Stephen Bamford

Obituary of Stephen R. Bamford

Stephen R. Bamford of North Port, Florida died on February 2, 2023.

Born on May 4, 1943, in Exeter, NH, Steve was the oldest son of George and Beatrice (Ray) Bamford, and was raised in Durham. He graduated from Oyster River High in June 1961. Steve began his career as a high school teacher and basketball coach in New Hampshire and impacted the lives of countless students at Littleton, St. Thomas and Concord High Schools during the 1960’s and 70’s. He later served as a school administrator at Winnacunnet High (Hampton) and Hampton Academy before moving into collegiate athletics.

A 1965 graduate of Plymouth State University, Steve earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Plymouth State in 1975. He became a charter member of the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1985 and was proud to be named it’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1988. At Plymouth, he earned a reputation as a strategic thinker and innovator both regionally and nationally. A man of great integrity, he was a role model to many, especially his children and deeply respected by his peers. Steve retired in 2011 after a second stint as Associate Commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference in Centerville, MA.

After retiring, Steve felt blessed to spend his summers on Cape Cod and winters in Florida. He spent the last several years of his life in both places and had adopted the entire UMass athletic program as his fourth child. He was fond of watching all of the UMass teams and the Yale women’s lacrosse team whenever possible. Steve could often be found dropping in to check out a team practice when he was on the Amherst campus in recent years.

Steve is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Donna Bamford of North Port, Florida; three children: Todd and his wife Heather Corbett, of Brunswick, Maine; Kate Bamford of Monroe, Washington; Ryan and his wife Erica, of Longmeadow, Mass.; four grandchildren: Bear, Chloe, George and Luke; brother Paul and his wife Mary, of Stratham, NH; sister-in-law Deborah Bamford of Dover, NH; and many dear nieces and nephews.

Steve is predeceased by his parents and his brother, David.

Arrangements for a celebration of life will be made at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Parkinson's Foundation. 

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