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Retired from the Navy after serving 40 years Thomas Joe Stafford Sr., 75, of Bradleyville, passed away Sunday, June 24, at Cox South Medical Center in Springfield.
He was born June 13, 1932, in Grovespring, the son of Thomas Reed and Bertha Alice (Brumfield) Stafford.
Joe was married to Reba Geraldine (Gerry) Dunn in Ozark by the Rev. Bob Grady on Aug. 11, 1956. To this union three children were born, Thomas Joe Jr., Reba Jewell and Timothy Lynn Stafford. Tommy Joe, as his family and friends called him in his early years, was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, William, two sisters, Ruby Bonner and Ellen Ballay, two nephews, and his daughter, Reba Jewell Stafford.
Joe is survived by his wife of the home; and two sons, Joe Jr. and wife, Cheryl, of Marshfield, and Tim and wife, Kellie, of Bradleyville; six grandchildren, Nathan and wife, Jessica Stafford, Jamon and husband, Nathan Lewis, Waylon and wife, Teresa Stafford, Jerrid Stafford, Kayla Stafford and Dylon Stafford. Also four great-grandchildren.
Other survivors include one sister, Johnnie Lillard, of Bradleyville, and one brother, Lawrence and wife, Mary Lou Stafford, of Harrisonville; 10 nephews and six nieces; and a host of cousins and friends.
Joe retired from the Navy after serving 40 years, which included active duty and reserves. His service included duty in the Korean War, Bay of Pigs, the Cold War and Vietnam. He served as a naval recruiter in Springfield and Wichita, Kan. He worked in construction in the Kansas City area, owned and operated a sawmill, and a farm raising tomatoes and beef cattle in Bradleyville.
Services will be at the Kissee-Aiken-Schofield Funeral Home at Forsyth today (Thursday) at 2 p.m., with burial at the Stafford Cemetery with full military honors.