Stafford, Michael F., - 90, of Clermont, NJ passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on December 2, 2019. Michael's life, in his own words, was "filled with adventure, change, friendship and above all else, love." He was a devoted self-made family man, and his happiest moments were spent surrounded by his loved ones. Michael served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 aboard the USS Hornet, as a 3rd Class Petty Officer and Aviation Electronic Technician. He often fondly recalled his years spent in the Navy, while sharing stories of those days with family and friends. In 1954 he served as Plane Captain on a "World Cruise" aboard the USS Hornet, creating memories that he cherished for a lifetime. Michael graduated from Villanova University and Temple University, where he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in education. Following his graduation, Michael taught in Pennsylvania's Colonial School District, serving first as a teacher and then as principle of Whitemarsh Elementary School. After retiring from education, Michael built a variety of small business including Stafford's High & Dry Storage, in Cape May County with his loving wife Marie. Born in Philadelphia, Michael spent every summer in Sea Isle City, NJ at the Strand Apartments, which were owned by his grandparents. He met his wife Marie in Sea Isle, where they moved full-time following his retirement from teaching in 1980. In 1995, Michael and Marie moved to Clermont to oversee their businesses and to live closer to family. During his time in Sea Isle City, Michael was active in the community serving as President of the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner of the Cape May County Zoo, and holding his most beloved position as president of the Sea Isle City Historical Museum for 25 years. As president, he helped lead the effort to move the museum to two new buildings, first on Landis Avenue and later to the present day location at 48th St. and Park Ave. Michael was the author of several books about his life and the history of Sea Isle City. He enjoyed traveling, especially to Ireland which was his favorite destination. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his loved ones, who are all better off for having such a kind, generous and loving man in their lives. Michael is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Marie Thompson Stafford. He is survived by daughters Christine Oxenberg (Gary) and Patricia Stafford (Peter) and his grandchildren Alexandra Hamilton (Craig), Joseph Hamilton, Pam Nebel (Brandon), Michael Stafford and Benjamin Stafford (Helena) and his great-grandchildren Dylan, Camryn & Marie. Funeral Mass will be on Monday, December 9, 2019, at St. Joseph Church, 4308 Landis Avenue, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243. Viewing is 9 to 9:45 a.m. Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Baptist Cemetery in Ocean View. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Sea Isle City Historical Museum, PO Box 443, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243. Condolences at www.radzieta.com

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