Radford, VA – Radford University Police Department (RUPD) Lieutenant James “Jay” Dunford died on Feb. 16 following a two-year battle with cancer.
The 48-year-old lieutenant was first diagnosed with throat carcinoma in May of 2018, his wife, Susan, said in a Facebook post in January.
In June of 2019, the cancer returned with a vengeance, she said.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Lt. Jay Dunford,” the RUPD said in a Facebook post on Feb. 16.
The 13-year veteran-of-the-force was just two classes away from earning his master’s degree in criminal justice at the university he served, according to his obituary.
He attended classes throughout his cancer treatment, WSLS reported.
Radford Associate Vice President for University Relations Caitlyn Scaggs said that Lt. Dunford’s life embodied service and that he has made a “lasting impact” in the community.
“[He had] a heart for others. He was a family man,” Scaggs said. “That’s how he’s going to be remembered.”
Danielle Harbour said that Lt. Dunford was kind to everyone he met.
“He had a huge heart and when my youngest son went to Radford Jay said he was there should he need anything,” Harbour wrote in a memorial tribute. “No matter what, Jay was kind caring and always willing to help. He was one of a kind. He will be missed. The world was a better place with someone like him in it.”
Lt. Dunford leaves behind his wife, Susan, as well as his mother, Cecilia, and his sister, Michelle, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his uncle, aunt, nephew, nieces, cousins, and many loving friends.
Lt. Dunford will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Radford University Police Department Lieutenant James “Jay” Dunford, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.