JAMES OTIS ALFORD
1945 KY – 2005 TN
Owensboro, Daviess Co., KY—Tuesday, 8 March 2005
RIPLEY, Tenn.—The Rev. James O. Alford, 59, of Ripley died
Saturday, March 5, 2005, at his home. He was the minister at First United
Methodist Church in Ripley and a member of Memphis Annual Conference of United
Methodist Churches. He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
Survivors include his wife, Pat Alford; two
sons, Scott Alford of Collierville and Mark Alford of Mount Juliet, Tenn.; a
parent, Violet Alford of Owensboro; two grandchildren; and a brother, Robert Alford
Services are at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 8, at
First United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Middle Tennessee Veterans
Cemetery. Garner Funeral Home in Nashville is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lakeshore
United Methodist Assembly.
Memphis, Shelby Co., TN—Sunday, 6 March 2005
RIPLEY—Rev. James O. Alford, 59, minister of Ripley First
United Methodist Church, died Saturday at his home. Services will be at 11 a.m.
Tuesday at Ripley First United Methodist Church with burial in Middle Tennessee
Veterans Cemetery. Garner Funeral Home has charge. He was a Vietnam War Army
veteran and a member of Memphis Annual Conference of United Methodist Churches.
Rev. Alford, the husband of Pat Alford, also leaves two sons, Scott Alford of
Collierville and Mark Alford of Mount Juliet; his mother, Violet Alford, and a
brother, Robert Alford, both of Owensboro, Ky., and two grandchildren. The
family requests that any memorials be sent to Lakeshore United Methodist
By the Reverend Scott Alford, son of James Otis Alford
On May 23, 1945, Jim Alford entered this world
in Owensboro, Kentucky, as the first child of Marvin and Violet Alford. He was later
graced with a brother, Robert. Owensboro was Jim’s home until April of 1966
when he enlisted in the United States Army. His family began its expansion on
December 17, 1967, when he married Patricia Hass of Russell, Minnesota. Jim and
Pat had two children, Scott and Mark. For the last six years of his life, he
spent time spoiling two grandchildren, Madison and Evan, and in his last year
he was anticipating the adoption of his third grandchild from China.
Jim was always proud of his military service,
which included four years of active duty and eight years in the Kentucky
National Guard. During his time in the service, he graduated from the Infantry
Officer Candidate School, the Armor Officer Advanced Course, and the United
States Army Command and General Staff College. While on active duty, Jim served
in Vietnam from June of 1968 through May of 1969, earning the Bronze Star,
among other awards. He ultimately attained the rank of Major.
Jim also worked several years in the radio
business. For WVJS-WSTO in Owensboro, he worked as Traffic Manager and
Production Manager, and for WDXR in Paducah, he was employed as Sales Manager.
In fact, one of his children’s fond memories of his days in radio was when they
were able to hear him on the air.
Jim began sensing a call to ministry while in
high school and preached his first sermon at the age of 16 at his home church,
Woodlawn UMC in Owensboro. However, it was in 1982 that he fully realized his calling
and started the candidacy program. He had earned his Bachelor of Arts from
Kentucky Wesleyan College a few years earlier and earned a Master of Divinity
from Memphis Theology Seminary in 1986. While Jim was proud of his military
service, his service as a minister was most rewarding to him. He touched the lives
of many people throughout his years of ministry at Mt. Pleasant-New Hope, the
Brownsville Circuit, South Pleasant Grove, Trinity- Antioch, Benton First and
Sports were a passion of Jim’s. He really loved the
game of baseball, especially the St. Louis Cardinals, and was able to see them
play in the 1982 World Series. Another favorite game was golf, and for several
years the monthly golf scrambles with the other clergy became a great source of
fellowship for him.
Jim was active in many organizations. He was a
Paul Harris Fellow in the Rotary Club and was also very supportive of Relay for
Life and the Emmaus movement, where he served as Spiritual Director for several
Walks and on Tennessee Emmaus Community.
Jim Alford, a loving son and brother, an adored
husband, a devoted father and grandfather, and a faithful minister, entered the
Church Expectant on March 5, 2005, with his family at his bedside. His
departing words were of what he displayed to his family throughout his life. “I
love you all very much,” he said.
A Service of Death and Resurrection was held at
Ripley First with Dr. Cecil Bellew and Rev. Jim Calhoun presiding. Jim’s body
was laid to rest in the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery with military
NOTES:SSDI records confirm the birth and death dates of James O.
Alford (SS# issued in KY).
One of James’ ancestors, Joseph 1812 KY, was the
father of two of his great-great grandparents: Josephus 1849 KY, and his sister
Rhoda Elizabeth 1855 KY, who married Robert J. Whittaker.
His lineage: James Otis 1945 KY1,
Marvin Hugh 1923 KY2, Golman 1901 KY3, John William
Kimbley 1874 KY4, Josephus C. 1849 KY5, Joseph 1812 KY6,
Achilles 1772 VA/NC7, John 1750 VA? 8.