James Robert (Bob) Ledford

Bob was the sixth of nine children born to Melvia Boyd Ledford and John Seaton Ledford, homesteaders in Hoyt, Colorado. The family later moved to Wiggins, Colorado so the children could attend school. After graduating from Fort Morgan High School, he entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, playing both football and basketball.

Leaving school to enter the army during WWII, he went into the Army Special Training Service. Following the war he returned to college, graduating from the Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado.

On November 25th, 1948 he married his college sweetheart "Inky" (Aleen) Stoffel. After graduation he worked for the Allen Bradley Company for three years and played professional basketball in the National Industrial League. He then went to Gordon, Nebraska where he taught science and math and coached the Gordon High School Basketball team to district championships and state championship tournaments. After two years he accepted a position teaching and coaching high school basketball in Fort Morgan, Colorado where he led the team to the state championship game.

In 1957 he moved to Reedley, California where he coached at Reedley High School. The following year he was hired to coach the Reedley College Tigers. After obtaining a Masters degree from Fresno State during off-seasons, he taught math and physics at Reedley College until his retirement in 1989. He continued to teach part-time and volunteer well after his retirement.

Bob was devoted to his lovely wife Inky and their family and friends. As an amateur wine maker, he won several Grand Prizes and annually won numerous blue ribbons at the Fresno County Fair. He tended a bountiful garden. He and Inky travelled extensively through Canada, the United States and Europe. When volunteering as an elementary school tutor he derived great pleasure when children, most from immigrant backgrounds, grasped the math concepts he taught them.

Preceded in death by "Inky" his wife of 57 years, parents, brothers Harve and Paul, sisters Leotta Bottger, Lucille Wence and Jenny Smith, he is survived by children Debby, Tim and wife Renate, Kim and husband Rudy, Hal and wife Karin, Hugh and wife Dana, grandchildren Alexander, Christopher, Brook and Robin Lopez, Niall, Emily and Brian Ledford and Casey Ledford and Jennifer and husband Henry Mitchell, great grandchildren Elaya, Alexia, Daniel and Mason, sisters Ada Loose, Lorraine Lyman and Margie Mason, caregivers Caroll Bourgeois and Noemi and Lia Alderete, special friends Bob and Marilyn Evans and his many other good friends and beloved former students.

Bob died peacefully in his sleep having spent his precious last days telling stories, joking and enjoying the company of his family and close friends, leaving us to carry forward his lessons of honesty, integrity, generosity and caring for others.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Poverello House a charity close to his heart.

Last modified onWednesday, 29 May 2013 16:00

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