G. Eric Bradford of Davis died of heart failure on July 29, 2007 in a Sacramento hospital. He was 77. Eric was born on November 2, 1929 near Kingsey, Quebec, Canada. He attended local public schools and graduated high school at age 16, the only boy in a class of eight. Erics interest in animal agriculture began while growing up on a small, mixed farm in Quebec and was developed with his B.S. (1951) in Agriculture from Macdonald College of McGill University.
Married to Elizabeth Engelke of Madison, WI since 1954, Eric has been a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. As the first in his family to pursue higher education, he valued education and supported all family members in this pursuit throughout their lives. He demonstrated his values to family and colleagues alike by living a life of integrity, responsibility, and compassion. He believed in scientific inquiry to pursue knowledge and truth. Eric was well-read, loved music and his garden. He enjoyed travel, both with his wife and children to places of natural beauty, and professionally to countries around the globe. Eric spent many happy times at an Echo Summit cabin shared with family friends, and at Glennan House, an idyllic retreat on the Redwood Coast he and Elizabeth designed and built.
After earning M.S. (1952) and Ph.D. (1956) degrees in Genetics and Animal Husbandry from the University of Wisconsin, Eric joined the McGill University faculty and then was recruited to UC Davis in 1957. At Davis, Dr. Bradford taught undergraduate courses in Animal Science and served as major professor for 11 Ph.D. and 14 M.S. students from 12 different countries. Dr. Bradfords research spanned reproduction and growth in livestock and laboratory mice; sheep breeding; animal genetic resources conservation, and international agriculture, including projects in Kenya, Indonesia and Morocco.
Dr. Bradford was a valued member of professional societies and received numerous honors and awards. He served two terms as chair of his department and leaves behind many students, staff and faculty who will miss his counsel and consideration. After retirement (1993), he remained very active in academic pursuits as an Emeritus Professor. He served on the Board and two years as President of International House - Davis. His conviction of the value of animal agriculture to society underlay his passion for the concepts of agricultural sustainability. He chaired an international task force on Animal Agriculture and the Global Food Supply, and two committees that helped birth the new UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute. In May 2007 Professor Bradfords contributions and service to UC Davis were recognized with family, friends and colleagues at the dedication of the Bradford Conference Room in Meyer Hall.
Eric Bradford is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Elizabeth Bradford of Davis; daughter Anne (Harry) Harris of Madison, WI; son Ken (Pat) Bradford of Davis; daughter Margaret Aumann of Davis; daughter Ellen (Phil) Javete of Pleasant Hill, CA; sisters Hazel Elliott of Hanover, Ontario, and Amy Bessey of St. George, New Brunswick; grandchildren Alexander, Benjamin, Peter, Emily, Payton, and Fiona; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Don Aumann.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 3, 2007 at 4:00 PM at Davis Community Church, 412 C Street, with a reception to follow in the churchs Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that those wishing to remember Eric send a donation to the U.C. D. Department of Animal Science Memorial Fund, International House - Davis, the Nature Conservancy, or the charity of their choice.
Funeral arrangements are under direction of the Wiscombes Davis Funeral Chapel (530/758-5500). For those who would like to sign a guestbook online, go to www.wiscombefuneral.com.