James W. Whitford

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James W. Whitford, 87, of rural Volga, passed away on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at his home. 


He was born June 3, 1935, on the family farm near Volga to Henry E. “Ted” and Marietta (Woodworth) Whitford.  James attended school in Volga, and graduated from Volga High School with the class of 1953. He attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette for one year, played on the baseball team, then was drafted to play minor league baseball. 


James was united in marriage to Dalene Shaffer on Sept. 23, 1956, at the Illyria Church, rural Elgin. He was a lifelong farmer; he and Dalene were the fourth generation to operate the family farm, which was established in 1857 near Volga.


He was a member of Calvary Bible Church and grew up attending the Methodist Church in Volga. He loved baseball, especially the Chicago Cubs, and watching all sports. James especially loved spending time with family and was very patriotic.


He is survived by his wife Dalene of Volga; five children, Forrest (Glenna) Whitford of Volga, James L. (Jeannette) Whitford of Volga, Kevin (Carolyn) Whitford of Rochester, Minn., Bradley (Jane Bailey) Whitford of Le Claire and Dean (Brenda) Whitford of San Antonio, Texas; 16 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one brother Donald (Wanda) Whitford of Robins; a sister-in-law Ruby Hild of Tempe, Ariz.; and brother-in-law Robert (Terry) Shaffer of Volga.


James was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Leslie Whitford, sister-in-law Patricia Whitford, sister-in-law Joann Shaffer and daughter-in-law Sherry Whitford.


Visitation will be Friday, April 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Elkader, and one hour before the service at the church on Saturday.


Funeral service will be on Saturday, April 8, at 10:30 a.m., at Calvary Bible Church in Volga, with Pastor Isaac Gilana officiating. A luncheon will follow at the Lutheran Hall in Volga. 


Inurnment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery, Volga.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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