James Edward Sanford, 73, of Ottumwa, died July 9, 2022 surrounded by his family at home.
He was born May 2, 1949 in Ottumwa to Harley E. and Edith M. Harris Sanford. He married Nancy Jane Frazier June 22, 1968.
A 1968 graduate of Ottumwa High School, Jim served two years in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the 501st Recon of the 101st Airborne, serving 9 months in Vietnam. Of the 15 medals he was awarded, he was awarded the Silver Star and 5 Purple Hearts.
Jim had worked at the brick plant, John Morrell and Co. and for 30 years at John Deere Ottumwa Works, retiring in 2006. Jim was a skilled carpenter. While working full time, he owned and operated Sanford Construction.
He attended Calvary Baptist Church, was a member of U.A.W. Local #74 and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Jim loved working on his land and spending time on his tractor, but most importantly, he loved his family.
Surviving is his wife and love of his life, Nancy; their daughter, Heather (Brad) Grooms of Ottumwa; three grandchildren, Hoyt, Allison and Trent; an adopted grandson, Bryce; a brother, Joe Sanford of Ottumwa; a sister, Trisha Harness of Terre Haute, IN; sisters-in-law, Carol Frazier and Darlene Frazier; along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Eric James Sanford; two brothers, Fred and Dick Sanford; a sister, Lisa Manley.
Visitation will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13th at Reece Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, July 14th at Calvary Baptist Church with Pastor Mel Kendall officiating. For those unable to attend, you may view the service live on the Calvary Baptist Church Ottumwa Facebook page. Burial will be in Shaul Cemetery with military honors conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.
The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans.