Archie Lee Bedford, Jr., 87, passed over peacefully surrounded by his family and friends at Morningstar Dunn’s Vista, in Baldwin City, Kansas. Celebration of Life will be at 4:00 PM on Saturday, September 28th at DeSoto United Methodist Church, 8760 Kill Creek Road, DeSoto, Ks. Following the service, friends are invited to share a meal with the family at the Linden-Tripkos VFW Post, 33725 West 84th St, DeSoto, Kansas. Inurnment at DeSoto Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the DeSoto United Methodist Church or the DeSoto VFW Post 6654. Arrangements: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Condolences may be left at brucefuneralhome.com
Archie was born August, 1932, at home, in Deepwater, Missouri, the son of Archie L. Bedford Sr., and Roxie Eulah (Thompson) Bedford. The exact date of his birth was always in question. While his birth certificate states August 7th, 1932, his mother insisted it was August 20th. This delighted Archie, allowing him 2 celebrations each year. He lived in Deepwater in early years and worked hard between school and chores in his uncle’s sorghum fields and on railroad labor jobs. In 1942 Archie moved with his dad and brother to DeSoto, where his dad was working at Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant. There they worked to find and cobble together a place for the family to live. The town was growing so quickly with the new employment opportunity nearby, the housing shortage made that job a challenge. Their first home in DeSoto was described as a shed near the creek (used for drinking, washing, and keeping food cool). Archie’s mom and sisters came to join them in DeSoto after the land and home was in order. Roxie (Archie’s mom) was underwhelmed. But the family was large, and hard work and creativity was expected of everyone, so, after several moves and many different entrepreneurial ideas ranging from worm farm to laundry service, the family was comfortably settled in a large home to accommodate a family with 8 children.
Archie began work at Guy Longstreth’s Sinclair station in his teens and, considering him a dear friend and mentor, continued to fill in for Guy for years after graduating from DeSoto High School in 1950. In 1951 Archie married his high school sweetheart, Sally Martha (Schmidt) Bedford. They had a long and connected life together and she lovingly baked 2 birthday pies a year for him every year, until her death in 2018.
After high school Archie worked at Colgate Palmolive Company in Kansas City as a welder, where he caught a ride to work and frequently hitchhiked home at days end. In 1953, Archie enlisted in the United States Armed Forces with the Navy. He was deployed to Japan and served from 1953-1956 as a Steelworker “Class A” with the Navy Sea Bees during the Korean War. There he learned many phrases in Japanese, which he loved teaching to anyone wanting to listen. After serving in the United States Navy, Archie returned to DeSoto and went to school at The University of Kansas, earning a degree in Civil Engineering. He worked for several years at Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), before moving to Sacramento, California working with the Federal Highway Administration. After many promotions and work on several highways in California, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, Archie retired in ’93, carrying with him the joy of many lifelong friendships.
After his active career, Archie continued to work as a surveyor, running a private business with his wife, Sally, for 20 years. In his community he volunteered to help develop Miller Park, as well as Wilderness Park, served on City Council, was a member of DeSoto United Methodist Church, and a past member of DeSoto Rotary and The Masons. When his sons were growing up he was involved with Scout Troop 54, and enjoyed years of laughter with friends known as “The Hungries”. After retirement he delivered Meals on Wheels for 17 years. He was actively involved in the day to day functions of the Linden-Tripkos VFW Post 6654, and was known in the community as a reliable point of contact to get anything related to the VFW accomplished.
Archie celebrated the birth of five children and the opportunity to work them into adulthood. His children appreciated the fact that he had two birthdays, allowing the opportunity to remember the second one, in case they missed the first.
Archie was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Sally, and siblings: Maxine McMillian, Billy Bedford, Bonnie Redick, and Charles Bedford (infant death). He is survived by his sisters SueAnn Frickey, Avis Garrett-Baptist, Judy Macy and by his brother Kenny Bedford. He is also survived by his five children: Danita (Dani) Bedford, Brenda (Darrell) Sampson, David (Darlene) Bedford, Sr., Brent (Yvette Rowe) Bedford, and Doug (Kim) Bedford, and grandchildren: Amy (Bill) Holzhueter, Shana Nicole (Bo) Nelson, Jesse Bedford, Abe Sampson, Adam Sampson, Megen Bedford, David Bedford, Jr., Kayla Bedford, Alexis Bedford, Paden Bedford, Josie Bedford, Ron Rowe and Ryan Rowe. Archie also had some good laughs watching great grandchildren; Aviva and Liam Holzhueter, Kalina, Ellie, and Beck Nelson and Dylan Rowe.
The family is deeply grateful for the care and companionship Archie received from friends and caregivers, as Alzheimer’s disease made this care necessary. Archie received loving assistance from caregivers and family while living at home after his wife passed over, as well as care from Hillside Village of DeSoto. It was the move to the small loving surroundings at Morningstar Care Homes at Dunn’s Vista in Baldwin City, that brought a sense of calm to Archie and to his family. We truly could not have done it without Dunn’s Vista and the staff there. We would also like to thank Good Shepherd Hospice of Lenexa. Your attention to Archie at his end of life is deeply appreciated. Lastly, friends who continued to visit Archie, bring him treats, and good humor, or simply remembering him in their thoughts, your kindness will always be remembered.