Shelvay Jean Stafford, 86, of Salina, Oklahoma passed away on February 11, 2023, after a brief battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones at the time she passed. Shelvay was born on October 18th, 1936, in Jefferson City, Missouri to Albert and Emma Frost. After graduating from high school, Shelvay went on to business school in Wichita, Kansas, where she ultimately met her future husband Lenis Stafford. They were married on December 15th, 1956, and later moved to Salina, Oklahoma, where they made a life together that lasted over 63 years. Shelvay and Lenis were blessed with three children, Terri, Wendell and Joel. As a wonderful, loving wife and mother, Shelvay gave her all to her family. We will never be able to fill the space left behind by her absence.
While filling much of her time with her devotion to family, Shelvay also worked as an interior house painter and later as a seamstress at a quilt factory from which she retired. Outside of work and family she found time for several other creative interests. As a child and young adult, she loved horses and spent many hours drawing pictures of them. Her love of color and nature was evident in the beauty of and devotion to her garden where each year she would lovingly grow wonderful flowering landscapes for her and her family to enjoy. Her creativity was also expressed in the beautiful items she crafted in the crochet club that she was a member of for several years.
Shelvay was known for her generous and caring heart which extended beyond family and friends. Over the years she cared for many animals including dogs, cats, and birds. She held a special place in her heart for animals and never turned away one of God’s creatures that came to her door needing food or shelter. We know Fluffy, which was her most recent cat companion, will no doubt feel her loss as well.
Sunday mornings were dedicated to attending church services and Sunday evenings were a special time for Shelvay and her family. Known as “game night” she looked forward to giving her family a “run for their money” whether it was a good-natured game of Rummikub or dominoes, fellowship and good-natured gamesmanship while sharing a slice of pizza was something everyone always looked forward to each week. Special times like that will be missed deeply.
Shelvay was predeceased by her parents, her husband, Lenis, her sister and two brothers, and daughter-in-law Betty Stafford. She is survived by her children Terri Stafford, Wendell Stafford and Joel Stafford, as well as grandchildren Tyler Stafford, A.J. Stafford, Kendra Short, Heather Stafford, Ryan Stafford, Misty Stafford, Rosie Boeckman, Chance Stafford and numerous great grandchildren.
Funeral services for Shelvay will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at the First Freewill Baptist Church in Salina, Oklahoma with Pastor Lorne Beck and Gary Blackford officiating. Burial will follow at Bryan Chapel Cemetery in Boatman, Oklahoma. Tyler Stafford, AJ Stafford, Bobby Stafford, Ryan Stafford, Justin Wallace, and David Combs will serve as casket bearers with Chance Stafford and Lee Sorum serving as honorary casket bearers. Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, Feb 14, 2023, at Shipman’s Funeral Home in Pryor. To leave her family a message, please visit her Guestbook at www.shipmansfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Shipman’s Funeral & Cremation Service of Pryor.