Richard “Dick” Stafford, 85, died peacefully at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson on Wednesday.
Dick was born in Toledo, Ohio and proudly and bravely served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold War conflicts. With over 7,000 flying hours as an Air Refueling Operator, better known as a “Boom Operator,” Dick made it a twenty-year career in the Air Force.
In 1953, Dick married the love of his life, Janyce L. Godbey, who was also from Toledo, Ohio. During his service in the military, they moved from one end of the country to the other on countless occasions and raised their two children together.
In 1972, Dick retired from the Air Force and moved to Modesto, where he started teaching at Downey High School and became an Air Force Jr. ROTC instructor for seven years - his students knew him fondly as “Sarge.” Dick also coached Baseball and Basketball. He then transferred to Davis High School and became a Resource Teacher for 13 years and coached Softball and Golf. Dick was involved in many organizations: he was a proud Mason, a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the American Legion, and past member of SIRS of Turlock.
Dick is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jan; his daughter, Rhonda (Bob) Williams; his son, Dr. Greg (Dawn) Stafford; and three grandchildren, Brina Williams, Laura Stafford and David (Dara) Stafford.
A graveside service, with military honors, will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 10 followed by a Memorial service at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church, 180 S. Denair Ave., Turlock, CA 95380.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Dick’s honor to the First Christian Church of Turlock.