Jimmie Williford

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jimmie R. Williford
PORTSMOUTH—Jimmie Richard Williford, 60, died Oct. 21, 2009, after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Williford was surrounded by his family and friends and willingly passed on to eternal rest.
He was born in Ahoskie, N.C., and was the son of the late Oba Richard Williford and Violet Harrell Williford.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn A. Williford; two sons, Paul R. Williford and wife Talley of Smithfield and John R. Williford and wife Sara of Franklin; a stepdaughter, Meredith Detweiler and husband George of Portsmouth; and three grandchildren, William and Dylan Detweiler and Caleigh Williford.
He was a 1971 graduate of East Carolina University and received a master’s degree in health and physical education from ECU in 1972.
He moved from Ahoskie in 1972 and became a varsity and junior varsity football coach at Manor High School.
He met his wife Joan Taylor who was a library clerk at Manor. They married and she gave him two sons, Paul and John. She passed away in 1994.
He then became father and mother to his sons and raised them to be outstanding young men, husbands and fathers.
On April 2, 2005, he married Marilyn and immediately became a spectacular grandfather to his stepdaughter’s son.
He served Portsmouth Public Schools for 36 years as a coach, teacher, assistant principal, and supervisor of health, physical education, and athletics for all schools in Portsmouth.
His greatest pride came with the opening of Woodrow Wilson High School’s new football stadium and athletic complex.
He said that he had waited 37 years to see it built and he was instrumental in the planning and construction project of this new athletic facility.
He leaves behind a host of close friends and colleagues, but he was especially close to his “group” at Portsmouth’s high schools: William Strickland, ECU graduate, longtime friend, and retired athletic director and coach at Churchland High School, David Moss, Orende Andrews and Jackie Kennedy, athletic directors at Churchland, Norcom and Wilson High schools and all of the other athletic directors and principals of the Eastern District and Eastern Region.
He was happiest at a good football, basketball or baseball game.
He assisted at the PIT and many district and regional athletic events. He was especially happy when sharing family time with his three grandchildren.
He will be remembered as a gentleman, a loving father and a devoted husband. Jimmie, we love you.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday in Aldersgate United Methodist Church by the Revs. David Drinkard and Robert Cofield.
The family was to receive friends at Snellings Funeral Home, Churchland Chapel, Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Towne Bank, 5716 High St., Portsmouth, VA 23703 for the Jimmie R. Williford Athletic Scholarship Fund.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.snellingsfuneralhome.com.