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Karen Stafford


1937 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Karen Stafford Obituary
Karen Stafford

Collierville, TN

Karen Roberts Stafford devoted her life to her Lord, her family and her friends. She was born to the late A.L. and Mary Roberts on November 11, 1937, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and she went home to the Lord on March 29, 2017.

Although she began school in St. Joseph, most of her early years and education occurred in Greeley, Colorado. After high school graduation, she received her BA at Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado.

Her first teaching position was in Tucson's Pueblo High School. At a new teachers' meeting, she was introduced to Will Stafford; they soon fell in love, got married in 1960 and began their life together. They taught in Tucson and Fort Lauderdale before they moved to Memphis where they made their home and raised their family.

Karen earned a Masters Degree in English from Memphis State University, now University of Memphis, only a few weeks after the birth of their first child Suzanne. She taught English at Hillcrest High School where she was also chaired the English Department. After the birth of their second child Scott, she taught Adult Education classes for several years.

She resigned from teaching and decided to enroll in law school, but God had other plans for her life. As Karen put it, "Instead of enrolling in Law School, I enrolled in a new Bible Study that had opened that fall......Christ had changed my life, and I saw for the first time what it meant to know Him through His word."

Understanding what it meant to know Him through His word became her life's passion. She wanted to know Him through His word and wanted to help others do the same. Her gift of teaching was the perfect avenue, and this became her life's work.

One verse became an invaluable guide for this passion, "He said to them, therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old." Matthew 13:52.

For thirty years, she was involved with Bible Study Fellowship - four years as a Teaching Leader and 20 years as Area Advisor. She was instrumental in opening twenty-two new classes in four states and served thirty-five classes in five states as Area Advisor.

After her time with Bible Study Fellowship, Karen's gift of teaching was used in writing thirteen Bible Studies for women. She continued writing and teaching these Bible Studies until recently. Through her thought provoking and inspirational teachings, her conference speaking, and her loving personal relationships, Karen remained steadfast in serving the Lord by helping others learn and apply the word of God in their lives.

As a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, Karen's service to the Lord has touched and continues to touch countless lives.

She leaves her husband Will, her daughter Suzanne (Gary) Kennedy, and her son Scott (Laura Painter) Stafford, her grandchildren Ellis and Victoria Kennedy, Laura Grace and Scotty Stafford, her sister Marcia Gauley and her brother James Roberts.

On Saturday, April 1, there will be a memorial service at 10 am in the Sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church where she was a member. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Bible Study Fellowship at www.bsfinternational.org.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 31, 2017
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