James Joseph (Jim) Taaffe, 86, died peacefully at home on Feb. 14, 2013, in Chatsworth, Calif.
A memorial service is 3 p.m. Friday, April 5, at St. Stephen Catholic Church, to be followed by a reception in the parish hall. Jim will be laid to rest on April 9 in the family cemetery in Foreman, Ark.
He was a longtime resident of Weatherford for 56 years prior to relocating in October 2012.
Jim was born in Foreman, Ark., on Dec. 21, 1926, the son of James and Margaret Taaffe. He graduated from Foreman High School as valedictorian of his class and was known as the “class clown.” He joined the Navy at 17 years old and was stationed in San Diego, Calif., later attending Officer’s Training School in Berkley, Calif.
He received his bachelor’s degree from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), in Denton, where he met his wife, Helen, on a blind date. They were married on April 9, 1950, in Wichita Falls, and moved to Big Spring, where Jim was employed by Fairbanks-Morse. After being transferred to the Fort Worth area in 1956, they spotted Weatherford and fell in love with the town.
Jim formed his own company, Pollution Control Equipment, as a manufacturer’s representative, where he devoted his time to improving the environment. This won him the President’s Service Award, a lifetime achievement and recognition award for his long-term service as president of the Water Environment Association of Texas.
He was a member of St. Stephen Catholic Church and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed football and was a devoted fan of his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks. Jim had a beautiful singing voice, was a big fan of country music, an avid reader and enjoyed ballroom dancing. He touched the lives of many with his special way of telling funny stories and making people laugh. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his kindness, thoughtfulness and his generosity of spirit.
Jim is survived by his wife Helen; daughter, Terry; granddaughter, Ashley; sister, Mary Jane; and brother, John.
He is predeceased by his parents; his sister, Margie; and brother. Bob.