ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Friends, family and coworkers will gather for a special mass Monday to mark the passing of 96-year-old James "Jimmy" Munford, a long-time employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Munford served in the U.S. Army during World War II and took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Monday's memorial mass is at 11:45 a.m. at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. Born on Christmas Day in 1917, Munford spent 45 years working at the archbishop's official residence in the Central West End. Munford served five archbishops since 1967.
"Jimmy had a zest for life and a heart for service," Archbishop Robert Carlson said. "Jimmy touched numerous lives throughout his many years of life simply by quietly living out his Christian witness, and in doing so he brought honor to this archdiocese. Anyone who came in contact with Jimmy was sure to leave with a smile. I have been truly blessed to know this extraordinary man."
Munford received the Cardinal Rigali Service Award from the archdiocese in 2003. In 2011, he received the St. Louis King Award, the highest honor in the archdiocese, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Most recently, in January 2013, the archdiocese dedicated its new James "Jimmy" Munford Center, a staff center and gathering space at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.
The residence has at times doubled as an office for the archbishops and as a place to meet visitors and entertain guests. Munford had a number of duties there and was known for keeping the woodwork and floors of the historic home sporting a brilliant shine. He had his photo taken with President George W. Bush when the president visited Cardinal Rigali and with Pope St. John Paul II during the papal visit to St. Louis in 1999.