Virginia Bartlett Stafford
Virginia Bartlett Stafford, 98, died peacefully Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Fort Myers, Fla., with her family by her side. She will be missed deeply by many. Virginia, a former longtime resident of Jamestown, N.Y., was born Sept. 21, 1915, in Kalamazoo, Mich., to her parents, Herbert R. and Clara M. Willis. Virginia’s sister, Marion W. Willis, preceded her in death.
Virginia’s first marriage to David E. Wellman brought forth four children: Jerry, Thomas, James and Dawn. She welcomed five more children into her family with her second mar-riage to Deleon O. Stafford: James, Diane, William, Thomas and Kathy. She was preceded in death by husbands David and Deleon and children Jerry and Kathy.
Virginia is survived by: Dawn Wellman of Fort Myers, Fla., and grandchil-dren Debbie and Tasha; James Wellman and wife Georgia of Sanibel, Fla., and grandchildren James, Andrew and John; Thomas Wellman and wife Carol of Lodi, Calif., and grandchildren Lisa and Melinda; Betty Wellman of Port Allegany, Pa., wife of the deceased Jerry Wellman, and grandchildren Michael and Susan; Diane Shults and husband Edmond of Sanibel, Fla., and grandchildren Edmond Jr., Tim, Cindy and Kimberly; James Francis, husband of deceased wife Joyce of Ashville, N.Y., and grandchildren Vicki and Valarie; Thomas Francis and wife Judy of Dallas, Texas, and grandchildren Shelly and Tommy; and grandchildren Delean and Charlotte of Virginia’s deceased daughter Kathy Finger.
Virginia is also survived by 30 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.
Virginia was employed by Weber Knapp Company of Jamestown as a product inspector for many years. She especially shined as a homemaker and caregiver to her extended family. Not a week would pass without a child-sitting assignment, attending a football game, a swim or track meet, a baseball or soccer game, a play, a dance recital, even go-kart and stock car races. She was a superb chauffeur for any and all family and was never topped as a seamstress or ironing clothes or giving hugs or anticipating when some-thing needed to get done without being asked. For many years, she was an active participant in the Junior Guilders of the Little Theatre of Jamestown, making countless costumes for the cast of performers and traveling with the group for performances in Europe and other special locations. She loved her travel to Sanibel in winter and cruises to the Caribbean with family throughout the year. She was an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills football team and later in life looked forward to her Sunday afternoons with family at a sports bar with numerous like-minded fans. One of her valued avocations was as a performer in print and television advertisements, the most notable roles being Grandma Plenty for the Shults Auto Group of Jamestown, N.Y., and Bradford, Pa., and a model patient for a Fort Myers senior day care center. “Gram” will be remembered for the help and support and especially the love she gave each member of the family.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 509 Prendergast Ave., Jamestown, N.Y. The family requests that memorial contributions in Virginia’s name be provided to the Junior Guilders of the Little Theatre of Jamestown in lieu of flowers.