Longtime Durango resident Dr. Alfred Bedford died Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, at the Swedish Medical Center in Denver. He was 87.
Dr. Bedford was born to Henry and Julia Bedford in Paris on Sept. 15, 1921. The family lived in Europe, where Dr. Bedford's father was an executive with Standard Oil, until he was 9 years old. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Westchester County, N.Y.
Dr. Bedford graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Mass., where he was a classmate of Robert Kennedy, and from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he was captain of the football team and a star hockey player.
He received a medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, N.Y., and served in the Army Medical Corps and Air Force.
In 1956, Dr. Bedford moved to Durango, where he opened his medical practice as a general surgeon and family practitioner.
He married Marie L. Bissacca of Casper, Wyo., on Sept. 19, 1959, in Durango. The couple settled on a 60-acre ranch in the Animas Valley, where they raised horses and limousine cattle. They named the ranch Wonuka Farm after Dr. Bedford's childhood home in upstate New York.
"Dr. Bedford is best remembered for his vast medical knowledge and the compassion he had for his patients. The pursuit of wealth was of little importance to him," said his family.
Dr. Bedford often refused payment from those who could not afford his services, although on occasion accepted a donkey, a goat, chickens and tamales.
Dr. Bedford also co-founded and served as chief of surgery at Community Hospital, north of Durango. He also held clinics in Silverton three times a week for 27 years.
An accomplished equestrian, Dr. Bedford served as a La Plata County Mounted Ranger for many years.
Dr. Bedford is survived by his wife, Marie Bedford of Durango; sons William A. Bedford of Hoover, Ala., Henry E. Bedford III of Frankland, Tenn., David G. Bedford of Arroyo Grande, Calif., and Charles B. Bedford of Farmington; daughters Virginia C. McCanse of Kansas City, Mo., Marjorie G. Osborne of Campbellsville, Ky., and Barbara L. Montgomery of San Diego; 20 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.
A private memorial was held Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, on Dr. Bedford's ranch under his favorite tree.
(The Durango Herald, CO, November 24, 2008)
Note: Dr. Bedford married his first wife, Eloise Logan on March 7, 1943.
Eloise Logan Adams
1920–2001 (m. 1943)
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