OBITUARY

Anita Lopez Stafford

November 29, 1933July 20, 2020
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Anita Lopez Stafford died on Monday July 20, 2020 from complications due to pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed in June of 2019 and fought for over a year to stay with her family as long as possible. She was brave and strong, having had many procedures, chemotherapy, radiation, and hospitalizations. She taught her family how to be patient, faithful, endure hard things, and remain joyful and loving, despite feeling unwell.

She was born in Los Angeles, California, on the same day as her father, November 29, 1933, the third child of Nellie and Clemente Lopez. She had two older brothers, Clement Jr. and Richard, and three younger brothers, Robert, Daniel, and Raymond. As Carlsbad pioneers, her parents farmed acreage on Valley Street for many years. Her older brother Junior says she was a real tomboy, throwing dirt clods out in the fields with her five brothers when they were young.

Anita spent her early years in Los Angeles, then her family moved to Carlsbad, California when she was in elementary school. She attended Carlsbad Union elementary school until eighth grade, then graduated from Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School in 1951. She then went to Oceanside-Carlsbad College, graduating with an AA degree in 1953.

While working as a bookkeeper at the local hardware store in Oceanside, she met William (Bill) Stafford at the downtown pharmacy lunch counter. She said she was eating lunch at the counter, and he came up and sat right next to her and starting talking. When he came into the hardware store the next day, she said she knew he was going to ask her out, and he did!

They were married at the Carlsbad Union Church on July 6, 1957. She said her husband Bill, who was an only child, really enjoyed her large family, especially her five brothers. She said, "Bill was the nicest, kindest, most generous man I have ever known. He always made me feel pretty and he was so thoughtful and kind to me, always making sure he sent or bought me anything I wanted: pretty things, candy, and flowers." Bill was a veteran of the United States Army and served during the Korean War. They resided in Carlsbad and had three children, Rosalie, Melinda and Ted.

Anita was a homemaker when her children were young, but as they got older, she started working as a bookkeeper at various local businesses, including Taylor Rentals which used to be on Oceanside Blvd. On September 9, 1985 she started working for the Carlsbad City Library Adult Learning Center, and eventually transferred to the Carlsbad City Library, working various jobs, including the Information Desk at Dove Library. She really enjoyed her job at the library. She loved her coworkers and the patrons, considering her job a ministry. She finally retired on December 30, 2009 at the age of 76, having worked for the library for 24 years!

Her friend Shirley had these kind words to say: "She was the best friend anyone could have. She made everyday a joy, encouraging others, greeting everyone with her invigorating smile and saving a seat on the bus for anyone. At Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School, Class of 1951, as a Carlsbad villager, she quietly excelled in her studies, taking Latin, bookkeeping and other difficult studies. She was artistically talented and contributed posters, drawings and her talents to class events. For 3 years, she worked on the school newsletter staff, was active in sports and excelled in tennis. She was a member of the Future Nurses Club, desiring to show her love and care to others. She was so proud and happy when a daughter became a pharmacist. Her family was the love of her life. For over 30 years she was an active member of the Class of 1951 monthly “lunch-bunch” and the Class of 1951 Reunion Committee in charge of decorations, arranging picnics and much more, always bringing her “heavenly eggs”, laughter, and hugs."

A committed Christian, attending North Coast Calvary Chapel, then New Venture Christian Fellowship, she truly made the world a better place with her friendship, love and “friends forever” way of life. She had many special friends, some all the way back from kindergarten. Now, in heaven, enjoying her Savior’s love, she will never be forgotten by her many friends and family.

She is survived by her three children: Rosalie Stafford-McCormack, Melinda Stafford Lee, and Ted Stafford, son-in-law TK Lee, four brothers: Clement Jr. Lopez, Robert (and Nancy) Lopez, Daniel (and Irene) Lopez, and Raymond Lopez, three grandchildren: Jules McCormack, Miles McCormack, and Zak Lee, fifteen nieces and nephews, and their children. Anita was predeceased by her husband Bill Stafford on August 17, 1990.

A graveside service will be held at 10 AM on Monday August 17, 2020 at the Last Supper section of Eternal Hills Memorial Park, 1999 S. El Camino Real, Oceanside, CA, 92054.

Services

17 August

Gravesode Service

10:00 am

Eternal Hills Memorial Park

1999 El Camino Real
Oceanside, California 92054

Memories

Anita Lopez Stafford

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FROM THE FAMILY

Aunt Lucy, with older brothers Junior and Richard, and Anita at 18 months old

FROM THE FAMILY

Mother Nellie, with Richard, Junior and Anita, in 1934

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita age 7

FROM THE FAMILY

Freshman gym class, 14 years old

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and her brothers playing hooky from school

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and friend Lynn getting ready to go to the beach

FROM THE FAMILY

Brothers Raymond, Danny, Bobby and Anita, with Raymond's dog Prince

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and her father Clemente in 1954

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita with her brother Richard in his army uniform, 1954

FROM THE FAMILY

Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School class of 1951

FROM THE FAMILY

Aunt Lucy, with older brothers Junior and Richard, and Anita at 18 months old

FROM THE FAMILY

Mother Nellie, with Richard, Junior and Anita, in 1934

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita age 7

FROM THE FAMILY

Freshman gym class, 14 years old

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and her brothers playing hooky from school

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and friend Lynn getting ready to go to the beach

FROM THE FAMILY

Brothers Raymond, Danny, Bobby and Anita, with Raymond's dog Prince

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita and her father Clemente in 1954

FROM THE FAMILY

Anita with her brother Richard in his army uniform, 1954

FROM THE FAMILY

Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School class of 1951

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