James Standiford

[Age 85] An engineer, he enjoyed building houses, boats and musical instruments.

May 19, 2007

James A. Standiford Jr., a retired mechanical engineer who enjoyed building houses, boats, clocks and musical instruments, died of pancreatic cancer May 12 at his Parkville home. He was 85.

Mr. Standiford was born in Baltimore and raised in Locust Point. He attended city public schools and during World War II served with an Army infantry unit in North Africa and Italy.

"He earned the Bronze Star at the Battle of Monte Cassino," said a daughter, Lillian M. Thompson of Govans.

After the war, Mr. Standiford earned his General Educational Development certificate from Polytechnic Institute and became a licensed professional engineer in 1970.

Mr. Standiford worked for many years as a mechanical engineer at Bendix Radio in Towson, AAI Corp. and Fairchild Industries, where he retired in 1989.

In the 1940s, he built a home in Parkville for his parents that he later moved into. He also built a cabin cruiser in the 1950s, and, when he was 77, helped a son rehabilitate two homes.

In his basement workshop, he liked building ships in bottles, whirligigs, mantel clocks, banjos, ukuleles and a dulcimer. An accomplished trumpeter, he played in local bands when he was younger.

His childhood sweetheart and wife of 61 years, the former Helen Kelly, died in 2005.

He was a member of Hiss United Methodist Church and attended Holy Cross Lutheran Church, where services were held Thursday.

Also surviving are two sons, James A. Standiford III of Millersville and Charles K. Standiford of Carney; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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