James Maurice Taff, Jr. was born on Nov. 22, 1943, in San Rafael, Cali., to Maurice and Virginia (McKinney) Taff. Jim passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2015 in Chadron, Neb.
Jim grew up in Ada, Okla. where he was very active in his church and in high school athletics. During his time in Ada, he spent 12 summers attending and working at Camp Hudgens, a Royal Ambassador camp in McAlester.
He attended Dartmouth University on a football scholarship, and later completed his degree at East Central University - then East Central State College - in Ada, where he was a three-year letterwinner in football while double-majoring in English and history.
After completion of his undergraduate studies, Jim taught high school classes in Ada, attended seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and also undertook graduate studies at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
In the fall of 1974, he moved to the Whiteclay, Neb., community where he began teaching at Extension School, District 129.
While attending Lakota Baptist Church on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Jim met and married Cornelia Anne Ferrell on July 29, 1976.
In the fall of 1976, he began employment with Pine Ridge High School, where he continued to teach and coach athletics and other school activities until 2001.
Jim enjoyed outdoor activities, including camping and hunting, and he took several extensive canoe trips with camp boys and family members.
He liked to tell stories of the past, read extensively, and was a talented vocalist. Jim served faithfully for many years as a Sunday school teacher and music leader at Lakota Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife Anne, daughter Ginny and Kaleb Center, son Joshua and Christie Taff, son Jedediah and Ashley Taff, sister Emily and Thomas Williams, brother John and Pam Taff, six grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services were held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at Extension Church north of Rushville. Burial was at Extension Cemetery.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.