Martha Jane Stanford

  • "what a lady and a mentor she was to all of us at the girls..."
  • "Beaver was an inspiration to my sisters and I growing up..."
    - Ruth Maddox-Pudzis
  • "Mrs. Stanford was a precious and humble woman! Though her..."
    - Maureen Lovell, RN
  • "We certainly envy her service of record to our Lord! She's..."

Martha Jane
October 1, 1923 -
August 21, 2014
Columbus, GA- "Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last." C.T. Studd
Martha Jane VanDeusen Stanford passed into the arms of her Lord Thursday, August 21, 2014, at her home at Spring Harbor. A private family graveside service will be held Saturday, August 23, 2014, in Parkhill Cemetery. A celebration of life memorial service will be held Sunday, August 24, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, with a visitation to follow in Johnson Hall.
Mrs. Stanford was born October 1, 1923 in Brookline, Massachusetts, the only child of Agnes McNeilly and Spann C. VanDeusen. She lived there among a large and extended family until her parents relocated to Augusta, Georgia in 1936. She graduated from Augusta College in 1943 and married Lloyd A. Stanford March 24, 1944. The family settled in Columbus, Georgia in 1954 and joined the First Presbyterian Church. She immediately became active in the children's Sunday school department and the Women of the Church serving as a teacher and circle leader. She also served in many capacities in her children's schools and became very active as a Girl Scout Leader and Trainer. In 1970 she became the Program Director for the Girls Club of Columbus, now Girls Inc. Known by her camp name, Beaver, she was a much beloved mentor, teacher and friend to countless girls. In 2012 she was honored by many of those girls with a luncheon and award ceremony in which their stories of her influence on their lives were recounted and celebrated. She was a member of the Quota Club and served as its President. After retiring, she again became very active in her church, serving as President of the Presbyterian Women. She was honored with a Life Membership from that group. She was ordained as an Elder and served as a Stephen Minister. Even though her sight failed, she dedicated many hours to Bible study. She was an active participant in the Prison Ministry and was dedicated to the Global Missions program. As a result, in 2012 she was given the Mildred Frazer Kinnett Award for Global Missions.
She was preceded in death by her parents and in 1993 lost her husband after almost fifty years of marriage. She is survived by her four children: Leland L. and Mary Stanford of Montgomery, AL, Starr S. and Dr. Charles Herndon of Dalton, GA, Martha S. and Robert R. Bickerstaff of Columbus, GA, and Jill S. and Warren C. Philips of Montgomery, AL; her eleven grandchildren: Jeffrey Stanford, Jason and April Stanford, Heather H. and Todd Smith, Christopher and Daniele Herndon, Dr. John Herndon, Bradford and Sally Bickerstaff, Tyler and Shannan Bickerstaff, Edith Philips, Warren S. Philips, Stuart and Victoria Philips, and Collier S. Philips; her great-grandchildren Brian and Courtney Stanford, Brittany S. and Stephen Wenzelow, Harper Herndon, Wesley Smith, Emerson Smith, Reed Bickerstaff, William Bickerstaff, Paul Bickerstaff, Hartley Bickerstaff, Will Schmidt and Charlotte Schmidt; and two great-great grandchildren Addison Stanford and Jude Wenzelow.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church Global Missions Fund, 1100 First Avenue, Columbus, GA 31901; Girls Inc., P.O. Box 3096, Columbus, GA 31903;or the Employee Fund at Spring Harbor, in appreciation of their wonderful and loving care, 100 Spring Harbor Dr., Columbus, GA 31904. Condolences may be expressed at The family will be at home, 2409 Lookout Drive, Columbus, GA.


Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer from Aug. 23 to Aug. 24, 2014
Martha Jane (VanDeusen) Stanford
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Striffler-Hamby Mortuary
4071 Macon Road | Columbus, GA 31907 | (706) 563-2372
Funeral Home Details