If life is a song worth singing, then every breath taken should release the melody, harmony, and energy of Bernie Ransfer Bradford Tate. Bernie transitioned peacefully on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 75 years of age. Within 7 amazing decades, this incredible woman found a way to leave an indelible mark on the life of every person with which she interacted.
The special event in time was March 25, 1945 when Bernie made her debut into the world. She was born in Indianola, Mississippi. Bernie was the beloved daughter and third child of seven children of Hezekiah and Bernice Brookemond Ransfer. The Ransfer family later made Chicago, Illinois their home.
Bernie accepted Christ in her life at an early age. As she grew older, she developed a passion for working with young children. She also devoted time and energy to empower women in the important role as Christian teachers and preachers of God’s word the Bible. Bernie graduated from Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois. She received a Bachelor of Religious Education from McKinley Theological Seminary, Inc.; a diploma in Leadership from Illinois National Baptist State Convention Christian Education Congress; and certification Early Childhood Education and recognition for years of service by the National Baptist Sunday School and Training Union Congress. In 2002, Bernie became a licensed ordained minister. As an ordained minister, Bernie patronized many of the surrounding churches. She always considered “Travelers Rest” as her forever home while in this earthly life.
Bernie Ransfer and Lonnie Bradford, Jr. were joined in holy matrimony and into this union were born two sons, Lonnie III and Nathan. The family later left Chicago and made their home in Arkansas County, Arkansas. Bernie was a supportive wife and mother. She and Lonnie Jr. were married for 40 years until his death. Bernie later married Albert R. Tate, and they remained together until his death in August 2000. For a short time, Bernie was married to Gerald Huey.
Bernie enjoyed sewing, upholstery, photography, cooking, and custom printing for all occasions. She was always an impeccable dresser. She matched her outfits, shoes, purses, and jewelry. She was a “fashionista” in her own right and did things “Bernie’s way.” Bernie loved family reunions, but most of all Bernie loved her grandchildren.
Bernie’s work ethics were excellent. She worked for Bloomfield’s, Mike’s Trucking and Mars Hill Baptist Church while living in Chicago, Illinois. Bernie was the first director of the Head Start Program in Stuttgart, Arkansas. As Director, Bernie built lasting relationships with the people in the community. After leaving Head Start, Bernie was employed by the city of Allport as Court Clerk. Bernie was a Tax Consultant and for a time worked as a Census Field Supervisor for the federal government.
On Tuesday, November 10, 2020 Bernie passed from this life. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers Thomas Tate (Lilly) and Gregory Ransfer; two sisters Patricia Cross Walker and Dianne Ransfer; and one brother-in-law Johnnie Walker.
Her passing will be mourned and the memories of her will linger with her two brothers Jack and Derrick Ransfer; children Lonnie (Shirley) Bradford III and Nathan Bradford; three step children; and five grandchildren Lonnie (Khendra) Bradford IV, Nathan Bradford, Dominique Bradford, Glen Bradford, and Niryjah Ariyana Bradford. Bernie also leaves to mourn her death a special daughter-in-law LaShuna Bradford, a special caregiver, Regina Bradley, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and church family.
Visitation held Friday, November 20, 2020 from 5pm-6pm at Relerford Funeral Home, Stuttgart. Graveside Service held Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 1pm at Lone Tree Cemetery, Stuttgart.
Professional services entrusted to Relerford Funeral Home, 301 S. College St, Stuttgart, AR (870) 672-8901.