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James A. “Opa” Baggott, Sr., of Brookfield, Ohio, valiantly fought until the very end, passed away at 11:30 AM Monday, April 16, 2018, while a patient of Autumn Hills Care Center, Niles, Ohio, following a battle with cancer. He was 74.
James was born January 11, 1944, in Trenton, New Jersey, a son to William R. & Alma Cook (Taylor) Baggott, Jr. He graduated from Steinhart High School, Trenton, in 1961.
Self was forgotten the day that he left his home to defend our flag and help keep our country free when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was a proud veteran who began his career on February 3, 1964. His primary assignment was Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician. In addition, he also became a Munitions System Specialist. His decorations and citations include: AF Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, AF Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, AF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Award with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster. He was honorably discharged from his duties on December 31, 1986, after retiring and achieving the rank of Technical Sergeant.
Following his military career, he found employment Universal Propulsion and Goodrich Corporation, both in Phoenix, Arizona. James attended Phoenix College and obtained his state and national registry certifications as an Emergency Medical Technician. He was an American Heart CPR/First Aid Instructor for over 20 years. As an EMT, he operated a business offering and providing medical support from 1994-2008 to various charitable organizations, events, off-roading rodeos, motocross, and circle track racing.
He was a member of the Brookfield Conservation Club, where he served as a Trustee; and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was of the Lutheran Faith. When he lived in Germany, he was a member of a shooting club and was crowned “Shooting King” in 1982.
In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, target shooting, turkey shoots, model railroading, and being the scorebook keeper for the Brookfield High School Lady Warriors Basketball Team. He also was a volunteer driver for the Brookfield Township Community Van for many years. However, he loved spending time with his family, especially his grandsons, attending their various sporting events with football & baseball. He proudly took them hunting, fishing, and to the firing range.
Survivors include: his wife, Rita “Oma” M. (Heutle) Baggott, whom he married November 28, 1970 while in Maria-Steinbach, Germany; his children, Jeanette M. Leon (Bobby), and James A. Baggott, Jr., all of Brookfield; his grandsons, Robert “RJ” Leon, III, and Joseph “Joey” Baggott; his sister-in-law, Barbara J. Baggott, Trenton, New Jersey; and his several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, William R. Baggott, III; sister, Barbara Ann Bennett; brother-in-law, Gershom Bennett; and nephew, William R. "Buzzy" Baggott, IV.
A time of gathering to honor James’s life will be held on Friday, April 20, 2018, from 4-6 PM in the home of Briceland Funeral Service, located on the Historic Village Green at 379 State Route 7, SE, Brookfield, Ohio 44403. His celebration continues with a Military Honors at 6:00 PM in the funeral home. He will be laid to rest in the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Expressions of sympathy may be left for his family at www.bricelandfuneralservice.com
Memorial contributions can be made to the Brookfield Conservation Club c/o the funeral home.
Coordination of this tribute for Mr. Baggott will be presented by Daniel Briceland, Owner & Director. (330-509-3135)