James “Jim” Earl Radford, 92, of Overland Park, passed away on March 9, 2019. He was born on March 28, 1926 to Grant and Bertha (White) Radford in Harding, KS.
James early childhood was spent in the country around Fulton, KS. Later moving into Ft. Scott, KS. He found employment in gas stations, at the telephone company and a WPA youth building project at Kansas University. Jim joined the Army and was assigned to the 42nd Rainbow Division in July of 1944. In December 1944 his unit sent to support the French Army in Strasbourg, France at the height of the Battle of the Bulge. Jim was awarded a Silver Star for Bravery when under enemy fire he and his SSgt were able to disconnect dynamite fuses set to blow up a bridge the allies needed. Jim’s unit were the first soldiers to breach the walls of Dachau Concentration Camp. Jim was in Salzburg, Austria when the war ended.
Jim realized his dream job working for the K. C. Terminal Railway and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway as a Locomotive Engineer, a career he enjoyed for several decades.
In 1966 Jim joined the Masonic Fraternity and remained a Mason for 53 years. He also joined Abdallah Shriners who support 22 Shriners Hospitals throughout North America. Jim was proud to be able to drive local children to be treated at Shriners St. Louis Hospital as part of Shriners transportation program.
James is survived by his loving daughters, Linda (Don) Best of Overland Park, KS and Shirley (Bob) Reed of Lenexa, KS; grandchildren, Douglas (Lindsey) Best of Marshfield, WI and Deanna (Byron) Marshall of Yates Center, KS. Amy (Andy) Henry of Overland Park, KS and Austin (Ashley) Reed of Olathe, KS. Great Grandchildren; Cheyenne, Brooklyn and Denver Best; Trent, Carter and Brady Burton; Owen, Karsyn and Beckett Henry; Calen and Caitlyn Reed; A Sister Ruth Brown; Step Brother John Taylor and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
James was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Isla (Facklam) Radford; his Father Grant Radford and Mother Bertha Radford-Taylor; A daughter Sharon Radford; Step Sister Minnie Taylor-West.
The family will receive relatives and friends for a visitation from 6:00-8:00pm, on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at Penwell Gabel’s Olathe Chapel. The Funeral will be held at 10:00am on Friday at Valley View United Methodist Church, 8412 W. 95th St, Overland Park, KS 66212, with a graveside service in West Liberty Cemetery in Fulton, KS at 1:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Shriners Hospitals for Children by mailing to Abdallah Shriners 5300 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66202; or MS Achievement Center at KU Medical Center, 3599 Rainbow Blvd, MS 03049, KCKS 66160.
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