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