Marilyn Cornelius Stafford, 76, was called home to her Lord on June 17, 2018, while surrounded by her loving husband and children. She was born in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Orville Jonathan Cornelius and Glada Alice Hamilton, on October 31, 1941.
From there, Marilyn went on to Wheaton, Illinois, where she attended Wheaton College and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. She later earned her RN at the University of Alabama School of Nursing. She worked in a variety of jobs, from hotel cleaning in Sheridan, Wyoming, to working the tough hours as an ER nurse in 1966. Marilyn was very active in her church community. During her time at Wheaton, she traveled into Chicago, working with underprivileged girls through Pioneer Girls. She was also part of the Wheaton College Women’s Glee Club, where she served as president for one year. She met her husband, Tim Stafford, while singing together in church. They both were involved in Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when it was just starting.
Marilyn and her husband Tim spent twenty-six years serving the Lord together as missionaries in Taitung, Taiwan. While there, Marilyn wore many hats. She put a great amount of thought, energy, and creativity into managing her home and training her children. She also hosted and oriented many short- term missionaries, played the piano for church, taught Bible to the missionary kids, held a position on the school board, taught English to nurses, reached out to many individuals, and provided an unofficial English library for the missionary community. Marilyn and Tim settled in Alamosa, Colorado, after retiring from the mission field in 1998.
Marilyn enjoyed being part of a neighborhood Bible Study and loved books, sunlight, mountains, fresh air, and wide-open spaces. She also enjoyed singing and playing the piano, hiking, and traveling. Most importantly, she loved God and loved to spend time with her family. She was known for her gentle spirit and servant’s heart.
She is survived by her husband George Timothy Stafford III, her sister Beverly (Ray) Rink, of Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, and her four children, Rebecca (Mark) Krein of Charlotte, NC, Anita (Dan) Lam of West Columbia, SC, Ruth Elaine Stafford of West Columbia, SC, and Daniel (Beth) Stafford of Pelham, AL, as well as her eight grandchildren and numerous extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one sibling, Loreta Cornelius.
Services will be held on Saturday June 23, 2018 at Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, 2701 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35244. There will be a viewing from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and the funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., followed by a short graveside service and a reception. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Focus on the Family (www.focusonthefamily.com). To express condolences, please visit www.curriejefferson.com.