Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home
2650 Niles Road
St. Joseph, MI 49085
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Alpha Lee Spafford

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Alpha Lee Spafford Obituary
Alpha Lee Spafford Stevensville Formerly of Battle Creek Alpha Lee Spafford, 86, of Stevensville, formerly of Battle Creek, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 4, 2012 at her residence. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 7, 2012 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph with Fr. James Morris officiating. Burial will follow at Battle Creek Memorial Park in Battle Creek. Friends may call from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. Sunday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph with Liturgical Prayers recited at 6:30 P.M. Memorials may be made to the Doris Klaussen Developmental Center in Battle Creek, MI or to the W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta, MI. Those wishing to sign Alpha's memory book online may do so at Alpha was born to Elbert and Maude Turman April 10th, 1926 in Granite OK. She graduated Granite High School as Valedictorian of her class in 1944. The next fall, she attended Harding College. Alpha graduated magna cum laude in 1948 with a B.S. in Home Economics. It was while teaching elementary school in the small rural towns of Arkansas and Missouri that Alpha began to realize her true passion was teaching; especially helping children with special needs. She moved to Dearborn, MI to attend Wayne State University. She graduated in 1957 with a M.S. in Education with a major of Special Education. This began Alpha's life-long advocacy for the disabled and mentally impaired. She was teaching in Ann Arbor, MI. when she met and married Carroll Spafford in 1964. It was also at this time that Alpha met and became lifelong friends with Doris Klaussen, a pioneer in special education. Alpha worked in the Homebound Program with Mrs. Klaussen and, after moving to Battle Creek, at Doris Klaussen Developmental Center. Upon retirement, Alpha and Carroll were asked to volunteer for the ground-breaking Junior Achievement program specifically created for the students at DKDC. Her enthusiasm for the project was matched only by the thrill of working with her husband, her former students and many of her friends altogether at her former school! Her fiercely gentle spirit will be much missed by a loving circle of family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Elbert and Maude Frances Turman; brothers E.J. and Alfred Turman; and sister Velma Ruth Turman Moody. She is survived by husband Carroll Cuthbert Spafford; children George and Rebecca Spafford; daughter-in-Law Rowena Olaso Spafford and grandchildren: Paolo, Alyssa, and Erika Spafford; Beloved Sister: Mary Frances Turman Orzech And many members of a large, loving extended family.

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on May 5, 2012
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