James Edward Bransford passed away peacefully on July 31, at the age of 89 after
a long and courageous battle with kidney disease. Jim was born on December 11, 1930, as the eldest of five siblings raised in rural Maryland.
He was predeceased by parents Aurora and Hugh L. Bransford, Jr.and his brother Hugh L. Bransford, III. Jim served in the Korean War and later graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Biology and Chemistry and pursued a brilliant career as a research chemist at Honeywell and the Veteran’s Hospital.
Jim married Jeanne Watson in 1957 and settled in the Rondo neighborhood of St Paul. From that union came Tanya and Traci. Jim became active in the Twin Cities
as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He loved literature, music, theater and cooking. Jim had a second career as a founding member of what is now African
American Family Services.
He “retired” as a dispositional advisor in the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office. Jim worked tirelessly as substance abuse and violence prevention counselor and steered multiple generations of families towards treatment and away from incarceration.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Barbara; daughters, Tanya Bransford Lewis (Jeff Lewis) and Traci Vernita Bransford, step-daughter Alcenya Ajayi; seven grandchildren; sisters Joyce Byrd of Havre de Grace, Maryland; Judith Muhammad of Baltimore, Maryland; Jean Hartzog of Jersey City, New Jersey and sister in law Isabella Bransford of Madison, Alabama. Jim is also survived by a host of loving great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am on August 18, 2020, via a virtual platform and a private family memorial service will be held in Maryland in 2021.