James Weldon Benford, 80, of Chattanooga, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at his residence. He played the trumpet in Howard High School’s Marching Band and graduated in the class of 1956. James was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He received his Associate Degree in Business Management and Administration. He was a member of the Chattanooga Gospel Orchestra, Spectrum Jazz Band, UTC Cadez Community Band, and American Legion Band Post 95. He was employed by Norfolk-Southern Railroad for many years. James retired from Kenco Inc. after 31 years of service. He was a member of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church where he sang in the Male Chorus. James was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Ida Benford; brother, Walter Benford; sisters, Tommie McKinney, Olivia Benford, and Pauline Benford. Survivors include his wife, Betty Benford; daughter, Sandra Stegall, of Chattanooga; sons, Anthony Benford, of Chattanooga, Michael (Gwendolyn) Benford, of Powder Springs, Ga., and Ramon Benford, of Chattanooga; 12 grandchildren; several nieces; nephews; cousins; a host of other relatives and friends. He will lie-in-state Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Taylor Funeral Home. Funeral service will follow at 12 noon in the chapel. Burial in Chattanooga National Cemetery.