Dorothy “Dottie” M. Wills Stafford


IRON RIVER — Dorothy “Dottie” M. Wills Stafford, 92, of Iron River, passed away on Monday, June 17, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital after complications during an angiogram.

She was born on March 29, 1927, in Galena, Ill., the daughter of the late Maurice and Marcella (Klaas) Wills. She was raised on a dairy farm in Hazel Green, Wis., with five siblings. She attended Hazel Green High School, graduating with the Class of 1945.

Dottie married Robert “Bob” Stafford on May 4, 1946, in Hazel Green, and the couple just celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary.

She was a great cook, working at Balducci’s Super Club, Alice’s, & Dina Mia Kitchens until the age of 80.

She also worked as a Parent Coordinator for Follow-Through Program and a teacher’s aide at Central School. She was such a hard working person. She peeled pulp in the woods when her husband was a logger, worked for 12 years at Coleman Products on the assembly line, and cleaned the St John’s Episcopal Church for the past 20 years, up until her death. She graduated from Nicolet Technical College in Rhinelander in Culinary Arts.

Dorothy was very active in her community, a longtime member/officer of the American Legion Post 17 Auxiliary, and president of VFW Post 3134 Auxiliary.

She was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church of Iron River and the Altar Society, and the St Agnes Crafters. She was on several bowling leagues and joined the cribbage group at the senior center.

She had a youthful spirit and loved spending time and traveling with her family and friends, visiting Europe, Ireland, Canada, and traveling all over the United States.

She was a stylish dresser even as she aged. She was always willing to help out, even at the age of 92. She always made others feel welcomed and loved. She loved to dance, and enjoyed telling jokes and was always the life of the party. She was a kind-hearted beautiful lady, a devoted, loving mother and grandmother and will be deeply missed.

Dottie is survived by her loving husband, Bob and their 11 children, Linda Stafford, Patricia (Mel) Robinson, Vivian (Bryan) Clem, Corrine (late Dale) Jacobson, Ronald Stafford, Cynthia (Steve) Naser, Craig (Patti) Stafford, Denise (Rodger) Francavilla, Scott (Peggy Otto) Stafford, Douglas Stafford, Michelle (Scott) Tefft; along with 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

She is further survived by her brother, Virgil (Kay) Wills; sister, Darlene Wills Wubben; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her brothers, Donald and Joseph Wills.

Visitation will be 9 to 10:45 a.m. Friday, June 21 at the Jacobs Funeral Home in Iron River. The American Legion Post 17 Ladies Auxiliary will form a Poppy Honor Guard at the visitation. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Iron River, with Rev. Gregory Veneklase to offer the Mass of Christian Burial.

Interment will be in Resthaven Cemetery.

A new star shines brightly in the sky tonight! “Tears are prayers too, they travel to God when we can’t speak.” Psalm 56:8.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Dorothy “Dottie” M. Stafford online at www.jacobsfuneralhomeir.com.

Funeral arrangements by the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron River.