Mildred E. "Millie" Bradin, first female deputy sheriff in city, dies

She was active in Democratic politics

  • Mildred Estelle Bradin
Mildred Estelle Bradin
March 03, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Mildred E. "Millie" Bradin, who was the first female deputy sheriff for Baltimore City and who was active in Democratic politics, died Saturday of cancer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

The longtime Perry Hall resident was 77.

The daughter of farmers, Mildred Estelle Mathais was born and raised in Huntsville, Ala., where she graduated from high school.

She met and fell in love with Martin Kevin Bradin, a Baltimorean who was stationed with the Army in Huntsville.

After a whirlwind courtship of 56 days, the couple married in 1950 and moved to Baltimore.

"She was 17 at the time," said a granddaughter, Erin Prosser of Mount Washington.

In 1966, Mrs. Bradin, who was living in the 3000 block of Westfield Ave., was working as a secretary-bookkeeper when then-Baltimore Sheriff Frank Pelz appointed her to his all-male staff.

"The attractive deputy, who says she does not pack a gun, is assigned primarily to the handling of women and children," The Baltimore Sun reported at the time.

In 1969, she joined the state's attorney's office, where she was a supervisor and investigator in the pretrial release division. She worked in the major fraud unit from 1972 to 1975.

She transferred to the medical assistance compliance division in 1975 and remained there until 1984, when she joined the consumer protection division in the Maryland attorney general's office, which was headed by J. Joseph Curran Jr.

She retired in 1995.

"Millie and her husband were political and neighborhood activists in the finest sense of the word for years and years in the Harford Road area. They were both very good friends of mine," said Mr. Curran. "They were a wonderful couple and always very helpful to me whenever I ran for office."

Mr. Curran's friendship with the couple went back to the early 1960s.

"She was a lovely lady, and I recommended her for deputy sheriff in 1966," he said. "She served summonses and coordinated activities at the City Jail and courthouse. She was very well-liked in the sheriff's office."

The couple had a wide acquaintanceship among local and state politicians.

"Millie never met a Democrat she didn't like," said a son, Timothy P. Bradin of Hamilton.

"She and Martin would have their backyard jammed with 60 or 70 people to meet a candidate. I could always count on them. It was always easy for Millie to gather a large group of people," Mr. Curran said. "They were both very outgoing, and I always did very well in the Harford Road area."

Mr. Bradin said his mother was very active in women's rights and was an active member of United 3rd District and Citizens for Good Government. She was a founder and board member of the Westfield Neighborhood Improvement Association.

She was a past president of the Business and Professional Women of Baltimore, according to her son.

Mrs. Bradin was a member of St. John's 10th Ward Old-timers.

"Politics was her hobby," Mr. Bradin said.

She volunteered at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium, St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church's Healthcare Ministry and the William S. Baer School for developmentally disabled children.

Mrs. Bradin lost two of her sons to hemophilia; Stephen Bradin died in 1959, and Thomas Bradin died in 1989.

Mrs. Bradin's husband, who was the retired manager of the Taxpayer Service Section of the Sales and Use Tax Division in the Maryland comptroller's office, died in 1994.

Mrs. Bradin was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Fullerton, where a memorial Mass was offered Thursday.

Also surviving are another son, Michael S. Bradin of Parkville, and another granddaughter.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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