February 19, 1942 - February 7, 2018
Clenora (Joy) Stafford graced this earth with her beautiful spirit on February 19, 1942. She was born to the late Dock and Janie Joy, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. She was the youngest of 11 children. While sitting on the "mourning bench" at the Antioch Baptist Church, listening to the songs of praise and the soul stirring preaching, she accepted Christ at an early age and walked with him every day of her life. Despite the difficult balance of work and school, she was a determined scholar and graduated from Allen White High School in 1960. After graduation, she joined her brother, Robert Lee "Junior" in St. Louis, MO. She began work in the city traveling on the Bi-State bus with a stop that led her to the love of her life, O'Neal Stafford. Two hearts became one when they married on May 22, 1963 and four beautiful children were born to this union. That love weathered the storms of life for nearly 55 years. Through many heartbreaking losses over the years, they grew closer and built a strong foundation that is evident in the fruitfulness and faith of their family. Her caring heart and connection to life's struggles was expressed in some of her favorite movies including, Imitation of Life and Splendor in the Grass. Her cooking expressed the warmth of her heart, because no one could make a better chicken and dressing or potato salad, this side of the Mississippi. She shared her dedication to hard work at Fax Photo, McDonald Douglass, Bristol Meyers, and Carter Carburetor, before accepting the most rewarding and challenging calling of them all, as a dedicated wife and at home mother to her children. She loved volunteering at the school and assisting in the classroom. Her enthusiasm for learning led many to believe she was a teacher. As her children grew more independent, she accepted a position at Kmart where she never met a stranger and could talk to anyone. Her friendly spirit and commitment to customer appreciation was recognized. She was often acknowledged as "Employee of the Month" and awarded for exemplary customer service. With a desire to lead her family on a closer walk with Jesus, after prayerful consideration, God led her to join Greater Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in the 1960's under the leadership of the late Rev. Milton L. Thames. She loved her church and loved the Lord. With southern charm and elegance, she proudly wore her crowns. She graced the church steps with matching hat, suit and shoes most every Sunday. A special hat made its appearance to celebrate special days like Mother's Day. She diligently served in many ministries in the church, including Choir, Sunday School and Usher Board. She was always a dedicated doorkeeper for the Lord until intermittent illness kept her from service. Through the many changes in leadership after the passing of Rev. Thames in 1990, Sis. Stafford stood firmly on the word of God as a loyal member, offering wisdom, love and support, in uncertain times. In her last days at Greater Progressive, God sent a new shepherd that would teach, preach and love the church family in a similar way and she was comforted that the strong legacy of Greater Progressive would be restored. She adopted many of the ministers and pastors in her life as her own, including Rev. Marvin Wiley, Rev. Cornelius Osby, Rev. James Brown, and Rev. Michael Scott, Jr. Her current pastor, Rev. Ervin Yarbough, was like a son and stood by her and the entire with an unwavering faith and love until her passing. As the sun rose on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, God peacefully whispered, "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have fought a good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith." With one last breath, that beautiful spirit transitioned to be with our heavenly father and watch over us from heaven. With her husband and children by her side, with hopes of bringing her home, God confirmed he had a new eternal home for her, not built by man. She was reunited with her mother and father Janie and Doc Joy, son, O'Neal Leon (Jan) Stafford, Sr., grandson, O'Neal Leon Stafford, Jr., brothers, Luther "Dick" Joy (Lillie B.), James (Evelyn) Joy, Robert Lee "Junior" Joy, Thomas (Irene) Joy, Lewis Joy, her sisters, Deanna "Tot" (Price) Morrow, Mamie Anderson, Lizzie Mae (Jimmie) Taylor, Jennie Price, Hattie Polk. She leaves to cherish her sweet memory, her devoted husband, O'Neal Stafford, three children, Alisa Stafford, Eric Lamar (Carol) Stafford, Trezette Fonsha (Jerome) Dixon, St. Louis, MO; seven grandchildren, Jasmine Foster, Carl Jamal (Andrea) Stafford of Kansas City, MO, Eric Lamar Stafford, Jr., Kiasha Trammell, Skylar Dixon, Jerome Tyler Dixon, and Taylor Dixon; three great grandchildren, Ay'Dan Foster, Camille Stafford, Sarron Stafford; one brother, Eli (Gladys) Joy of Whiteville, TN; a host of sister and brother in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Clenora (Joy) Stafford graced this earth with her beautiful spirit on February 19, 1942. She was born to the late Dock and Janie Joy, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. She was the youngest of 11 children. While sitting on the "mourning bench"... View Obituary & Service Information
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