Funeral services for Robert E. Bedford, 103, of Memphis, TN will be at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at Boone Funeral Home in Indianola. He died peacefully at his home in the early morning hours of Monday, February 6, 2023. Burial with military honors will be in the Indianola City Cemetery.
He was a remarkable man, born in to this world October 18, 1919 in Frankfort, Michigan to Alvin E Bedford and Hazel Harmon Bedford. Later, he became the adopted son of the late Kenneth C. Kimbrough.
Robert, known as Bobby to his friends grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and spent summers with his family in Frankfort on Lake Michigan and at Crystal Lake. Graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he continued on in the engineering school for navigation in preparation for naval service which led him to Midshipman’s school at Columbia University. Bobby served as lieutenant in the navy amphibious branch of the military in three theatres during WWII; North Africa, D-Day Sicily and D-Day Normandy at Utah Beach. He was in charge of a flotilla of LCM (landing craft small boats) shuttling the men ashore in waves from the troop ships and taking the wounded from shore to ship.
As the war ended, deciding to pursue his interest in interiors, he attended Parson School of Design in New York City, leading him to move to Memphis, TN joining his military friend Kenneth Kimbrough in partnership to form the firm of Kimbrough Inc. Interior Design. The firm was located in the historic Hill Mansion on Union Avenue for thirty years where they did work for Memphis society as well as many other clients around the country. The stone lions that guarded the mansion can now be seen guarding Brooks Art Gallery.
Bobby spent a wonderful, long life entertaining friends with his life partner Kenneth Kimbrough at the home they designed and built on Lake Windermere in the early fifties. They were avid world travelers, buying for the business and making enduring friendships all over the world. Bobby was a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a life member of The American Society of Interior Designers, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Dixon Gallery and Gardens. He leaves his partner Tom Bohn as well as five nephews and nieces from Michigan and California. He was predeceased by brother William H. Bedford, of Frankfort, MI, sister Dora A. Bedford of Frankfort, MI, John R. Bedford of Artesia, CA, and partner of 54 years, Kenneth C. Kimbrough of Memphis, TN.
There will be a visitation from 1:00 p.m. until service time on Wednesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Forever Young Veterans, 201 S. Center St. #200, Collierville, TN 38017 or foreveryoungvets.org