Forrest Wesley Bradford was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 22, 1961 to Ann Mary (Hoffman) and Wesley Everett Bradford. He was the third child of four siblings.
His father, Wesley, was born to a farming family of little means. He was a Battle of the Bulge veteran in WWII. His mother, Ann Mary was from the Rhode Island families of Watson’s and Gardner’s, dating back to Roger Williams’s time. Ann Mary was brought up in Narragansett on a large generational Watson family farm with over three hundred years of New England history. Forrest was raised with a strong love of New England patriotism and loyalty to his country.
In 1968, Wesley found a job at Hood’s in Agawam and Ann Mary found a teacher’s position at Granger School in Feeding Hills. Their four children were educated mostly in the Agawam public schools.
Forrest loves nature and admiring the world around him. As a youth he spent much time hiking and exploring the neighborhood local woods, streams, and ponds, discovering and memorizing the many native plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and other wildlife. As a youth, Forrest also enjoyed taking long bicycling trips throughout the local towns, fishing, attending school, climbing trees and playing the piano. Today Forrest still frequently hikes the trails and forests of Agawam, Granville and Southwick. Anyone who accompanies Forrest on the many hikes, enjoys his enthusiasm for life. Forrest also loves gardening.
Bradford’s passion for being involved in doing good for the community began as a young man when he was persuaded by the late Councilman Paul Fieldstad (his next-door neighbor) to be involved in community action by registering to vote and to participate in many petition drives to protect some of Agawam lands from over development and spot zoning. Forrest was always outgoing and friendly and knew his neighbors well in their close-knit neighborhood, spending much time get to know much of their individual family’s stories.
He’s the family genealogist, turning up the interesting facts that the Bradfords are descended from Governor William Bradford, John Alden and others from the Mayflower, but also from both those who were tried as witches and who persecuted witches in Salem!
Always having a good work ethic, Forrest delivered newspapers, worked at Riverside Park, Big Y, and the Marriott Hotel in Springfield. His passion for ethical and responsible civics led him to work with fellow Agawam citizens for the betterment of town leadership and was the catalyst for the establishment of a Town Planner by doing the research of surrounding communities and convincing the local leaders of its necessity for gaining grants for Agawam and the following through of the town plan.
In his young twenties, Forrest moved to California and then Hawaii following a career in the hospitality industry. He worked mostly in luxury resorts on the California coast and on Maui, showing a passion for excellence. As well as gaining management levels, Forrest never rested in gaining skills: he took many studies in management, human relations, speech political science and biology. One of his favorite passions at his work was writing and updating highly detailed training manuals for many positions in the luxury resort industry.
Forrest credits much of his people skills with having his parents’ families’ passion for being warm, sincere and welcoming toward others. Many times, leading his training classes for hotel staff, Forrest would bring up examples of his own extended family, always welcoming with open arms, a large warm smile and sincerity. The resorts he worked at excelled in customer service, ranking high on the ratings scale of Conde Nast Magazine.
Forrest moved home to Agawam permanently to care for aging family members. He worked performing round-the-clock care-giving, seeing his grandfather and both parents through to the end with happiness.
During this time, Forrest still showed he cared for the community by being a part of the Agawam Beautification Committee, volunteering on the James Clark School Improvement Council, and leading the James Clark Student council’s anti-litter campaign. On in the James Clark School Improvement Council with principal Sandra Howard, he particularly focused on school nutrition and bullying in the classroom and school buses.
While gardening in the front lawn of his home, Forrest would notice the school buses that drove by and the dangerous out-of-control screaming and behavior of the kids on the bus. Bradford felt he could find solutions to this and be a help. One day driving down Shoemaker Lane in Agawam, he saw the sign “Bus Drivers Wanted” and stopped by to inquire within! He was handed a stack of papers six inches high and told, go study these. Well, he thought, why not? So after a long course of training, Forrest got his CDL and started driving a school bus. He has learned a great deal about the plight of the bus driver and students since and is always thinking of solutions.
Forrest gets his drive for human betterment and the situation of the public from many places. His mother, Ann Mary Bradford, had that same drive and was the catalyst in developing the project S.E.E. program in Agawam (a gifted and talented arm to Agawam Public Elementary Schools). When the position was finally opened for a teacher, his mother Ann Mary was selected. His father’s aunts, uncles, and cousins (many of whom spend their lives helping others) have great family values and are warm and welcoming to most that meet them. His neighbors in Agawam, who have such drive for good, have always been a positive influence. And Forrest’s friends. All these people in Mr. Bradford’s life have afforded him a rich life of happiness and an altruistic passion toward solving problems.
Mr. Bradford will bring these skills and drive to Boston, bettering the lives of the citizens of Agawam, Granville and Southwick. You can count on it!