Ms. Stafford was born in Magnum, Oklahoma. A war bride, she met her future husband when he was serving in the U.S. Army. The young couple lived in several locations before moving to Portola Valley. "They were one of the first couples to settle on Santa Maria," recalls Robin Toews, longtime Portola Valley teacher.
Ms. Stafford worked for the Portola Valley School District from 1972 to 2002, the last 20 years as an administrative assistant at Ormondale School. Beloved by students, she was honored in 1980 with an award for her service to Portola Valley schools.
"We had a Char Stafford Day with a parade and a huge party," says Ms. Toews. "She was an amazing woman who held the school together and was an absolute advocate of children."
Char, as she was known, enjoyed ballroom dancing, reading, hiking, flower-arranging, sewing, crossword puzzles, and spoiling her family with baked treats, including her famous banana bread and peach cobbler, say family members.
The Staffords were active at Little House, volunteering, taking trips, even winning a ballroom dancing contest.
Ms. Stafford will be remembered for her charismatic voice and sense of humor. "When Char entered a room you could feel her warmth, kindness, and loving energy," say family members.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Leland Clinton Stafford; sons Kirk L. Stafford and Mark L. Stafford; and two grandchildren.