George J. Bradbury, a North Dighton resident and a member of the Newburyport Wall of Fame, died at 91 on Saturday due to complications from COVID-19.
During his high school days, Bradbury was one of the premier athletes of his era at Newburyport High School. Known by friends and family as "Bink," Bradbury was a 12-time varsity letter winner who starred in football, baseball and track until his graduation in 1948.
On the gridiron, Bradbury led the Clippers in scoring as a sophomore and as a junior and was second on the team as a senior, scoring 11 career touchdowns plus an extra-point conversion for 67 career points. After enduring a pair of one-win seasons in 1945 and 1946, Bradbury led the Clippers to a resurgent 6-5 campaign as a senior co-captain in 1947, the most wins by a Clipper football team in six years.
For baseball, Bradbury was a four-year starter, first at catcher and later as an outfielder and pitcher. His most notable performance came as a junior, when he took the mound with no prior pitching experience and helped Newburyport beat Swampscott 12-7, striking out 14 while also allowing seven hits, 17 walks and 12 stolen bases.
Upon his graduation, Bradbury was awarded the 1948 Ryan Cup — annually presented to the top senior athlete at Newburyport High — and not long after he married his childhood sweetheart V. Barbara (Benoit) Bradbury, with whom he was married for 63 years before her passing in 2013. He spent much of his life in Taunton, where he lived from 1979 until approximately two years ago, and worked for many years as a die cutter at Reed and Barton.
Bradbury was also an active longtime member of the Taunton Lodge of Elks and was the second oldest living member of the Neptune Fireman Association, also known as the Neps Club in Newburyport. He was inducted into the Newburyport Wall of Fame in 1995.
Bradbury is survived by his children, Mark T. Bradbury of Manta, Ecuador, Paul W. Bradbury and his wife Dorothy of Ashland, N.H. and Jane M. White and her husband Stephen of North Dighton. He was the grandfather of Sean Bradbury, Rachel Bradbury, Kerrin (Bradbury) LeClair and her husband Ron, Jennifer (White) Joubert and her husband, Jonathan, Caitlyn Bradbury, Christa Bradbury, and the great grandfather of Casey, Bradley, Jameson, Samuel, Tessa and Jack.
Bradbury, who was the oldest of 13 children, is survived by siblings, Stephen Bradbury of Salisbury, Deanna (Bradbury) Ireland of Harmony, Maine, Dennis Bradbury of Amesbury, Vicki (Bradbury) Decie of Salisbury, Robert Bradbury of Salisbury, and Sally Dow of Newbury. His predeceased siblings include Lee Ann (Bradbury) Welch of Newburyport, Daniel Bradbury of Carmel, Calif., William Bradbury of Newburyport, Francis Bradbury of Newburyport, Henry Bradbury of Nashua, NH and Paul Bradbury of Newburyport. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Services, along with burial at Saint Francis Cemetery in Taunton will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Longmeadow Nursing Home Activities Fund, 68 Dean Street, Taunton, MA, 02780, or to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, c/o Foundation for Business Equity, 265 Franklin Street, PO BOX 304, Boston, MA 02110, or donate online at www.macovid19relieffund.org.