Addison Library plants memorial lily for Barbara Stafford
By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
The Addison Township Public Library planted a lily, Saturday Oct. 9, in honor of local historian and author Barbara Stafford, who passed away this past March at the age of 79.
“She was a real encyclopedia. We lost a lot,” said Patti Hacht, president of the Addison Township Genealogical Society, who planted the perennial flower in the garden box below the library sign along Rochester Road.
The lily was donated by gardener and Addison Township resident Brian Howarth, who had the cultivar registered with the American Lily Society and named after Barbara Stafford.
Hacht said in a year or so, they can dig out pieces of the lily for people to take home and replant in their gardens.
“My mom was an avid gardener,” remembered Barbara’s daughter, Shawna Cummings. “It’s especially nice because if people want to come and get a piece of the memorial flower, that’s what Mom liked to do she would split her flowers and spread them around the township and to anybody else that would want them. She was a very giving person. So there’s a little bit of her everywhere!”
Her other daughter, Laurie Buck, said Barbara “would have been really touched” by the tribute. She recalled going with her to the cemeteries as a child to clean the tombstones. “She really loved this township. She was undeterred. She was going to serve this community. It’s just amazing that so many people recognize her.”
Barbara (Maddox) Stafford spent most of her life in Leonard. In 1976 she coauthored the Early Addison Township History – Bicentennial book. As a follow-up in 2000, she published the Addison Album, A Collection of Vignettes of People, Places, and Things Weaving the Fabric of Addison Township. The hardcover book includes many historical photographs dating back to the early 1800s. These books are on display in the library, and since there are multiple copies, patrons can check them out.
“She brought so much to this community,” said Library Director Jaema Berman. “When we lost her, I realized how much we had found out about ourselves. She brought our stories together, she brought people together, she brought love and she united us in our search for who we are here.”