Thalia Stiffler

Thalia Constance Stiffler (Bairas)

Monday, August 15th, 1938 - Sunday, March 29th, 2020
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Thalia Constance Stiffler (Tolly), age 81, passed away on March 29, 2020. In Hospice Care prior to her death, she died peacefully of complications from Alzheimer’s. Tolly grew up in Holly, MI and Plymouth, MI, graduating from Plymouth High. Tolly earned a degree in Social Science from Western Michigan University. While at WMU, Tolly met her husband of 60 years, Richard (Dick) Stiffler. After graduation from WMU, Tolly worked four years for the Social Security Administration, leaving that position to raise three children. Active in various volunteer roles through PTA, Tolly was instrumental in starting a Grandperson Program for East Grand Rapids public schools, matching older adults in the community with elementary schoolchildren. Returning to paid employment in 1980, Tolly worked 22 years for either United Way or one of its funded agencies until retirement in 2002. She served as the President of Advocates for Senior Issues and also on the Boards of Senior Neighbors, Inc. and Senior Leadership Grand Rapids.

As an active member of Mayflower Congregational Church, she served as Vice-President of the Women’s Board, co-chair of the Outreach and Membership Committees and as a member of the Christian Education Committee as well as serving as a leader for the Stephen Ministry Program, and the Interfaith Hospitality Network Program.

Tolly is survived by Richard and her three children; Leslie, Laurie, and Clay. She will also be sorely missed by two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, as well as eight beloved grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Constance Bairas as well as a sister, Rosamond Murdock. Tolly was a life-long learner and earned a second degree in Organizational Leadership from Calvin College in 1995. Tolly was a smart, kind, gracious, and generous woman who loved and devoted herself to her family and many lifelong friends. Tolly had a heart for seniors and was actively involved in advocating, volunteering, and working to aid this population. All who knew her will miss her wisdom, grace, kindness, reliability, and generosity.

A Memorial Service will be held in the future at Mayflower Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers,
memorials or donations may be made to Faith Hospice or Heart of West Michigan United Way.
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