Born in Davy Crockett country in 1930, Jim left the hills of Tennessee at 17 years of age to join the Army. Soon after he joined, the US Air Force was formed. He became a radio operator on a B36 bomber and served throughout the Korean War.
After 6 years of service, Jim decided he'd had enough of war and began his college career at Arlington Junior College as an Engineering major. He then moved on to Texas Tech University where he obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering and a bride named Patsy. He later earned a MS in Electrical Engineering from SMU.
After a four year stint with General Dynamics, Jim again decided he wanted a more "civilian job". Thus began a 30 year career with Texaco Oil Co. There, Jim worked with geophysicists on seismic work. While doing this, he obtained the first patent for digitized sound. Noticed by the corporate office for this work, he began a career in strategic planning for the company in the New York office.
Jim and Pat reared three children while they lived in Houston three times, New York suburbs twice and Saudi Arabia once.
Upon retirement, Jim and Pat moved to Lakeway where he played golf and volunteered for 10 years as the technical planner for the city. He also did extensive genealogy work discovering his ancestors came to New Amsterdam in 1624.
Jim is survived by his wife Pat, daughter and son in law, Mindy Vanderford & Kevin Topek, sons Clint Vanderford and his wife Cheryl Wilson, Ben Vanderford and his wife Cynthia Frese. Grandchildren include Jael and Lisa Topek, Althea Topek and Brian Boyajian, Sophia and Troy Wilson, August and Loren Vanderford, Scarlet Frese and Wren Vanderford, four nieces and a nephew.
The family would like to thank Drs Shobah Reddy, Kunjan Bhatt and Austin Hospice for their care of Jim. They ask that any memorial donations be directed to Austin Hospice. A special Thank You to our angel, Janine.
A Burial of Ashes is will be held at 2:00 p.m. on January 29, 2017 at the Lakeway Memorial Gardens.