As remembered by Joyce Ladner
September 13, 2008
Dear SNCC friends,
I am so sorry to tell you that former SNCC-activist, Walter "Billy" Stafford, died of cancer today (September 13, 2008) at his home in New York City. At a time when our friendships are getting more fragile, I was always proud to call Billy my "oldest and dearest friend" of over forty-five years.
Billy retired this year as Professor of Urban Administration and Planning at New York University. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute where he grew up. It was there that he was introduced to the movement. His SNCC involvement intensified when he studied at Atlanta University. It was at the SNCC office and at demonstrations that he formed some of his most enduring friendships that survived until today. Don and Kate Harris and I spent the afternoon remembering Billy's passion for service and his love of his friends. Billy's lifelong commitment to service was infused his work and his radical politics.
Billy was one of the brilliant scholar-activist's the movement produced. We are fortunate that he trained two generations of students and activists who will carry on his work.
A memorial service will be held three weeks from now. I will let you know the time and place when it has been decided.