Cover photo for Dr. James Michael Alford, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)'s Obituary
Dr. James Michael Alford, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Profile Photo

Dr. James Michael Alford, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

November 10, 1936 — February 26, 2023

Charleston

Dr. James Michael Alford, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Dr. James Michael Alford (Mike), Major, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 86, of Charleston, South Carolina, widower of Anne T. Alford, entered into eternal rest Sunday, February 26, 2023. He was interred with military honors at Magnolia Cemetery on March 4, 2023.

Mike was born November 10, 1936 in Columbia, LA, son of the late Gus Lafayette Alford and Vada Smith Alford. He received a field appointment to the Naval Academy and graduated in 1960. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force. His USAF service ignited a love of travel which he enjoyed up until his last few years of life. Along the way, he received his MBA at the University of Oklahoma. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1978, he and Anne settled in Charleston and Mike began teaching in the Business Department at The Citadel. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching the cadets. His tenure at The Citadel lasted nearly 40 years as a Professor and after retirement as an Adjunct Professor, He paused only to receive his Doctorate at the University of Georgia, and then returning to The Citadel.

Mike and Anne were wonderful parents and grandparents, taking great joy in spending time with their family. A devoted husband, he and Anne met on a blind date at the Naval Academy and were married for nearly 62 years before her death in October 2022. 

Travel was another great passion for Mike. He traveled to many countries while in the Air Force, as part of his Citadel career and of course, with his beloved wife, Anne. He always appreciated the opportunity to try new cuisines and experience different cultures. He also enjoyed fishing, golfing, and solving mysteries.

A quiet wit, one sometimes had to listen carefully to catch his jokes, but it was always worthwhile. He was kind and considerate, a true patriot and consummate Southern gentleman. 

Mike was a member of St. Michael's Anglican Church, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Exchange Club of Charleston, and the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also a member of the Washington Light Infantry, Theta Commission - Kappa Alpha Order, the Carolina Yacht Club, The Citadel Club of Charleston, Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Chapter, and the Palmetto Guard Society. 

He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Collett (Michael) of St. Simons Island, GA; son, Gregory Milam Alford (Shannon) of Hilton Head Island, SC; and five grandchildren: Trent Michael Collett (Amara), Anna Collett Duke (Riley), Conrad Milam Alford, William Henry Alford, and Lyla Helen Alford and one great grandson, Raymond Tate Collett.

Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society 5900 Core Road, Suite 504, North Charleston, SC 29406 .

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 3, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, March 4, 2023

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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