James Joseph Stafford

March 25, 1965 – Dec. 14, 2013

A memorial graveside service with military rites for James Joseph Stafford will be held today (Thursday, June 12) at 10:30 a.m. at the Otto Cemetery where his cremains will be buried next to his father, James John Stafford.

James, 48, of Otto, died Dec. 14 at South Big Horn County Hospital.

He was born March 25, 1965, in San Jose, Calif., the son of Sondra Lee Chivers Stafford and James John Stafford. He graduated from Redford Union High School in Redford, Mich. He earned four bachelor degrees at Eastern Michigan University. He enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to obtain his master’s degree from Troy State University.

James served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and earned the rank of lieutenant commander. He served in both Gulf Wars, was assigned to the United Nations, commanded the first American ship to sail into Russia and piloted helicopters.

After his military career James became a medical life flight helicopter pilot last serving with the Natrona County Hospital in Casper.

He was preceded in death by an infant brother, David, and infant sister, Michell.

He is survived by his daughter Sara Stafford in Alabama; his mother, Sondra Stafford and brother Charles Edward Crosier, both of Otto.

A luncheon at the Otto park will follow the service.