James Edward Bridgeford

Sunrise: November 20, 1943

Sunset: February 3, 2024

On February 3, 2024, God called our beloved James E. Bridgeford to his eternal rest.

James was born November 20, 1943 to the late James and Mary Bridgeford in Norfolk, Virginia.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter Antoinette ‘Toni’ Bridgeford-Colander.

He was educated in Norfolk Public Schools system, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1961. He furthered his education at Norfolk State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and worked towards his master’s degree at Old Dominion University.

James was the President of the Cavalier Manor Civic League for 4 years.  He served as the PTA President for Lakeview Elementary and the Band Booster President for Manor High School.  He was the Cavalier Manor Little League Football Coach and he organized the Junior Football League.

From 1990 to 2016, he served on the Portsmouth School Board.  During those 26 years, he served in many capacities, including Vice Chair and Chairman.  He was the longest-tenured School Board member. His board colleagues describe him as a thoughtful, steady-handed leader who waits to share his opinion until after everyone else has been heard.

‘Butch’, as he was affectionately known, began his employment in the early 1960’s, serving in the United States Navy. He became a bookkeeper, honing financial skills that later helped him launch his career in business.  In 1970, a Navy program for military personnel transitioning to the civilian world helped him cultivate his skills in preparing for future employment. During his professional career, he served the US government as an Internal Auditor and was an integral part of The Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

James was a faithful, dedicated member of Fourth Baptist Church.  He served on the Male Usher Board and he assisted the budget committee, serving as the official auditor for many years.

‘Pop Bridgeford’ was passionate about motorcycles and the Las Vegas Raiders. He enjoyed jazz music, especially Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly.

He leaves to cherish his memory, a loving son, John Bridgeford (Jessica) of Chesapeake, VA; three grandchildren, Jasmine, Demarcus, and Danielle Bridgeford, all of Portsmouth, VA; a fiance, Jean Taylor of Chesapeake, VA; a special cousin, Bernard Morgan of Chesapeake, VA; a lifelong friend, Flossie Bridgeford of Portsmouth, VA; as well as loving family and friends

Viewing Friday, February 9, 2024 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 5605 Portsmouth Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23701 Service Saturday, February 10, 2024 11:00am Fourth Baptist Church 726 South Street Portsmouth, VA 23704

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  1. reply
    Wanda Williams says

    Praying for you John and your family during this time of sadness. Mr Bridgeford was a great neighbor and friend to my Nicole and Kasey. He surely will be missed.💐💐💐🙏🏾🙏🏾💐💐💐

  2. reply
    James K Lewis Sr (Retired Captain) says

    My sincere condolences and prayers to the family. We worked together for the Western Tidewater Regional Jail for many years until he retired. He will be missed.

    • reply
      Nicole Williams and Kasey Hines says

      Truly awesome man! Kasey and I will truly miss our dear neighbor. Thankful for the talks and laughs we’ve shared over the last 8 years. The family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. reply
    Daniel T MASKELONY says

    Great co-worker, honest man. Condolences to family. RIP James.

    • reply
      Lisa Bellamy says

      My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

    • reply
      Lisa Bellamy says

      My prayers are with the family.

  4. reply
    Katherine Williams says

    My condolences to James’s family and loved ones. James Bridgeford was a pioneer and advocate for his community! He broke down barriers and built lasting relationships. I am truly proud to have known and worked with him. He will be missed.

  5. reply
    Terri Hemmingway-Levarity says

    Our deepest condolences to Johnny and the Bridgeford family. The Bridgefords were our long-time neighbors and close friends to our family. He was always supportive of our family and never failed to disappoint. He will be sorely missed. Love, The Bennett Family

  6. reply
    Patience Eure-Robinson says

    Gone but truly not forgotten! I will always remember our last meeting where we were able to laugh at each other about some things. When I left you had a smile on your face which I will always remember! John and Jessica took really good of you! I know you will be missed but they know they will see you again. God bless the family!
    Condolences from Patience, Chester, and Paneisha

  7. reply
    To the Bridgeford Family says

    To the Bridgeford Family,

    We love God because he first loved us. Even while we were yet still sinners. Therefore, we have love one for another. Butchie’s legacy will be his love for others. Love is an action word, and we know that actions speak louder than words. Butchie has been active in the community and lives of others since the nineteen seventies. Whether coaching little league sports to serving on the school board, he has impacted countless lives. His lifetime of contributions has helped shape the community both directly and indirectly. Thousands of wonderful things could be said about our friend Mr. James Bridgeford. However, for now I’ll just say we were blessed to have known him. To the family, may the peace of God that surpasses all understanding comfort you during your time of bereavement.

    Victor & Felicia

    • reply
      Lynn H. Pickett says

      Hemmingway Family of Tampa Fl. Do send their condolences To The Bridgeford Family 🙏🏾❤️

  8. reply
    Jean M Taylor says

    God is good. Butch, I know that you will be alright. My thoughts are with the family. May God bless and keep you.

  9. reply
    Angela Perry says

    He was truly a wonderful man. He will truly be missed.

  10. reply
    Kim and George Pender says

    Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to you all and may God give you the strength to endure. Love you all.

  11. reply
    John Nibblett Jr says

    Sorry to hear about Mr B. He was a down to earth man and neighbor.As kids he would set us straight like all the parents would do..He was another man that got me thinking about the military..BUT I WENT ARMY. THE ONLY WAY TO GO .Thanks again Sir. Relax you did your duty..You will be missed truly. Junie Nibblett

  12. reply
    Wilbert D. Hawkins, Jr. says

    It was a pleasure to have been associated with Mr. Bridgeford in his capacities as a School Board member and as a School Board Chairman. He was fair, honest and an effective leader. My wife and I extend condolences to the Bridgeford family.
    Wilbert D. Hawkins, Jr.
    Former Superintendent

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