Obituary of James Ralston Woodford
James Ralston Woodford, 92, of Morgantown, was called up to the majors on July 11, 2019, while in the company of his children and wife atop Grandview Ave, where he had looked out over his chosen city for over 60 years.
A husband, father, son, veteran, storyteller, bus driver and baseball enthusiast. Jim was born May 14, 1927, to William and Thelma Woodford in Philippi, WV. One of three sons, he grew up working the farm and falling in love with baseball. His one true passion over the course of his lifetime (other than his adorable family, of course), he played in the minor leagues in Florida up until being called into service for his country during WWII.
Post-war, he met and fell in love with Barbara Lee Jarrett of Charleston while they both attended Alderson Broadus College. Relocating to Morgantown in 1957, Jim and Barbara eventually settled at the top of Grandview Avenue in the South Park neighborhood to raise an ever-expanding family.
Seven children, nine grandchildren, dozens of dogs and cats and one 1957 red Ford truck later, we are still trying to process the wonderful legacy he leaves behind.
Jim will be remembered for many things; his willingness to open his door to numerous friends and neighbors at all hours of the day or night, his dedication to youth baseball (long live Yagles’Jewelers!!), his decades of service to the City of Morgantown as a health inspector and Kiwanis member, his Mail Pouch tobacco, his 40 years of worship at First Baptist Church, his love of storytelling and his appalling taste in hats.
But above all, Jim Woodford’s legacy will be reflected in the thousands of lives he touched over the course of his long, rich life; young baseball players, local business people, his beloved brothers and sisters in Kiwanis, cousins and nieces and nephews and grandchildren and relatives far and wide, all will continue on, knowing that their lives were made better by knowing Jim Woodford.
His parents, his two brothers, William and Paul, his daughter, Rebecca Ann, and his son-in-law George McMillen precede him in death. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara, and his children Jimmy, David, Charlie, Sara, Sandra, George.
Visitation will be Saturday, July 20 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday morning, July 21, at 10 a.m. with a service to follow at 11 a.m. Interment follows at Mount Olive Cemetery in Philippi.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to the Morgantown Public Library and Morgantown Hospice.To send flowers to the family of James Woodford, please visit Tribute Store