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In Loving Memory: Deacon Aaron Radford
November 12, 1927 - October 17, 2020
Deacon Aaron Radford was the 11th out of 13 children born to Will Radford of Virginia and Kioda Jesse Radford of Streetman, TX. Will and Kioda raised their children in Richland, TX and taught them to follow Jesus Christ. Aaron enjoyed hunting with his father and watching him work with hot iron as a Blacksmith. The Radford children attended a little two room school called Carroll Chapel which taught all grades. He graduated from Campbell Grove High in 1944 where he placed 1st in State competition winning the 100 and 220 yard dashes.
Deacon Radford enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951 and progressed through the ranks working in hospital supply. On a hot 4th of July day in Lubbock, he invited a Miss Louise Rider to accompany him to the NCO club at Reese Air Force Base. This day was the beginning of their courtship and eventual Holy Matrimony as husband and wife for 58 years. The United States Air Force sent Aaron and Louise and their three girls to many destinations - the last being Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. Deacon Radford retired with the rank of Master Sergeant after 23 years of service and immediately went to work at Seton Medical Center in Austin. With hard work he became the Director of Material Management Procurement & Distribution. He had a close friendship with Sister Regis, one of the Daughters of Charity at Seton. There were many times that she would request for him to pray prior to staff meetings. Deacon Radford retired from Seton after 16 years of faithful service. He enjoyed Seton because of their commitment and motto to treat everyone “as if they were treating Christ himself”.
Through the years Sis. & Deacon Radford did everything together. Louise’s mother (Mama Ree) nicknamed them Molly & Polly; you rarely found one without the other. They loved to bowl and were members of the Treasure Chest and Young at Heart Bowling Leagues for many years. In addition, they held season tickets for the University of Texas Lady Longhorn basketball team, sitting in the same seats for over 25 years until their health would no longer allow them to attend. Aaron especially loved his many Texas professional sports teams to include the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, and the San Antonio Spurs. He was one of the fiercest “trash-talkers” when it came to his teams. He enjoyed gardening, wood-working, fishing, and supporting his girls and grandchildren in all of their many endeavors.
When the family arrived in Austin in 1972, Deacon Radford was mentored by the late Rev. E.M. Franklin who pastored the St. James Missionary Baptist Church. Aaron was ordained a deacon under Rev. Franklin’s leadership. Louise became a member of the Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Church on Tillery St. right around the corner from St. James. Each church loved and cherished them both. Deacon Radford served for numerous years as Sunday School Superintendent, on the Finance/Budget Committee, Sunday School Teacher, on the Media Team, and he especially enjoyed singing with the E.M. Franklin Male Chorus.
Most of all, Deacon Aaron Radford loved the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his personal Lord and Savior. Deacon Radford truly lived out his faith. He talked the talk, and really walked the walk. Even when his body began to fail, his love and service to the Lord never wavered. From his recliner and sometimes in pain, he would answer anyone's calls and text-messages (tech savvy), and lend prayer and/or mentorship when asked. He had the heart of his Savior and hated to see anyone go without.
Deacon Aaron Radford has left a rich legacy of love each one of us can follow: laugh when you can because life is too short to be serious all the time, dance a little jig every once in a while - it will make you feel better, learn all you can about Jesus Christ - He’s your best friend and He’ll never let you down, and remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Deacon Radford was preceded in death by his his loving wife Louise, mother, father, 12 siblings Louis Radford, Edward Radford, McClinton Radford, Geneva Wilson, Ernest Radford, Essie Sampson, Annie Trotty, Gladys Curtis, Alma Robinson, Helen Buie, John Radford, grandson Brandon Chiles, and close neighbor (considered family) Deacon John “Jim” Collins, Jr.
Along with many indelible memories, he leaves to mourn: three daughters Marchelle (Harvey) Simmons, Donna (Brian) Radford-Dalton, and Karen Radford; grandchildren Makeda Simmons, Terrence “TJ” Simmons, and Trace Aaron Dalton; a sister Virdie Davis, neighbors (considered family); James and Ilinda Williams, Linda Robinson, and Pearl Graham, Deacon Charles Kelly, and Deacon Samuel Matthews and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends too numerous to list.
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