James Stafford, 84, attorney and poet of 2765 Green St., Weedsport, died Saturday at Auburn Memorial Hospital after a short illness.
Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., he grew up in the Utica area. He graduated from Utica Free Academy.
He was an Eagle Scout at the age of 17. He was a third generation of his family to graduate from Colgate University in 1928 and was voted the most likely to succeed.
He was National AAU high jumping champion, and was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity.
He later attended Harvard Law School and graduated from the Syracuse University Law School in 1930.
Mr. Stafford joined the law firm of Morrell, Brewster in Weedsport, and passed the bar exam in 1934.
He was a life-long Republican and former member of the Cayuga County Republican Committee.
He served as police justice for the village of Weedsport and justice of the peace for the Town of Brutus. He also served as a councilman on the town board.
He was a past president of the Weedsport Chamber of Commerce, and Lions Club, the Cayuga County Bar Association, and was a former member of the Syracuse University Men's Club.
He was a published poet, and in 1929 was named a Contemporary American Poet. His tribute to the death of President John F. Kennedy was inserted in the Congressional Record.
Surviving are two daughters, Joan Barnes of Nantucket, Mass., and Mary Elizabeth Barnes of Rochester, and a son James F., and six grandchildren, and a special friend, Freda Wheeler of Weedsport.