Philip Dudley Stafne, 70, a life-long resident of Fargo, passed away on May 21, 2013 at Villa Maria Nursing Home in Fargo, surrounded by family, friends, Villa Maria staff and assisted by Hospice.
Born in 1943 to Dr. William Arnold and Elizabeth Dudley Farnham Stafne, he graduated from Fargo Central High School and later St. Olaf College, where he was a member of the Viking Male Chorus. In 1968, he graduated with a JD from the University of Denver Law School. He was admitted to the Bar in Colorado and North Dakota and served in the US Army, with his last posting in Frankfurt, Germany as a legal clerk.
He worked as a trust officer and Senior Vice President at First Northwestern Trust Company of Fargo and subsequently in estate law for the Fargo law firm of Pancratz, Wold, Johnson and Feder. Additionally, he worked with his uncle, J. Dudley Farnham, in Red River Industries and later served as president until the firm was dissolved. For over 20 years he was the planned giving officer and Executive Director of the North Dakota Episcopal Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese.
Volunteer work included serving as clerk for the Fargo Park Board, assisting in integrating refugees for Lutheran Social Services, serving as president of the Cass County Chapter of the Association for Retarded Citizens and serving as the chair of planned giving for the ND Arthritis Foundation. Most importantly, he was president of the ARC during the years in which some state hospitals were de-institutionalized in favor of local services.
Philip's major volunteer work was with Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota, serving on various church and diocesan committees, many dealing with finance and administration. He served many years on the chapter board and was Senior Warden of the Cathedral. Organizing and cooking for celebrations such as Shrove Tuesday, Greening of the Cathedral, and St. Patrick's Day gave him special joy.
As much time as possible, Phil spent at his cherished lake home on Cormorant Lake where his family had resided (first in tents and then homes) since 1905. He loved the peace and beauty of the land and especially delighted in cooking for friends, the highlight being the Fourth of July. He will be remembered for his hearty laugh, warm kindness, calm manner and readiness to help.
He is survived by his sister, Marianne S. Meyer, and brother-in-law, J. Rodney Meyer (Winston-Salem, NC); niece, Alyson Dudley Meyer, and grand-niece, Sadie (Los Angeles, CA), as well as his cousin, Peter J. Gieb and wife, Susan D. Gieb (Moorhead, MN).
He is predeceased by his parents, Dr. William A. and Elizabeth F. Stafne; uncle and aunt, J. Dudley and Inez M. Farnham, and special cousins, Dr. Marvin and Harriet Gieb.
Memorial Services will be held at 12 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013 at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, located at 3600 25th Street South in Fargo, with Bishop Michael Smith officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at the family plot at Riverside Cemetery in Fargo.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, Hospice of the Red River Valley, or a charity of the donor's choice. The family expresses deep gratitude to Dr. Louis Geeraerts and his staff of the Roger Maris Cancer Center, the staff of Riverview Assisted Living, Villa Maria Nursing Home, and of Hospice of the Red River Valley. Finally, our thanks to Phil's many friends and his church for their support during his long illness, which he bravely fought.
May 29, 2013