James Stafford

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James Stafford
May 25, 1922 - March 31, 2018
James "Jim" Elbridge Stafford, 95, died of cancer on March 31, 2018, in Kansas City, Kansas.
He is predeceased by his father, James Ezra Stafford; his mother, Margaret Aurelia Young Stafford, and his sister, Barbara Stafford Johnson. He is survived by three daughters, Lucinda Jean Stafford in Topeka, KS; Mary Michelle Stafford in Emeryville, CA, and Susan Curtis Stafford of Lansing, KS. He leaves behind four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren.
Jim was born on May 25, 1922, in Rancagua, Chile. In 1942, Jim joined the 101st Airborne Division as a parachutist, earning two Purple Hearts. He fought in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. In 2014, he was also awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service.
After the war, Jim married his first wife, Jean Place. They had three daughters, Cindy, Michelle, and Susan. Jim and Jean later divorced, and Jim married Patricia Louise Higgins.
Earning a bachelor's degree in accounting and management at Washburn University in 1955, Jim became a logistician in the Department of the Air Force. That career took him from Topeka to Mobile, AL, and Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. At Wright-Patterson, Jim earned a master's degree in logistics management.
Following his retirement, he started his own fishing rod company, moved to a lakeside home in Laurel, MS, and earned a master's degree in community counseling from Mississippi State University. Then he relocated to Grand Junction, CO.
Jim was an avid bridge player, loved fishing and golf, and was an ardent sports car enthusiast. He also was a 32nd degree Mason.
Throughout his life, Jim enjoyed meeting people and helping them. His faith in God was unshakable and his personal integrity was unwavering. But as he noted, "Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item in their daily agenda. For me, that was always a high priority in whatever I was doing."
The Penwell-Gabel funeral home in Topeka is managing the funeral arrangements; his ashes will be interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka. Memorial services are being planned for Grand Junction. Donations may be made to the .
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Apr. 22, 2018
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