Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Katherine Sasfalvi Stafford, 96, founding member of Wrightsville Beach Ocean Racing Association

Katherine Sasfalvi Stafford

WILMINGTON — Katherine Sasfalvi Stafford, 96, died Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at the Davis Community. Born Oct. 28, 1923, in Vamospercs, Hungary, she was the daughter of the late Franz Summan and Susanna Olah Sasfalvi.

She was also preceded in death by her husband, Alston Warren Stafford Jr., in April 2008; and sister, Gizella S. Small, and her husband, George, of Port Saint Joe, Florida.

Surviving are nephews, George and Ken Small (wife, Lisa); and special German friends, Brigitte Ziegler Krestel and Robert Ziegler, and Tom and Mimi Cunningham of Wilmington.

Mrs. Stafford grew up in Hungary’s wine country, emigrated to Erlangen, Germany, near the end of World War II, and met her future husband while he was stationed in Germany as a lieutenant with the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a P-51 Mustang pilot. After the war, he returned to North Carolina State, where he earned a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering in 1949. Katie and Al were married in October 1948 in Asheville. During their time in Raleigh, Katie worked at the Totville Nursery, looking after children of NCSU students, many of whom were returning World War II veterans, an experience she cherished.

She became a U.S. citizen on Nov. 19, 1952. Katie and Al moved to Riegelwood in May 1953, and then to Wilmington in the early 1970s. Both avid sailors, they were founding members of the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Racing Association in 1967. She and Al won the prestigious Wachovia Cup from Southport to Wrightsville Beach aboard 30-foot sloop Katalie in 1970. They were also world travelers and visited every continent, including Antarctica.

A wonderful cook whose specialty was Hungarian chicken with homemade spaetzle, Katie was a passionate gardener. Her Bradley Creek Point home was featured on the 1991 Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour. She was a life member of Little Chapel on the Boardwalk Presbyterian Church at Wrightsville Beach.

Special thanks to longtime caregiver, Delores Wallace, of Home Instead.

Visitation will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, at Andrews Mortuary, Market Street Chapel, 1617 Market St., Wilmington. At her request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to WHQR Public Radio, 254 N. Front St., Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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