Bradford Hatch Mighill, 93, of Plainfield, NH and formerly of Jamaica Plain, died on May 25 at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT after a long and determined fight against the debilitating respiratory symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Brad was born on April 24, 1924 in Ipswich and spent his first four years at the family homestead in neighboring Rowley. As luck would have it, he was issued two birth certificates, one from each town; and he ran with a full life on each one.
His family lost their home in Rowley during The Great Depression and moved to the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston where Brad grew up, initially in Oakdale Village, and then at 8A Oakdale St. Brad graduated from Jamaica Plain High School and then entered the Navy in 1943 during World War II. He was stationed in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater aboard the attack transport ship USS Kittson as a Fire Controlman, after completing Fire Control School in Newport, RI and Washington, D.C. He participated in the assault on Okinawa Gunto and the Philippine Campaign, for which his ship received one battle star and Brad received several ribbons and a medal.
Brad reenlisted in the Navy Reserves for a four-year term after an honorable discharge from active duty, serving while enrolled at Harvard College, to which he commuted from his childhood home at 8A Oakdale St. He majored in physical science and graduated with Harvard’s Class of 1950. He continued on in his education, taking several graduate engineering courses at MIT. He worked at General Electric in Lynn for 35 years in Design Engineering with the Instrumentation Department. During his tenure at GE, Brad filed several patents and was awarded a General Electric Award to Inventors, Invention-Fulcrum of Progress. He moved to Georgia for several years to assist with training and the transfer of his department to the Yokogawa Corporation of America, after it acquired General Electric’s instrument products.
Over the years, Brad enjoyed spending time helping his daughter with her ponies, researching family genealogy, listening to opera and classical music, participating in candlepin bowling leagues, and traveling miles and miles to get to a dog track. He was a member of a GE group of retirees called the ‘Spark Plugs’. He moved to Plainfield, NH in 1998 to be near his daughter; and spent countless hours with his grandchildren, helping to take care of them especially when they were young. He was incredibly proud of their accomplishments and took great joy in watching and helping them grow up. He was known for his multiple daily walks up and down the main street of Plainfield Village no matter the weather. Always ready for a conversation, he would offer tidbits of in-depth knowledge on most any, often esoteric, subject to anyone who would listen. He could always be found calculating, tinkering, repairing, and experimenting with something. He enjoyed working with circuits, meters, and anything he could connect together or take apart.
Brad was pre-deceased by both parents, Viola (Hatch) and Charles Frederick Mighill, his older brothers Charlie and John Mighill and sister Ruth MacLaurin, as well as life-long best friends from grade school S. John Stratis and Robert Morse. Brad is survived by his daughter Laurie Mighill Atwater and son-in-law Bradford Atwater of Plainfield, NH; his beloved grandchildren Teagan Mighill Atwater and Kelsie Suzanne Atwater also of Plainfield; nephews John Mighill and wife Mary Ellen of Rowley, MA, Tom Mighill and Charlotte Gilson of Arlington, MA, and Scott Mighill of Blackstone, MA; cousin Marie Fullerton, ‘Baby Doll’, of Tucson, AZ who faithfully called him every day during the last few months; long-time family friend Bertie Stratis who also kept in regular contact; his great GE friend and track buddy, Bill Nelson; as well as numerous other friends and neighbors.
His family would like to thank the staff at the Lake Sunapee Region VNA and Hospice for their care and commitment to Brad as well as to the White River Junction VA Medical Center’s physicians, nurses, and staff members for their care and support. Our appreciation also goes out to the many local friends and neighbors who lent a helping hand, offered kind words, and brought by food and companionship while he was cared for at home. It is hard to put into words the positive impact everyone had in helping Brad along his journey. Thank you.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Brad’s memory may be made to PlainFacts, PO Box 107 or to The Friends of the Philip Read Memorial Library, PO Box 163, both in Plainfield, NH 03781.
Committal services were held on Saturday July 8 at the Rowley, MA Main Street Cemetery with a luncheon that followed at the Bradford Tavern, as well as on Sunday July 9 at the Plainfield, NH Plain Cemetery with a reception celebrating his life at the Town Hall.
The Knight Funeral Home in White River Junction, VT assisted with arrangements.