James Mortiz Lanford, a man of unwavering strength, passed away on Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Abilene, Texas, at the age of 87. He leaves behind a legacy of resilience and love that will forever be cherished by his family and friends. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM, at the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel located at 5750 Hwy 277 South. Following the visitation, a Celebration of Life will commence at 11:00 AM. A private family burial was held at a separate time.
Born on February 29, 1936, in Abilene, Texas, James Mortiz Lanford was the cherished son of Miles and Elsbeth Lanford. Growing up, he attended North Park Baptist Church and developed a strong foundation in faith. On August 6, 1955, he married the love of his life, Norma Lanford, and their bond served as a beacon of love and strength throughout their lives.
James proudly served his country in the National Guard for several years, embodying dedication and patriotism. After his military service, he embarked on a successful career, retiring from WTU after 35 years of dedicated service. His commitment and work ethic were an inspiration to all who knew him.
In his leisure time, James found solace in fishing, enjoying the tranquility of the water and the thrill of the catch. He also found joy in following the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and bull riding on television. James had a passion for staying informed and was a faithful viewer of Fox News and the Weather Channel.
While he had many interests, nothing surpassed his love for his family. James Mortiz Lanford was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, finding immeasurable joy in the presence of his loved ones. His grandchildren, Amanda Gallaway and her husband Colton, Christopher (Miles) Lanford, James Lanford, Kelly Simington and Slaton Lanford brought immense happiness to his life. The arrival of his great-grandchild, Andrew Gallaway, further deepened the bond within the family. James is also survived by his sister-in-law, Nita Slaton, who held a special place in his heart. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Norma Lanford, who stood beside him as his pillar of strength. The loss of his three sons, Steven Lanford, Lee Andrew (Andy) Lanford, and James (Chris) Lanford was a source of immeasurable grief. He was also preceded in death by his granddaughter, Karen Lanford; his parents, Miles and Elsbeth Lanford, and his sister, Bobbie Joyce (Lanford) Collins and husband John; his daughter in law, Kimberly Lanford; and his brother-in-law, Steve (Bud) Slaton. The reunion in heaven with his loved ones brings solace in this time of mourning.
James Mortiz Lanford will be remembered as a man of unyielding strength, both physically and in his unwavering love for his family. His legacy will continue to inspire those who knew him, reminding us to face adversity with fortitude and to cherish the bonds of family above all else. May his soul find eternal peace, and may his memory be a blessing to us all.