Floral 11

Pauline Miller Bradford

January 31, 1928 ~ December 9, 2020 (age 92)


Pauline Bradford was born in Greenville, Mississippi following the great flood of 1927 to Sammie and Mary Jackson, she was the eldest of 4 children. She was raised by her grandparents. During World War two, she traveled to the great Northwest to live with her aunt and uncle Sam and Josephine Turner.  She worked in the shipyard beside her aunt. She met her future husband John, who was stationed at Vancouver Barracks. They carried on a long distance courtship by V-Mail and were married upon his return from the South Pacific. They had three children, Patricia, Ronald and Gloria.  Her husband John died in 1999 after 53 years of marriage.  She was proceeded in death by her parents, Grand parents, sister Rita Edwards, brother, George Jackson, and son Ronnie Bradford, She is survived by her brother James Todd (Jean), Phoenix, AZ, her niece Kimberly Todd and nephew Jason Todd (Sherry)Phoenix, AZ. Her daughters Patricia A. Clark, Montello NV, and Gloria B. Miller (Ronnie) Douglasville, GA. Left to carry on the family line:

Patricia’s children:  Shalon Nikel Citron (Grand Daughter)Calabasas, CA, Alexys Patricya Delgado (Great Granddaughter) Richmond VA, Zuri Solaris Delgado-Smith (Great -Great Granddaughter)Richmond, VA, Alycia Banae Delgado (Great Granddaughter) Bushwick, MA, Edual Delgado Jr. (Great Grandson)Bushwick, MA, Natalia Elise Harley (Great Granddaughter) Calabasas, CA.    Sean Mikel Citron Sr.(Grandson) Portland, OR, Sean Mikel Citron Jr. (Great Grandson) Boise, ID, Cayse Mikel Citron (Great Grandson)Vancouver, WA,  Caiya Michealle Citron (Great Granddaughter)Vancouver, WA.  Ronnie’s children: Nathan Lee Bradford, Sr. (Grandson), Breonna Renee' Raines (Great Granddaughter), Jade Renee' Raines ( Grand daughter) Journee Qiyana Raines  (Great-great Granddaughter) ,Nathan Lee Bradford, Jr. (Great Grandson) (All of Portland, OR)    Nicole Renae Bradford (Granddaughter)(Aaron) (Portland, OR), Joshua Edward Bradford (Grandson) (Portland, OR)   Gloria’s children: Tiffany Ruth Shaw (Grand daughter) (Douglasville, GA), Jon’ Paul Shaw (Grandson)(Tawanna) (Kansas City, MO).

Pauline had a wide variety of work experiences in only low-paying jobs. She took the federal exam. in the late forties, scored high, but did not receive a call until 1951 and then only as a temporary worker during tax season for the Internal Revenue. She and two others were the first African Americans hired. She remained until she became pregnant in 1954. At that time women were not granted maternity leave.

In 1956 she worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture as a fiscal clerk and later as the first African American female market news truck reporter.  In 1964, another first included her decision to take advantage of the newly created college credit transfer program at Portland Community College. While working in the US Court House at SW Broadway & Main, she as an older student (36 years old) breaking new ground. Later, several programs encouraged older students to return to school. She was used as an example of success. She received an Association of Science degree in 1967.  Moving to Portland State College she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1970.  After discussing with her family she decided to take an offer from Portland Public Schools to teach at Peninsula Elementary School in North Portland. 

She started as a kindergarten teacher.  One year she had students for two nine weeks sessions as the goal was to give students one half year of kindergarten.  The next year, the school went to a year-round schedule with four tracks, three tracks in nine week session and one on vacation.  In 1979, she took a nine-month sabbatical and completed her Masters in Education from University of Portland. Shortly after returning to Peninsula school, she was promoted to Teacher on Special Assignment.  At that time the duties were that of a Vice-Principal at an Elementary School.  Staff, students and parents addressed and respected her in that role no matter how many times she corrected them.   The staff at Peninsula School nominated her for Teacher of The Year.  She retired in 1989, after seeing the last kindergarten class she taught, graduate from eight grade. The school went to a Primary Schedule through 5th grade schedule in the fall of 1989.

