Life Story Service
Thursday, April 13, 2023
3:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Any local animal adoption agency
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Caring, calm, and loving, Carl L Stafford was a humble man who found contentment in the simple things. His family, fishing, and his canine companions were his greatest joys. A proud father and loving husband, Carl enjoyed quiet solitude and never held a grudge. A gift to all who were blessed to know him, Carl will long be remembered and so very missed.
1943 marked a time when the war effort in Europe directly impacted all American lives. While countless young people actively served in the trenches of WWII, those who remained stateside poured their energies into supporting the war effort in any way they could. While Ford and GM converted their plants from automobile manufacturing to the building of bombs and aircraft engines, an unprecedented 18 million women proudly worked the manufacturing jobs once held by the men who were now overseas. Providing a sense of respite from the daily struggles, Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller filled the airways, and the musical Oklahoma took the stage on Broadway. For Randal and Grace (Bigelow) Stafford, it was a particularly exciting time as they welcomed their son, Carl, into their family on May 15, 1943, in St. Louis, Michigan
The second of five children, Carl grew up in Constantine, Michigan. His father worked at the Constantine Creamery, and his mom stayed home to tend to the house and kids. During his teens, he and his friends were well-known as rabble-rousers who had fun. After graduating from Constantine High School with the class of 1962, Carl attended college before recognizing that work was a better alternative for him.
For most of his life, he worked in the paper industry at Parchment Paper Company, which later became known as James River. A proud father, Carl enjoyed spending time with his three daughters, Kym, Cheryl, and Lisa.
In 1988, Carl met Sharon Herder. The pair began dating and married at the county courthouse on August 29, 1989. They enjoyed a loving relationship full of laughter, celebrating good times, and facing hard times throughout the years. They spent a lot of at Carl’s favorite lakes in Lawrence and Constantine, where Carl would fish while Sharon read and worked on her tan. A man who enjoyed solitude, Carl was content to spend times of solitude in his barn, tinkering with cars or his fishing gear. Other times, he would take off to go fishing, leaving Sharon a note that said, “You know where I am.”
Easy-going and even-tempered, Carl had a good sense of humor and liked to laugh. He rarely lost his temper, and once expressed, he was done. He enjoyed listening to country music, B93 Country as his favorite station, watching westerns and action films, and the TV series NCIS. He loved animals and shared the special companionship of many dogs over the years; he loved each and every one of them. He and Sharon were NASCAR fans and enjoyed watching races together.
As we find comfort in our treasured memories of Carl, may we also find comfort in how we will carry his legacy forward. Whenever we take to the lake, cast our line, confidently work on a project, or share time with our treasured companions, we celebrate all the ways Carl gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring good times and laughter.
Carl L Stafford, age 79, of Paw Paw, died on Friday, April 7, 2023. Members of his family include his wife, Sharon; 3 daughters: Kym Meihler, Cheryl (Chris) Hickey, and Lisa (Larry) Huff; 7 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; 3 siblings: Mary Ewing, Randi (Charles) Witek, Brad (Brenda) Stafford. He was preceded in death by a sister Shirley Hackler and a grandson Jayson Wicket. Life Story services will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 2 PM, at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy; Paw Paw (269) 657-3870. A reception will follow where food, drinks, and stories will be shared at the funeral home. Visit Carl’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to any local animal adoption agency.