Irene Bradfield, a writer and resident of Gresham for 49 years, passed away on Monday, August 26, 2013 at her home.
A funeral will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, August 31 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 507 W. Powell Blvd. Interment will follow at Lincoln Memorial Park, 11801 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd, Portland.
She was born November 17, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the fifth of seven children of Edward and Lillian Mantoen. Her father was a printer's pressman, which she said accounted for the "printer's ink" in her veins. During WWII she worked in Washington DC as a "Government Girl," in the War Department at the Pentagon, one of thousands of young women who used their secretarial and administrative skills to further the war effort. She received a Meritorious Service Award in 1947 from the War Department.
After the war she returned to St. Paul, Minnesota, and worked as a secretary for the Corp of Engineers from 1947 to 1953. She met her future husband Billy Bradfield at a square dance class and they were married September 15, 1951. They had three children, Nancy, Stephen, and Douglas and were married 53 years until Bill's death in 2005.
Irene fulfilled her dream to attend college as a member of the first graduating class of Mt. Hood Community College in 1968 with a degree in journalism. In 1982 she earned a BA degree in Communications/Management from Marylhurst College. She worked as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers in Portland including the Gresham Outlook, the Community Press, the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian. She returned to civil service, doing public relations work for federal agencies. She retired in 1984 but continued to work as a freelance writer.
Her writings included editing a 75-year history of her congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church in Gresham, a history of the beginnings of Mt. Hood Community College titled "Lest We Forget," numerous articles and photos published in local and regional publications and a novel. She received triple honors in 1984 at the Willamette Writers Annual Conference: First prize for non-fiction, Best Manuscript and Conference Grand Prize for her article on Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an avid letter writer and corresponded regularly with family and friends.
Irene is survived by a sister Elsie Skoog of Seattle, Washington, her daughter Nancy Sayler of New Canaan, Connecticut , three grandchildren Laura, Eric and Brian Sayler, and her son Stephen Bradfield of Gresham.