Amy Francis McIntyre Stafford, 85, of Berkeley Springs, WV, formerly of Ashland, KY, died on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at The Berkeley Springs Center LLC.
Born April 2, 1932, in Kansas City, MO, she was the daughter of the late Andrew Cornelius and Henrietta Lewen McIntyre.
Our Mother was not just a "Mom" to the Stafford siblings. She loved with an open heart, her charitable forgiveness and acceptance was unconditional even in the face of disappointments and rejections. Raising six children and "mothering" many who passed through our household, she fed whomever came to our house hungry, clothed anyone who needed a coat or shoes and made room for any who needed a safe place to stay, some for a short stay of refuge and some for extended time of healing and the blessing of becoming an accepted part of the Stafford clan. This was her passion and calling in life.
Once all of us were in school she pursued completing her college education and graduated from Kentucky's Morehead University/Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, with honors and became a teacher...well, she always was a teacher. She just finally completed a degree that verified it to the rest of the professional world.
A few of us six children had the unique privilege of having my mom as a substitute in school. This can be an awkward situation for any preteen kid but I was not surprised when some of the students especially the ones other subs dreaded having in class (you know who you are) who had my mom in class came to me and told me how much they loved my mom. Many 'troubled' youths sought out Mom over the years. I believe it was because she appreciated each child's uniqueness, listened instead of requiring attention, questioned instead of making demands, made boundaries clear but fair and offered alternatives that initiated self-examination and promoted creative thinking. I never once remember my mom even in a state of 'fussing' about something, ever make any of us feel belittled but do remember the many times she encouraged us to pursue our own passions.
She was a most brave adventurer, traveling to Jamaica for a few years to teach leaving all that she knew and loved on the mainland to bring music and english to the island children. Mom spent much of her life championing a compassionate giving of herself, her time and resources to help meet the needs of so many. She may not have been rich and famous but she lived a rich life full of goodness and graciousness. Although we may not have always had the finest of things we always had more than enough of everything, we knew we could go to mom with any burden and she would do her best to help us sort it out but most importantly, she forgave even the unforgivable and we knew we were loved unconditionally.
Amy is survived by her children, Sherry Stafford-Loeb of Berkeley Springs, Melody Lynn Martin of Nyssa, OR, Jan Morris Stafford of Tennessee and Valerie Kay Rice of Catlettsburg, KY; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two children, Dan Andrew Stafford and Mary Helen Conn-Smith.
Services and interment in New Highland Cemetery in Hamilton, Missouri will be private.
Arrangements are being handled by Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, WV.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to your local high school band.
Condolences may be expressed at helsleyjohnsonfh.com.
Published on December 4, 2017