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Published: Sunday, 3/28/2004

WW II intelligence worker gave piano, pipe-organ lessons

Isadora Louise Bradford, a Toledo-area music teacher who served in the signal corps of the Women's Army Corps during World War II, died Thursday in the Arbors of Waterville nursing home. She was 87.

Arthur Bradford, a son, said the cause of his mother's death was not certain, but a stroke was suspected. The Whitehouse resident had been in transitional care at the nursing home following hospital treatment for an infection, but was expected to return home this week, he said.

Mrs. Bradford, who made her living giving private piano and pipe-organ lessons, was known for her prim style, conservative ways, and outspokenness, the son said. She routinely telephoned her elected representatives to give her opinions on the issues of the day, he said, and flew the U.S. flag at her home continuously.

She estranged herself from Whitehouse Post 384 of the American Legion during the Vietnam War because of her opposition to that conflict, Mr. Bradford said.

"She had a strong belief in the national defense," the son said, but she considered Vietnam to be "a sacrifice for no end.

"She was a bit of a bulldog when she thought she was right," Mr. Bradford said.

Born Isadora Miller in Hamler, Ohio, she graduated from Hamler High School in 1934 and studied music at Bowling Green State University. But the work schedule she had to keep to pay for her studies precluded completion of a degree program, Mr. Bradford said.

During the war, she worked in military intelligence with the WAC signal corps, sending and receiving coded messages. Mr. Bradford said his mother remained at her post even on the day her first husband, also in the military, was killed in the Philippine Islands.

In 1949, she married William Bradford, of Whitehouse, and they remained together until his death in 1986.

Along with teaching music, Mrs. Bradford was a counselor for the Maumee Youth Center. Mr. Bradford said his mother had played music there, and youth center staff thought her positive, problem-solving attitude made her ideal for counseling. In later years, her son said, she helped local shut-ins with haircuts and other personal-care needs.

Mrs. Bradford played the organ at Hope United Methodist Church, Whitehouse, and played trombone for the Maumee Community Band and the Genoa Legion Band. Relatives said she once donned her old Army uniform and marched on Memorial Day with a high-school band.

Surviving are her sons, Arthur and William Bradford; daughter, Arda Bucher; sister, Ruth Campbell; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Peinert Funeral Home, Whitehouse, after 2 p.m. today. Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Hope United Methodist Church.

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