Mr. Paxton was chairman of the board of Paxton Media Group, owners of The Cadiz Record, and previously served as president of the company, as publisher of The Paducah Sun and as president of WPSD-TV in a business career that spanned almost 50 years. He also served as president of numerous civic, industry, community and educational organizations. He served a four-year term as chairman of the NBC affiliates board, a three-year term as chairman of Maximum Service Telecasters, and also served as president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association.
He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1954 with a B.SC. degree in marketing. He served three years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a member of a B-47 flight crew.
Surviving are his wife of 51 years, Peggy Sabel Paxton; four children, James F. Paxton Jr. and wife, Mindy, of Paducah, David M. Paxton and wife, Karen, of Paducah, Nancy L. Paxton and husband, Gaurang Desai, of Atherton, Calif., and Richard E. Paxton and wife, Cheryl, of Paducah; a brother, Frank R. Paxton and wife, Joyce, of Venice, Fla.; a sister, Patricia Paxton Brockenborough and husband, Jim, of Paducah; and grandchildren, James T.S. Paxton, Joanna M. Paxton, Michael F. Paxton, Nicholas A. Paxton, John D. Paxton, Lauren E. Paxton, Colleen O. Paxton, Daniel T. Paxton, Ryan C. Paxton, Katherine R. Paxton, Joseph R. Paxton, and David Paxton Desai.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Louise Paxton Gallagher, and his brother, Edwin J. Paxton, Jr. His parents were Edwin John Paxton, Sr. and Florence Brown Paxton.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2006, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church with Father J. Patrick Reynolds officiating. Burial will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery.
A reception was held at St. Thomas More Parish Hall Tuesday, April 4, 2006, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah is in charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to River City Mission, 1466 Bechtdolt Road, W. Paducah, KY 42086; St. Mary School System, 1243 Elmdale Road, Paducah, KY 42003; or the recently established McCracken County Community Career Endowment, c/o Community Foundation of West Kentucky, P.O. Box 7901, Paducah, KY 42002-7901.