April 27, 1927 - Nov. 10, 2013
ELKHART — James Ben Trafford, 86, of Elkhart, passed away Sunday evening, Nov. 10, 2013, in his home after an extended illness.
James was born on April 27, 1927, in Elkhart, the only child of the late Ben O. and Charlotte M. (Martin) Trafford.
He married Allean O. Anderson on July 2, 1945, in Alexandria, Va. They would have celebrated 58 years of marriage when she passed away March 17, 2003.
Surviving are his daughters, Peggy M. Trafford of Elkhart, Diana Reese and Jim Weaver, both of Nappanee, and Andrea K. (Lloyd) Dennhardt of Davenport, Iowa; his son, James (Marylee) Trafford of St. Joseph, Mich., and Orland; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and wife, a grandson, James Lee Trafford, preceded him in death in 1979.
James was proud to be an ironworker. He started at General Crane before owning and operating his own company, Trafford Construction Co., from 1955 until he retired in 1997. James was a member of the International Brotherhood of Ironworkers and a 60-plus-year member of the Kane Masonic Lodge 183 in Elkhart. He was proud of the home he built, and worked on many projects in Elkhart, including Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart Clinic, Nappanee Street Bridge, toll road and many toll road overpasses.
For many years, James used his crane to place the Christmas tree and small travel trailer on the metal arch structure in downtown Elkhart, which was then used to make the Nappanee Street overpass.
James proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received the Victory Medal, Overseas Service Bar and Army of Occupation Medal — Germany.
Visitation for family and friends will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St. A Masonic memorial service conducted by Kane Lodge 183 will begin at 7:30 p.m. Services celebrating the life of James B. Trafford will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, with calling for one hour prior at the funeral home. Pastor Gary Sheets will officiate. Burial and graveside services will follow in Rice Cemetery, where the U.S. Army Funeral Honor Guard and DAV Chapter 19 will render military honors.
The family kindly request memorials to the Center for Hospice Care, Real Services or the charity of one’s choice. To share a memory or condolence to James’ family please visit www.billingsfuneralhome.com.