Don Barton Stafford, 79
Don Barton Stafford, 79, of Gainesville, died April 8, 2020, in Gainesville. No services are planned at this time. Burial will be in a veterans cemetery at a later date.
He was born March 13, 1941, in Hereford, Texas, the son of Barton Raymond and Molive Emmagean Clayton Stafford. He spent his early years on a ranch in Moro, New Mexico, before his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he graduated from Palmer High School.
After high school, he left Colorado and drove to Alaska, where he worked as a cook on a train that ran between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Later he moved to Valdez, Alaska, where he worked as a king crab fisherman on the boat “The Grizzly” for several years.
Mr. Stafford joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at MCAS in Kaneohe, Hawaii, serving in the Military Police. In 1965 he married Linda Davison. Upon his discharge from the Marines in 1966, they moved to Anchorage. During this time, Mr. Stafford was the Noble Grand of the Anchorage Odd Fellows, a group in which he was a long time member. He worked on oil rigs on the North Slope, including the Monopod. He also held various jobs in Colorado and Oklahoma. During this time he owned farms in Rose, Oklahoma; Lake George, Colorado; and Lanagan, Missouri.
He spent many years working at Bentonville Casting Co. in Arkansas and retired from Superior Rims in Rogers, Arkansas. He moved to Gainesville, seeking a quiet place surrounded by nature. His family expressed appreciation for the kindness and friendship shown to him in his final years by the citizens of Gainesville and Ozark County.
In 2017, Mr. Stafford made his first trip to Adelaide, Australia, to spend time with his son, Trinity, and his family there; it was an experience he greatly enjoyed. He was proud of the many accomplishments of his four children who are outstanding in their respective careers.
He enjoyed black powder guns and was a member of the Barren Fork Muzzleloaders Club. Mr. Stafford worked hard all his life and would go for years without missing a day of work. He was unusually strong and fit for his age and belonged to the Top Dog fitness center in Gainesville.
He is survived by his children, Aaron Stafford of Kent, Washington, Shane Stafford of Eagle Mountain, Utah, Trinity Stafford of Morphett Vale, South Australia, and Storm Stoker of Honolulu, Hawaii; his six grandchildren, Colt, Shiloh, Zion, Dahlia, Sean and Lucy; and his sister, Exie Lundquist of Ohio.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorial contributions maybe be made to The Center in Gainesville, a place he enjoyed.