Lonny James (“Jim”) Wakefield, 78, of Versailles, Ohio, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, November 5, 2020, after being diagnosed in early summer 2020 with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He was born March 20, 1942, in Yakima, Washington to the late James A. and Thelma (Orloske) Wakefield.
Jim was a man with many talents and excelled in activities including golfing, photography, photojournalism, home publishing, hunting, trap shooting, fishing and gardening. He was an avid outdoorsman and a voracious reader. He received many awards in various activities, and a few of which he was most proud include winning the Washington State Singles title in trapshooting, breaking 199 of 200 targets; placing fourth in the state with his Pabst Ohio Scramble golf team; and being named the 1990 Versailles Athletics Booster of the Year along with his brother Vaughn.
Jim was a poultry sexor from the age of 19 until he was 74, owning his own poultry sexing business for many years. He was involved in activities to support American poultry sexors, and even testified in front of a U.S. congressional committee in Washington, D.C. regarding labor issues related to the industry. Jim was also a member of the Versailles Eagles, and greatly enjoyed socializing with fellow members each week.
Notwithstanding his many accomplishments, Jim’s first priority was his family. His wife Suzanne was the love of his life, and he was a devoted father and grandfather. His greatest joy in later years was spending time with his nine grand-children, and attending their sporting, music and other activities, until ALS prevented him from doing so.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, as well as by his infant son James Robert Wakefield, his sister Karen LeDuc and his brother Vaughn Wakefield.
Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Suzanne (Magoteaux) Wakefield, and his daughters and sons-in-law Lisa and Mark Barga, Laura and Jonathan Keihl, and Linda and Daniel Ahrens, all of Versailles, Ohio. He is also survived by his sister Cheryl (Jim) Williams of Dallas, Oregon, brother John Wakefield of Centralia, Washington, sister Lynn (Bo) Wakefield-Rickard of Centralia, Washington and brother Greg (Cathy) Wakefield of Atwater, California, as well as by his grandchildren Jacob Barga, Jace Barga, Sam Barga and Jadyn Barga; Louden (“L.J.”) Keihl, Brayden Keihl and Kendall Keihl; and Lucas Ahrens and Evie Ahrens, all of Versailles, Ohio.
The family will be receiving guests at Bailey Zechar Funeral Home in Versailles, Ohio on Sunday, November 8 from 2 to 5 pm and on Monday, November 9 at 1 pm, prior to services at 2 pm. The family requests that masks be worn and social distancing be practiced. A private graveside service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Versailles Life Squad or the ALS Society.
Condolences for the family may be expressed through www.zecharbailey.com.