One of his father-in-law’s last wishes, Lawrence Bradford said, was to take a ride on a motorcycle. So after John Grossman was cremated last week, Bradford loaded his cremains on a motorcycle and drove them from the Turner & Son Funeral Home in Hillsboro to Grossman’s former home in Mowrystown.
Grossman, 71, was a veteran who served 13 years in the U.S. Air Force. Bradford is a veteran of the U.S. Army and said he was accompanied on the ride by members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
“I wanted to show that whether someone served in a time of peace or a time of war, every veteran should be honored for their service to their country,” Bradford said. “John was such a great man. He served his country, loved his family and treated me like he raised me himself. I lived next door to him and every time I fired up my bike, he’d say, ‘Man, I’d sure like to take a ride on that thing.’ So I figured it was my tribute to him and a way to give myself a little closure.”
Grossman’s funeral was last Tuesday and Bradford said that after his body was cremated Wednesday, he picked his father-in-law’s ashes up Thursday at the funeral home, tied the urn they were in to the handlebars on his motorcycle, then gave Grossman his last ride home with members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association trailing him.
“His whole family said he would have loved it,” Bradford said. “When we pulled up to his house it started raining and his daughters said it wasn’t rain, it was John’s tears falling from the sky.”
Grossman served his country during the Vietnam War and also worked at SealTite in Hillsboro as a sheet metal worker. He married Judith (Woodruff) Grossman on July 6, 1967 at the Hahn Air Force Base in Germany. She survives. He is also survived by three daughters, Malein (Bill) Childers, Sarah Grossman and Jonda (Lawrence) Bradford Jr.
“I am a combat veteran and I wouldn’t have been in the military without John. He pushed me to be what I wanted to be,” Bradford said. “I made a helluva career in the military and I want to give back to veterans. Even though I’m out of uniform now, I want to do what I can.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org