Age 76, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, MI. She was born in Grosse Pointe, MI on January 17, 1942 to the late Otis and Mamie Nix. At the age of 16, Vera met the love of her life, Gerald "Jerry" Stafford through their church youth group. Following a four year courtship, they were married on June 30, 1962. Vera worked for the Michigan Education Association from 1972-2013, serving as Uniserve Secretary, ASO President and NSO Treasurer and Comptroller. In 1980 she returned to college and completed her degree in Business Administration from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She was dedicated to her work and enjoyed the various roles she held. After her initial retirement in 2004, she happily returned to work part-time for MEA. Always active in her church, Vera served as Sunday school teacher, Awana leader, and along side her dear friend Norma Bales, co-directed the annual Easter Program at Bloomingdale Christian Church. As much as Vera enjoyed her work and other activities, her family was her priority and the joy in her life; she dearly loved her family. Named "Maga" by her first grandchild, she was affectionately known as Maga by friends and family for the past 28 years. Every holiday was special with her, and she always made her loved ones feel like royalty on their birthdays. She was there in sickness and celebration, never missing an opportunity to demonstrate her love for her family and friends. As all who were blessed to know her, they knew she had the kindest, most genuine, loving heart. She was preceded in death by her parents, Otis and Mamie Nix, and brother Robert (Louise) Nix. Vera is survived by her husband Jerry of 55 years, two daughters Pamela (Peter) Prihoda of Portage, Diane (Paul) Vandenberg of Gobles; four grandchildren, Josh (Sheree) Vandenberg, Megan (Nate) Belen, Nicole Prihoda, Ben Prihoda; two great-grandchildren, Nolan Belen, Carson Belen; two brothers William (Carmen) Nix, Fred (Sandy) Nix, and many in-laws, nieces and nephews she all dearly loved. The family will greet and visit with friends and loved ones from 1:00-2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at Voyage Church, 6339 Atlantic Ave., Kalamazoo MI 49009. A celebration of life service will immediately follow at 2:00 pm, officiated by Pastor Wes Tillett. In lieu of flowers, an educational fund has been established for Vera's grandchildren. Contributions may be directed to Vera Stafford Educational Fund, Consumers Credit Union, 5018 West Main Street, Kalamazoo MI 49009.