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Obituary: Stafford, Bill E.

Sun., June 16, 2013

Age 87

STAFFORD, Bill E. (Age 87) Of Rathdrum, Idaho, died June 2, 2013, of natural causes.

The son of Clyde and Hannah Stafford, he was born January 11, 1926, in the log home that his family built in Nettleton Gulch, a farming area homesteaded by his mother’s family near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

He graduated from Coeur d’Alene high school in 1943 and enlisted in the Army, serving in both Europe and Japan during World War II.

After finishing his military service as a First Sergeant in 1946, he used the GI bill to further his education and obtain his pilot’s license.

He thoroughly enjoyed flying and performing aerial maneuvers.

Bill married Shirley Williams in 1947.

They settled temporarily near Kamloops, BC, where Bill worked as a logger, and later moved to Spokane, WA, where they both worked for Kaiser Aluminum.

In 1952, they decided to take over Shirley’s family grain farm in Mohler, Washington and start a family.

Bill was honored by the Soil Conservation Service for his pioneering work in strip cropping.

Golfing was a passion and he was extremely proud of his work helping found and build the Harrington Golf and Country Club.

During retirement, Bill and Shirley spent many years traveling in their motor home, visiting relatives, and enjoying horse or dog racing and casino gambling.

He was a primary caregiver to Shirley prior to her death in 2002, and spent several more years living on the farm prior to moving back to the Coeur d’Alene area in 2013.

He is survived by his two children and their spouses, Jon and Janet Stafford of Mercer Island, WA, and JoAnn and Buck Gossett of Mohler, WA, grandchildren Jeffrey and Julia Stafford, sister and spouse Betty and Jim Glaspie of Post Falls, ID, and two brothers and spouses in Coeur d’Alene, ID, Milton and Donna Stafford, and Robert and Pat Stafford.

A private family gathering was held to celebrate Bill’s life.

Memorials should be directed to a charity of your choice.

Online wishes and condolences may be left at


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