Pauline was a lifetime member of Immaculate Heart Church. A devoted catholic, she and John ensured that all of their children went to parochial schools through High School. She was active in the church and all the activities, from Sunday Mass to fund raising events to counting the Sunday Mass collections. She was a past President of the Immaculate Heart Grade School Parents Club, and past Grand Lady Court #225 of the Knights of Saint Peter Clavier.

Although she worked, she also kept a very busy schedule within the community.  She has been an active member of many Social, Civic, Professional and National organizations serving in various capacities and in leadership roles as well. Her goal was to elevate all who she came into contact with, and to ensure the preservation of African American history in Portland Oregon. Pauline totally embraced the motto: ”Lifting as we Climb”

Pauline Bradford had a strong connection to the Albina and Eliot neighborhoods in Portland, where she lived for over seventy-five years. She served as a past president of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods. .She also worked with the Portland Organizing Project, an alliance of churches founded in 1985 to eliminate the practice of redlining.

She had long been active in the National Association of Women’s Clubs (NACW), the oldest African American women’s organization in the United States (founded in 1896). In the 1950’s, Pauline joined the Harriet Tubman Club at the invitation of her neighbor, Annie Conway. The Harriet Tubman Club at the time was one of sixteen member organizations of the Oregon Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (OACW). First elected president of the Oregon chapter in 1982, Pauline served several terms and was also elected to a term as President of the Northwest Region of the Association.

Pauline was respected for her dedication and service to the community and her readiness to share her knowledge of the history of the area as well as advocate for fairness to all. She was inducted into the NACWC Hall of Fame in 2012, one of the first inductees. Her crowning pride was being honored in 2013 as one of Portland’s’ Black Pioneers by the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs and the placement of her picture on the top of the Urban League of Portland Plaza building !


Pauline had been an active member of many volunteer organizations serving in various capacities and in leadership roles as well. A few of them are listed below.

  • President of Harriet Tubman Club
  • Past President of Les Femmes Club
  • Past President Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and Former Board member representing Eliot Neighborhood Assoc. 
  • Past Grand Lady Court #225 Knights of St. Peter Clavier
  • Past President of Oregon Assoc. Of Colored Women’s Clubs & Youth Affiliates - First elected in 1982 and served several terms.
  • Past President of NW Region National Assoc. Of Colored Women’s Clubs Inc. & Youth - Affiliates (Oldest Black Women’s Organization – Organized 1896 “Motto-“Lifting As We Climb”)
  • Past Member-At-Large of NACWC Board
  • Past President Alpha Delta Kappa, Oregon Alpha Chapter- Educators’
  • Past President of Immaculate Heart Grade School Parents Club
  • Past Vice-President North Area of The Portland Organizing Project (worked to eliminate Red-lining)
  • Portland Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority:  Past Recording Secretary and Chaplain  

Additional service on Boards and Advisory Committees, a few are listed below:

Interstate Urban Renewal Advisory Board

Convention Center Urban Renewal Advisory Board

Portland Family of Funds Advisory Board

Bosco-Milligan Foundation, Architectural & Historical Preservation

Lloyd District Development Strategy – PDC

Eliot Neighborhood Association Board and Eliot Land Use Committee


A sample of the Awards and Nominations:

Delta Sigma Theta - Women of Excellence in Education   

Teacher of the Year - Nomination by Peninsula Elementary School Staff

Spirit of Portland Award - Nomination by NECN Board

Volunteer Services Portland Mentoring Program - Portland Public Schools

Portland Assoc. Of Teachers – Work as school representative

Project Down Payment

Portland Civic Index Project


She is respected for her dedication and service to the community and her willingness to share her knowledge of the history of the area as well as advocating for fairness to all. She will be truly missed by her family, friends, community and the city of Portland.


In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Portland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Scholarship fund. Make checks payable to: Piedmont Rose Connection, Inc., P.O. Box 30915 ,Portland Oregon 97294. Please designate scholarship fund in memory of Pauline Bradford.  


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 Service Program


24 Hour Viewing
January 5, 2021

4:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Private Committal

Willamette National Cemetery
11800 Mt. Scott Blvd
Portland, OR 97086

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