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John Abe Bedford
December 26, 1935 ~ November 6, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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John Abe Bedford was born on December 26,1935 toCarrie Robinson Bedford and David William Bedfordon the Bedford family farm. He attended the oneroom Hornsby school and grew up ushering at the St.Elmo Baptist Church where everyone was family. John then went to work farming full time and workingin the concrete and construction business with his brothers to help support the family.
In 1956, John met his wife Margie Hendricks at Rosewood Park on a date set up by Helen Hendricks, Margie’s sister and Sidney Bedford, John’s brother.Margie would then meet John every school day after school in the kitchen at Ellis’s Café where her mother,Sarah Hendricks, was the cook. Ellis’s was one of the few places in Austin that would serve food to African Americans in the 1950’s. Margie would walk to the cafe from McCallum High School, where she was the first African American to attend. Margie and John married in April 1957. To this union six children wereborn: Charlotte, John Wayne, Steven, William, Darrell and Douglas.
In addition to working on the family farm, Mr.Bedford worked in landscaping and construction for several of Austin’s premier homebuilders such asHoward and Wiley Pringle and Bill Milburn, from the 1950’s through the 1990’s before branching out on his own as a homebuilder. John worked with and employed his brothers, sons, nephews, friends of the family and anyone else who did not mind hard work.
John Bedford could be very intimidating, but you always knew where you stood with him because he was always straight forward with everyone by any “verbal means necessary”. He built over 50 homes, duplexes and churches in the east Austin area withoutany bank construction financing. This was during a time when Austin had just begun to grow from just being the capital of Texas to the city it has become today. To his family and friends, he was just Uncle John. The only free time that John ever took was timewith his family, attending church activities, familyreunions, livestock auctions, an occasional trip to San Antonio to the zoo or looking for property to buy. Most of all, he loved being on the family farm on a tractor. There were also many times when he would be traveling home from his mother in law’s home tothen look on the back of the pickup to find several of his nephews hiding underneath tarp, black plastic rolls or anything else they could find to hide underneath just to go home with Uncle John. Johnoften said that he always knew that the boys were there …. They wanted to go out to the country to the farm. As John grew older, he loved to watch Wheel of Fortune every day and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
John Bedford was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Margie Nell Hendricks Bedford, his son Steven,grandsons Keith Bedford and Timothy Felder. His
mother Carrie, father David along with his bonus mother Evelyna Neal Bedford, the only mother John ever knew. All his siblings, brothers James, Horace,
Clarence, David, Ira Samuel, Percy, Sidney, Willie and Isiah Bedford, bonus brothers Horace David Chambers and Lawrence Chambers. Sisters,Josephine Williams, Lillian Eppright and bonus sister Thelma Blaylock.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his daughter Charlotte Bedford Anderson, sons; John Wayne,William, Darrell and Douglas Bedford, all of Austin;
grandsons; Isiah Davis, Quinton Furch, Marcus Anderson, Dwight, Jonathan, Isaiah, William DonnellJr., Douglas Christian, and Darryl Bedford;granddaughters, Ambrenee McCorkle, Sarah McConico, Krystal and Devin Bedford. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family members and long-time friends.