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Elinor Jean (Roberson) Wolford

July 21, 1933 ~ July 3, 2019 (age 85)

Elinor Jean Wolford, 85, of Wilmore, Ky., formerly of Abingdon, passed away on Wednesday afternoon, July 3rd, 2019, at Wesley Village Retirement Community in Wilmore, Ky.

She was born on July 21st, 1933 to Ernest and Cecile (Collins) Roberson of Abingdon, Ill. Jean married Marvin Wolford of Abingdon on Dec. 19, 1957. They were married in New York on the Bride and Groom TV show. He preceded her in death in 2006.

Jean is survived by three sons, Tom (Donna) Wolford of Fredericksburg, Va., Steve (Debbie) Wolford of Orange, Calif., and Andy (Dana) Wolford of Wilmore, Ky.; five grandsons and a granddaughter and seven great-grandchildren.

After Abingdon High School, Jean attended Western Illinois State College (University) in Macomb, graduating with a PE major and a Business minor. She always said that God majored on her minor.

She and Marvin had a passion for the people of Africa, and she spent most of her life with Marvin in Congo, with the United Methodist Mission Board.

Becoming fluent in the local Uruund language, Jean cared for a girls dorm, and taught child evangelism. Together with Marvin, their life's work, translating the Bible into the Uruund language, took 38 years. She was proof-reader and editor for this labor of love. Jean’s burning desire was to raise three sons in the knowledge of Christ and to love her husband well.

Since retiring from active missionary service, Jean and Marvin made Wilmore, Ky., their home.

Visitation will be held at the Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Abingdon Chapel, 206 N. Washington St. in Abingdon, on Wednesday, July, 10th from 10a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by her funeral service at 11 a.m.  Burial will follow at the Abingdon Cemetery. 

Memorials may be made to Congo Ministries.  Online condolences may be made at

The Wolford Family chose Hager & Cundiff Funeral Home for local arrangements.  It is a privilege to care for Jean and her family.

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