Raiford Box III
Raiford Box Ill, son of the late Raiford Box, Jr. and Eva Posey Box was born on August 23, 1938 and departed this earthly life on March 7, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. Raiford attended Perry A. Wright Elementary, Douglas Junior High, and graduated from Chester High School in 1958.
The eldest of 12 children, 5 brothers and 6 sisters, his work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit was evident at an early age. He and his brother Larry would pick blackberries and chop wood to sell. As a teenager, he worked at Sunray Drugstore and Penn Fruit Company, and later became a licensed barber, working at Earl's Barbershop in Chester, PA.
He met the love of his life, Mary Ann Walton, in 1959 and they wed in 1961. To this union three wonderful children Raiford IV, Erica Dionne and Ryland Sherwood were added. Only six weeks into their marriage, Raiford was drafted into the Army. During the Vietnam War he was stationed at Fort Hood. He was present when President John F. Kennedy visited the base and was later sent to Dallas, Texas the day President Kennedy was assassinated.
Raiford was employed at Phoenix Steel and Kimberly Clark (formerly Scott Paper Co.) He became one of the first African American security guards, eventually being promoted to Sargent. He received an award for 30 years of perfect attendance and at the age of 62 after 36 years of service, retired. It was around this time that he rededicated his life to the Lord.
As a committed member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, he regularly attended and participated in the
New Beginnings Ministry, enjoyed Men's Bible Study and the Wednesday Noonday Bible Study with Pastor Willie E. Robinson. One of his favorite ministries was as a Greeter. He stood on Psalm 84:10; "1 would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness." He loved the Lord, his family, his church and his pastor.
Raiford loved to visit the sick and shut in and never went empty handed. Being a keen student of the Bible, he loved to share the word. Being the Patriarch of the Box family, he was the personification of a true father and family man; always writing letters, sending cards, and sharing words of encouragement. As a generous giver and a strong proponent of "Family", many referred to him as Uncle Rai or Second Father, whether blood related or not. Growing up in the neighborhood known as "The Hill" he never forgot was his roots. He believed that true AGAPE love was demonstrated not just words. In 2015 Faith Tabernacle Church awarded him and Mary Ann the Ebony Award of Excellence for their commitment to the community.
He was preceded in death by his father Raiford Box, Jr. and mother Eva Posey Box, beloved daughter Erica Box Ndugaba, 3 brothers Larry, Jerry and Eric, 2 sisters Karen Waddell and Beverly Rodgers and daughter-in-law Wendy Box.
He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife of 56 years Mary Ann, 2 sons Raiford Box IV and Ryland Box (Charisse), his special daughter Kimberly Wilcox, 2 brothers Kenneth Box Thompson and Dency Box,
Sr., 4 sisters Allora Dykes, Lorraine Washington (Mack), Deborah Hall (Milton), Rosetta Stanford (Lamont), 7 sisters-in-law) Paula, Anne, and Vickey Box, Mozelle Dixon, Geraldine Walton, Evon Bobo (Clinton), Janet Smith (Fred), 10 grandchildren and a host of nieces nephews, cousins and friends.