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James Edward Alford was born March 10, 1947 and passed away at home in Marshall Hill surrounded by his loving family on January 26, 2024 at the age of 76.
Edward attended grade school at Bokhoma and graduated from Haworth. He attended college in Wilburton, OK where he met the love of his life, Barbara. She said she was looking for a cowboy, so he tried to fake it! He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Durant and his Master’s Degree in Weatherford, OK. He worked at Haworth Public School for 29 years where he wore many hats over the years including baseball coach, bus driver, arithmetic teacher, junior high and high school principal, and fish fry and worm hunt coordinator. Everybody knew him well, which is why when he retired, they gave him a gun.
Edward was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish. When he was little, he would go out in the woods and scout up a squirrel. Then he would run home and ask his momma for the gun. She would give him the gun and two bullets after she interrogated him to make sure she knew where he was headed. Once, he took Bill hunting and Sidewinder treed something in a dead log. After many minutes of poking and prodding, a skunk came out between Bill’s legs. Bill turned around to ask his dad what to do, and he saw him running for the hills! In his later years, Pap took his granddaughter four wheeling in the woods, and they just sat and looked at the view for a long time and he remarked, “Cynae, this is so beautiful”. Edward and Barbara liked to go to Talimena Drive and take in the beauty of the fall foliage together. Edward got his love of nature from his dad because they were always outside doing something. His love of the outdoors may have inspired Twaila and Jamie’s carport camping trip. Just a few weeks ago, he and his brother Kenneth continued their unique hunting styles together down on the lease. In the intervening years, he spent his time taking his grandchildren fishing with bamboo poles and camping in the woods. He was there during youth season for J.W., Kasey, Cody, and Colton’s first deer kills. He was so proud to be Pap. As much as he loved to be outside, Edward was very conservative about his air conditioning and made sure that whoever walked out that door better not open it back up within the hour because he was not cooling the whole outdoors!
In his younger days, Edward loved to play baseball and softball. He even coached his younger brother Willard Thomas. In his slow pitch prime, Twaila would have to hop up off the bench in the dugout and run as fast as she could for the outfield fence to throw the home run ball back over the fence so Edward and Ricky could take turns hitting it out. He accrued a great many trophies over the years. So many, in fact, that he would give them to Ciara and Cynae to celebrate their home runs and successes to make them feel special because he couldn’t be at their games. Pap also loved puzzles. He would sit up many a night doing 1,000 piece puzzles with his grandchildren.
Edward was also a man who liked to please his wife, Barbara Ann, which is why there are still cows in the pasture! He took his granddaughter Ciara out on the four wheeler to check the cows every morning while Granny was cooking breakfast, and he would sing her the secret special cow patty song. Slade always helped his Pap with outside chores. He had him fixing fences, digging holes, clearing out brush, and whatever else needed to be done. They would hunt, fish, sightsee, and explore. The one constant of every trip was stopping by the blackberry bush for, as Pap would call it, “a handful of goodness.” Pap always ate everything his grandchildren made for him, declaring it a gastronomical delight!!
Edward was a man who had a good sense of humor, and believed in honor and integrity. He cared deeply about his family, friends, and community. He offered a helping hand to his neighbors and friends whenever needed. He always sent cards on special occasions and birthdays, and never once forgot to send his girls flowers on Valentine’s Day. The four Alford boys had a long standing tradition to gather up on Sundays to play cards. Their tight family bond was something that he cherished deeply.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Edgar “Jack” Alford and Viola Marie “Vi” (Brown) Alford. His loving wife of 56 years, Barbara Ann preceded him in death by 2 months and 23 days and he visited her grave every day until he was unable.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his children: Twaila and Jason Wiley of South Haven, KS, and Billy Jack and Daylene Alford of Marshall Hill, seven grandchildren: Ciara Jewell Wiley, James Wyatt Alford, Cynae Alexandra Wiley, Kasey Ann Alford, Slade Harold Wiley, Cody Joe Alford, and Colton Wayne Alford, three brothers: Kenneth Alford, Ricky and Debbie Alford, Larry and Sharon Alford, brother in law James and Marie “Chickie” Parker, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
His funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 2, 2024 at the White Family Chapel with Michael Cox officiating. Interment to follow at the Pollard Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at the funeral home.