January 15, 1935 - March 13, 2021
In Loving Memory
Maria Hefley, born Maria Croppi was born on January 15, 1935 in Messasca, a small village in the Bognanco Valley of the Alps of Northern Italy. She is the fourth of ten children born to Severino Croppi and Edvige Pesenti (Croppi).
Maria came from very humble beginnings and her early years were witness to difficult times and poverty related to WWII. Sponsored by the Refuge Relief Program and her older sister Sandra, at the age of 21, Maria left her native villages of Messasca and Pioi and along with six of her younger siblings and parents crossed the Atlantic on the USS Independence and the North American Continent on the Northern Pacific train to start a new life here in Washington State.
Maria and her family initially settled on her sister's farm on the Issaquah Hobart Road. One year after her arrival she moved to Seattle and worked as a cook at one of the dorms at the University of Washington. In Seattle she met and married her first husband Ben Stangland. She and her husband lived on Queen Ann Hill and it was during this time that Maria focused on learning to speak, read, and write English. She became a naturalized American citizen on January 7,1963. When her husband Ben passed (1967), she continued to reside on Queen Ann along with her son Bert. A few years later Maria met and married Bill Hefley and the two of them settled in Stanwood where they owned and operated the Sportsman Tavern for many years. Besides the tavern business Maria and Bill ran a small farm outside of Stanwood. They were married for 31 years. After her husband Bill passed (2000), Maria continued to work their small farm, raising beef cattle, and working in her large vegetable garden.
Maria died peacefully on March 13, 2021. Besides her two husbands, she was predeceased by four of her siblings. Maria is survived by her beloved son, Bert Hefley, daughter-in-law Diane Hefley, grandsons Dustin and Derek Hefley, great-grandson Trace Hefley and five brothers Pete, Rome, Berniy, Tarcisio, and Maurizio Croppi.
A service will be held Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St Cecilia Catholic Church, Stanwood, Wash. Maria will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband Bill at Fir-Conway Lutheran Cemetery in Milltown, Wash.
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Published by Stanwood Camano News from Mar. 23 to Mar. 30, 2021.