Alfrieda K. Stafford, 96, passed away in her sleep to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on Sunday, Jan. 10 at Woodland Country Manor, Somerville. She was born on July 14, 1924 in Haverhill, Massachusetts to Julius and Ida Reuter Kritter.
Alfrieda was a veteran of World War II, having served as an Army Nurse Cadet while finishing nursing school at the New England Baptist School of Nursing in Boston. She is listed in the database for the Women in Military Service For America Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Washington D.C. She retired from nursing at age 67 from the Miami University Student Health Center, where she served as director, having worked her way up from staff nurse.
A working mother long before that term came into being, Alfrieda supported herself and her four children upon the death of her first husband, Russell Johnson, in 1964. In 1969, she married Marvin Stafford, who preceded her in death in 1998. Also preceding her in death was her oldest daughter, Linda, who died on Nov. 8, 2020.
Back when nurses still wore all-white uniforms, her children remember her starching her nurse’s cap, and donning white stockings and shoes before leaving the house for work. For a short time before Russell’s death, she worked part-time as an emergency room nurse at Mercy Hospital, Hamilton.
Alfrieda was just as much a nurse at home as at work. As kids, her children would open the refrigerator for a snack, and see their flu vaccines just waiting to be stuck into their arms. She made nutritious meals and reserved potato chips and soda pop for only special occasions. She made sure they learned to swim, and discouraged them from sitting on their “duffs” watching too much television.
Alfrieda herself exercised almost every day, taking figure-skating lessons right after she retired and becoming a member of the Murstein Dancers who performed locally. Even on her assisted living unit, she constantly encouraged others to walk around and be social. She was also active in the Flores Amo Gardening Club and Oxford Seniors Citizens.
Raised in Massachusetts, she swam, skiied and enjoyed the outdoors as a child. For the two weeks she visited New England every summer in the 1960s and 1970s, she would regain her New England accent, only to lose it again upon returning to Ohio.
She insisted that all her children have a college education, which she called “something for yourselves.” When they were young, she drove them to the library, and made sure they made it to all their 4-H meetings, art classes and marching band activities. When they wanted her to buy them something they didn’t really need, and she couldn’t afford, her answer was usually, “Well, let’s just be thankful for what we already have” which was a way of saying no. The full meaning of that response wouldn’t be felt until years later in their lives.
A child of the Great Depression, she was also known to say “Use it, wear it out or do without.” She also said “This too shall pass” a lot. And when her children got hurt, she would ask “What did you do that for?”
Alfrieda leaves behind three surviving children and their spouses: David (“D.J.”) and Rita, of Hamilton; Judy and Ken Bradford, of South Bend, Indiana; and Brenda and Rex Wright, of Hamilton. A stepson and spouse, Robert and Barbara Stafford, live in Sanford, Florida. A son-in-law, Jim Ferris, lives in New Lebanon. Her grandchildren and their spouses are David Michael Johnson, married to Heather Ann Downs, of Jacksonville, Fla.; Myra and Jon Willwerth, of Jacksonville, Florida and Derek Johnson, of Cincinnati; Darren Ferris, of New Lebanon and Jason Ferris, of Hoorn, Netherlands with his wife Kamala (“K.C.”); Emily Bradford, of Columbus, Ohio and Bill and Katie Bradford of Brownsburg, Indiana; Caleb and Emily Wright, and Chad Wright, of Hamilton. There are four great-grandchildren: Brianna Ferris, Navia Ferris, Wyatt Ferris and Piper Ferris.
The family would like to thank the staff of Woodland Country Manor, and especially the Assisted Living staff for the excellent care Alfrieda received: Steve, Diana, Debbie, Pam, Theresa, Toni, Olivia, Kaylie, Erin, Sydnee, Ronni, Lexi, Shayla, Cathy and Dee.
Graveside services will be held at Millville Cemetery, 2289 Millville Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio, on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 10:00 AM
If you would like to donate in Alfrieda’s name, please send contributions to Oxford Senior Citizens, please visit https://oxfordsenior.weshareonline.org/ or send a check to Oxford Senior Citizens, 922 Tollgate Drive, Oxford, OH 45056.
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