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Obituaries » Joyce L. Stafford

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July 28, 1930 - April 3, 2024

Burial Date May 6, 2024

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Joyce’s life will be held on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 11:00 am at St. Michael Lutheran Church, 7211 Oakland Dr. Portage, MI 49024.  A private family inurnment will be held at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael Lutheran Church, or the charity of one’s choice, c/o the funeral home.

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Age 93, passed away on April 3, 2024, at Bronson Hospital surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 28, 1930, the daughter of the late Charles and Gertrude (née Nichols) Bower. Joyce was a graduate of Portage Central High School and called Michigan home for her entire life. She married John W. Stafford on June 25, 1955, and raised four children.

Joyce had a strong faith in the Lord which was the foundation of her gracious and kind character. She had a welcoming smile, was patient, generous, and wise. Joyce was a devoted wife and mother whose greatest joy was watching her children grow. She was especially proud of and loved her grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Joyce was a fiercely independent woman. She always managed to find the best in every situation. She loved music and was frequently heard humming her favorite tunes, enjoyed watching classic movies, playing board and card games, and in her later years listening to audio books.

She was a dedicated and hard worker, employed as a bookkeeper at Douglas and Sons Paint Store in Kalamazoo for over forty years. When not working, she enjoyed bowling, dancing, traveling and trips to the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island.

She was a loved and respected neighbor in her community, and cherished member of her family. Joyce leaves behind the legacy of a life well lived and she will be sorely missed by those who loved her. She is preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Marjorie Bower, Charles J. Bower, and Francis (née Bower) Williamson, her first husband Richard Joss, her husband John W. Stafford, and grandson Aaron Stafford. She is survived by four loving children, Debbora (née Joss) (James) Beck, Lakewood, CO; Lynnette K. E. Stafford, Portage, MI; Shelley A. Stafford, Loveland, CO; and Todd (Tina) Stafford, Surfside Beach, SC; seven grandchildren, Ashley Beck, Emily (née Stafford) (Justin) Fletcher, Jacob (Katie) Stafford, Megan Stafford, Alexander Stafford, Nicholas Stafford, and Benjamin Stafford; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.