Rev. Larry Hope Bradford

Joe Denoyer - July 17, 2020 12:46 pm

Rev. Larry Hope Bradford, age 76, passed away Monday, July 13, 2020, after a month-long illness in Tucson, AZ. He was born November 11, 1943, in Plumerville, AR, to Daniel Roy and Mildred Walker Bradford. He moved with his family to Wichita, KS, about the age of 2. He graduated from Wichita High School East, class of 1961. Bradford served his country in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966 at Roswell, NM, and Denver, CO. He was a graduate of Wichita State University in Wichita, KS and received his Master of Divinity at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

Fifty years ago, on November 28, 1969, Larry married Toni McConnell at Immanuel Baptist Church, Wichita, KS. They were extremely blessed to have two children, Kristi Lin and Landon Hope.

Larry loved life and he loved people. As a pastor in Hugoton and Moscow, KS churches for nearly 40 years, his life mission was to exhibit love, care, and compassion to anyone he would meet. He was hard to catch in his office, but you could easily find him having coffee, lunch, or a coke with a new acquaintance, church family, or friends across the county.

He was an intent listener and always found a way to point people to the Savior to handle problems or difficult times. He was just “Larry”, not Reverend to all who knew him. If an auction, garage sale, flea market, or thrift store was open, Larry would almost always be a customer, often purchasing items to pass on to those he thought of at the time. He loved building “collections” of things including ball cards and sports memorabilia, antique glassware, music, games, and coins, which he also sold over the years to bring in a little extra cash to “feed his habit”. Larry was an avid sports fan but loved following football most. Playing all kinds of games with family and friends brought out his fun, competitive spirit.

While pastoring in Stevens County, he was very active in the community, often initiating things like church softball leagues, Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, golf tournaments for scholarships, local fund raisers, etc. He was a Little League coach for many years and an enthusiastic fan at his kids and grandkids school activities and sports.

Larry taught a variety of college classes for many years for Seward County Community College, Liberal, KS, including speech, psychology, Old Testament, New Testament, and World Religions.

He often remarked that the highlight of his ministry was spearheading the start of a new mission church at Moscow, KS, with the help of friends and members of Trinity Baptist, Hugoton. The mission became a full-fledged church which he went on to serve as their pastor for 25 years as well as 14 years as pastor at Trinity with a number of years serving both churches simultaneously. Both churches completed several building projects including the new building at Moscow with a later addition, and a classroom and kitchen addition to Trinity.

Larry loved to travel so another highlight was a trip to Malawi, Africa, to minister to missionaries there through the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Then, for five years was part of a mission team to Mexico with the Western Kansas Baptist Association. Many, many years he took children and youth to camps and events at Webster Conference Center in Salina, KS. After moving to Tucson in 2018 he jumped right in teaching Bible studies, assisting in children’s ministries as well as senior adult ministries at Mountain View Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife Toni, Tucson; daughter Kristi Lin (Marty) Bohl, Ulysses, KS; son Landon Hope (Brooke) Bradford, Tucson, AZ; 5 grandchildren, Derek (Katie) Bohl, Abernathy, TX; Craig (Aubree) Bohl, Ulysses, KS; Ashlin Bohl, Charleston, SC; Braden Bohl, Wichita, KS; Logan Hope Bradford, Tucson, AZ; one great-grandchild, Witten Trent Bohl; and another coming in December; sister Juanita Shepherd-Phillips, Wichita, KS; brother Richard (Judy) Bradford, Ft. Worth, TX; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, greats and friends. Preceding him in death were his parents; brothers Dale, Winfred L. (Shorty), Bill, and Wendell.

Memorial services will be held at 2 locations: July 18, 2020, 10:00am at Mountain View Baptist Church, Tucson, AZ. Livestream will be available at www.mvbctucson.org . The second memorial will be July 25, 2020, at 11:00am at Bethel Friends Church, Hugoton, KS. Livestream also available at www.bethelfriendschurch.net .

In lieu of flowers, memorial gift information will be available at each service site and [email protected] . Cremation arrangements performed by Desert Sunset Funeral Home, Tucson AZ.