James Bickford (1917 - 2014)

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James Bickford
James Herbert Bickford rode off into the sunset for the final time on January 17, 2014.
Jim was born August 1, 1917 to Joseph Arthur and Margaret Biggs Bickford, in Sacramento, California. He grew up on the Bickford Ranch in Lincoln and is a 1934 graduate of Lincoln High School. He attended Sacramento City College and transferred to UC Berkeley, graduating in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Then went to work as an engineer at the Naval Ship Yard on Mare Island, Vallejo. In 1946 he entered the US Army and was deployed to Okinawa, Japan. Returning to Sacramento in 1947, he began work with for the Bureau of Reclamation as a Civil Engineer. He married Dorothy Waite on April 16, 1949. In 1957, Jim gave up his career in Sacramento, and moved his family back to the Bickford Ranch, to raise his children in a setting that he believed would provide a better quality of life.
Jim was a Charter Member of the Tahoe Cattlemen's Association, where he served on the Board of Directors for 25 years. In 1982 he was awarded Cattleman of the Year.
He served for over 30 years on the California Cattlemen's Association Animal Health Committee.
Jim also served on the Board of Directors for both the Placer County Farm Supply and Placer County Farm Bureau.
In 1988, Jim moved his cattle operation to Beaver Creek Ranch in Pittville and expanded to include cow/calf, purebred sheep, and hay. Following his dad and grandfather, Jim was the third generation in their cattle operation that has continued now for 137 years. Jim was honored as the 2011 Cattleman of the Year by the Fall River/Big Valley Cattlemen's Association.
Jim was involved in the Freemasons organization for 67 years. In 1973 he was awarded the designation of Knight of the York Cross of Honour. This honorary degree was conferred on Jim for having held the following highest offices - Master of Gold Hill Lodge of Masons in 1962; High Priest of Roseville Chapter, Royal Arch Masons in 1967; Master of Roseville Council, Royal and Select Masters in 1967; and Commander of Auburn Commandry, Knights Templar in 1971.
He was also involved in Order of the Eastern Star, Ben Ali Shrine, and Job's Daughters.
He is survived by: his wife Dorothy; 4 children - Ken (Gitch) of Fall River Mills, Ron (Barbara) of Rocklin, Carol Buckman (Bill) of Pittville, and Larry (Tina) of San Jose; 6 grandchildren - Martin, Brandon and Dustin Bickford, and Heidi Bass, Mimi Macfarlane and Bonni Buckman; 13 great-grandchildren - Isabel, Job, Noah, Emma, Blake, Jacob, Jack, Winnie and Henry Bickford, and Sadie, Hudson, Baxter Bass, and Will Macfarlane; his sister Myrtle Findley of Colfax; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held February 8, 2014, at 1p.m., at the Intermountain Fairgrounds in McArthur.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held March 22, 2014, at Fowler Nursery in Lincoln at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Shriners Hospital or Fort Crook Museum.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Jan. 30, 2014
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