James F. Champion

Edgar's picture

James F. Champion of Cordell, Oklahoma, passed away on Friday, February 27, 2015, at the age of 96. He was born to John and Edith Champion on October 25, 1918, in Selma, Alabama. James graduated from
Mount Shasta High School in 1936, in Mount Shasta, California. In 1942, he was drafted to serve his country in World War II, in the 774th Tank Battalion where he received four medals of honor. In 1952, he married Corena Clay Whitley in southern California, while working at Lockheed Martin in Burbank, California. They both retired in 1976, and moved to Cordell, Oklahoma, to reside. In 1989, Corena passed away. In 1994, he married Hilda Ratzlaff Klaassen of Weatherford, Oklahoma. They both enjoyed square dancing with numerous friends. Hilda passed away in 2011. Jim had two children, James A. Champion and John F. Champion and an adopted son, James L. Champion, all deceased. Jim loved to garden, raise small farm animals, fish and square dance. From 1991 to 1997, he volunteered his time to the Cordell Senior Citizen Center
as manager. He was a member of the Hub City Squares, a square dancing club in Clinton, Oklahoma. He also served as a Washita County Deputy Sheriff for a few years. Jim is survived by two grandchildren, Keith Whitley of Susanville, California, and Kelli Whitley Gernert of Citrus Heights, California; two grandchildren, Rose Gernert and Cody Gernert of Citrus Heights, California; nieces and nephews; several close friends; two loving dogs, Missy and Penny; and two gracious caregivers. Graveside services will be held, pending cremation, at the Cordell Lawnview Cemetery, Cordell, Oklahoma.