Patricia Joan Stafford, 88, died Jan. 27, 2019, in Medina, Ohio. A Michigan native with two degrees in music, she was a longtime resident of Danville. She endowed the Stafford Memorial Fund at the Norton Center for the Arts in memory of her late husband, Jack, after his untimely death in 1980.
“The Norton Center staff is very sad to learn of Joan Stafford’s passing,” said Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman. “She had great pride in the Norton Center, and we are forever grateful for her support, involvement and attendance.”
She delighted in helping to choose the annual Stafford performance, which this year is the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 20. She had been looking forward to the performance, and many of her family members are still planning to attend.
Read her full biography here.
A remembrance by Barbara Hall, Stodghill Professor of Music, Emerita:
Joan was a part of many of my early memories of Danville. She taught piano—and, more surprisingly—trumpet at Centre for a couple of years. She was also pianist for the Rotary Club for a while and was organist at Centenary Methodist Church when I was interim music director there for several months. Those interactions showed her to be a warm, caring person, and she became a good friend.
I saw her steel when there was a question of not allowing people—without special permission and a fee—to teach private music lessons in their homes. Joan, like many women, had been teaching in her home for years, enriching many lives, especially of children, and earning herself professional and financial benefits. She led and I joined her in a letter-writing campaign which ended that official nonsense.
Both she and her husband were great music-lovers, which resulted in her gift in her husband’s memory to Centre in support of classical music.
My closest association with Joan in later years was through her granddaughter, Alisen Huff Proctor ’11, who sang under me during her years at Centre and became a very special friend as well.
by Centre College News
February 4, 2019
Pictured above: Joan Stafford was recognized by Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman during the 2016 Sound the Trumpets! performance, supported by the Stafford Memorial Fund.