Paul Tissandier award from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and designer of 16 Canadian postage stamps. His great passion was the preservation of Canada’s aviation history, whether through his paintings depicting pivotal events and aircraft, or through his curatorial achievements in acquiring and preserving aviation artifacts of Canadian and international significance.
To most, it will be Bob’s approach to life by which he will most be remembered – he was humble, quiet yet forceful, and a true gentleman. To his family, he will be remembered and forever missed for his constant love, his mischievous wit, and his appreciation of a good hat.
The family wishes to extend profound thanks to the staff at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre for their loving and professional care of Robert during his last months.
A private family burial service will take place. A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date.
“....I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
- from High Flight by John Gillespie Magee