James W. "Jim" Read, 92, longtime resident of Sterling, went to be with the Lord on Jan. 7, 2014, in Cheyenne, Wyo. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Chaney-Reager Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at Chaney-Reager. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Sterling.
Jim was born March 3, 1921, in his parents' home in East Dorset, Vt., the youngest of five children. He attended two years of high school, and then attended the Vermont School of Agriculture, where he graduated valedictorian of his class in 1939.
On July 2, 1942, he married Alice Welch of Merrimack, N.H. He served his country during World War II?in the U.S. Army Air Force as an air craft mechanic/instructor and a B-24 bomber crew chief in Casper, Wyo.
After the war he went to work as a dairy herdsman for the University of Wyoming. He was encouraged to enroll as a student at the University of Wyoming, and in 1953 graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.
In August of 1956 he accepted the position of County Extension Agent in Cheyenne County. There was a severe grasshopper infestation during that time and Jim started Colorado's first countywide grasshopper campaign.
After two years he transferred to Lamar and stayed there for five years. There he started the All American Swine Show, a brucellosis testing program, and worked to improve grain sorghum varieties in Prowers County.
In December of 1963, he moved to Sterling, where he served as county agent of Logan County for 20 years. Here he worked to improve grain varieites and better production methods specifically for Logan and surrounding counties. He also helped to start the Great Western Beef Expo and Sugar Beet Days. He was actively involved in the county and state fairs and served as swine superintendent of the Colorado State Fair for many years. In 1970 he took a sabbatical leave to get his Masters of Education degree at Colorado State University.
In 1983, Jim retired from extension work. He became involved in other activities in the community, such as serving on the Northeastern Junior College board of directors for 16 years and serving one term as Logan County Commissioner.
The culmination of his many awards and recognitions resulted in Jim being selected to the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2010.
Jim is survived by his wife, Alice; a daughter, Betty King and husband Kenneth; a son, John and wife Barbara; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two sisters and two brothers; and his parents, Frank V. Read and Clara (Tanner) Read.
Memorials may be made to the Northeastern Junior College Foundation to benefit the NJC?agricultural department, 100 College Ave., Sterling, CO?80751.