Jerry W. Stafford
August 30, 1946 - November 18, 2022
Jerry W. Stafford, 76, of Little Flock, Arkansas, a former Parsons resident, and longtime Certified Public Accountant, passed away on November 18, 2022, at his home surrounded with love and family due to complications from Parkinson’s.
He was born on August 30, 1946, at the Wilson County Hospital in Neodesha, Kansas, to C. Dale and Patricia J. (Hague) Stafford. Jerry grew up in the rural Morehead area. He attended Morehead School through eighth grade. He was the last eighth grade graduating class to attend before closing the school. He graduated from Labette County Community High School in Altamont in 1964. Jerry attended Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. He finished his college career at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, graduating January 1969, with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.
While attending Wichita State University, Jerry was in ROTC and entered the US Army in June 1969, as a 2nd Lieutenant. After training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Jerry was assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for a year. Jerry was assigned to Saigon, Vietnam, where he was exposed to Agent Orange which now has contributed to the Parkinson’s. Jerry received an honorable discharge as 1st Lieutenant after returning home from Vietnam. He received many awards including: the Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service and National Defense Service.
Jerry started his accounting career in June 1971, at KPMG in Kansas City, Missouri. Cecil Prier also started his accounting career on the same day. In December 1974, Jerry and Cecil began the accounting firm, Stafford & Prier in Chanute, Kansas. In March 1975, Jerry and Cecil purchased the accounting firm, Bill Jack’s in Parsons, Kansas. Then added John Reichert and the name was changed to Stafford, Prier & Reichert. They expanded their Parsons Office in September 1976, after they purchased the firm, Mason, Plowman & Mason and added Jim Smith. In 1987, the Pittsburg office was opened by purchasing Ken Webb’s practice and adding Ken Cunningham as a partner. They decided to branch out even further and the Rogers, Arkansas, office was opened in 1995, adding Greg Peterson as a partner. In January 2003, Stafford Prier & Reichert purchased Westervelt Carson & Miller of Parsons, Kansas, changing the name to Stafford & Westervelt. In January 2008, the George Kitchen’s practice in Bentonville, Arkansas, was purchased but not consolidated with the Rogers, Arkansas office until January 2016. Due to health conditions, Jerry retired in January 2019 and would like to thank the clients for their loyalty, continued support and friendship.
Jerry met Christine “Diane” York of Thayer during a Four Corners 4-H fund raiser soup supper in 1964. They were married August 10, 1968, at the Thayer United Methodist Church in Thayer, Kansas, and celebrated their 54th anniversary this past August.
Jerry loved to hunt quail and pheasants, play golf, go to horse races and travel with Thayne Cozart. Frank Perry was another hunting buddy, where they believe they saw Big Foot around Morehead.
He also loved coaching Babe Ruth Baseball teams, whether his sons were on the team or not. He coached for 18 years & had two girls on his teams. Anytime he heard about one of the kids on his team’s accomplishments, he would say, “that’s one of my kids.” If you were on his team, you knew how to run. His players knew they could stretch that single into a double. If you were unable to pay the sign-up fee, Jerry always found odd jobs to do (pick up sticks or rocks, rake leaves, pull weeds) to earn the sign-up fee.
Jerry was a member of Waterway Christian Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. He loved the coffee house atmosphere and casual worship environment. Jerry was also a member of Brown-Bishop No. 704 VFW & American Legion. He was a past treasurer of Parsons Chamber of Commerce and a member of Rotary International of Parsons and helped with the chili feed.
Jerry was an avid fan of the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs. He was also a University of Kansas and Wichita State University basketball fan. He was looking forward to being a University of Central Missouri Wrestling fan for grandson, Brady plus University of Kansas Softball fan for granddaughter, Kadence.
You could always find Jerry watching his grandchildren participate in softball, soccer, baseball, football, wrestling and academic achievement events. He was so proud of them.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Diane of the home; son Michael K. (Laurie Huggins) of Bentonville, Arkansas; son Matthew W. (Angie Stockdale) of Little Flock, Arkansas and five grandchildren – Karlie, Brady, Kadence, Kyndal and Ty. Brothers – Randy (Judy) of Gunnison, Colorado, Bob (Paula) and Ron (Jan) both of Thayer, Kansas – sister Cathy (Don) Herman of Chickasha, Oklahoma – stepsisters Debbie Thomas (Robert) of Wellsville, Kansas and Shelley Showalter of Thayer, Kansas and mother-in-law Florence York of Neodesha, Kansas. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins survive.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law Virgil York, nephew Scott Stafford, nieces Amber Hucke and Jennifer Herman and great-nephew Gavin Triebel.
The family would like to thank the care givers, Kelly and Rosa, as well as Circle of Life for their loving care over the past eight weeks.
Celebration of life services will be held November 26, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Wesley United Methodist Church with Reverend, Dr. Don Morrow, of Bentonville, Arkansas, and Reverend, Taud Boatman, of Parsons. Burial will be in Morehead Cemetery with military rites by Brown-Bishop No. 704 VFW. The family will receive friends at Wall Funeral Home in Parsons on Friday, November 25, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00. Please feel free to wear comfortable clothing or your favorite sports team’s shirt to both the visitation and celebration of life. If you have memories to share you will have an opportunity to speak or write out your memories and they will be read. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to Parsons Babe Ruth Baseball or Waterway Christian Church. These may be left at or mailed to the funeral home at PO Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357. Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.
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