Cover photo for Bessie Laverne Stanford's Obituary
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1928 Sissy 2024

Bessie Laverne Stanford

June 7, 1928 — May 27, 2024

Bryan, Texas

Bessie Laverne “Sissy” Stanford was a beloved grandmother, mother, and wife during her incredible 95 years of life. She passed away peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus on May 27, 2024, where she now rests in eternal peace.

Born on June 7, 1928, in Austin, Texas, she was the daughter of Joseph John and Bess Earnest Kanetzky. Sissy was raised in Austin, Texas, and graduated from Austin High School in 1946. On May 26, 1948, she married the love of her life, John F. Stanford, Jr. and celebrated 57 years of marriage. Sissy spent most of her life in Austin, Texas, with her husband raising their three children, Gary, Debra, and Glenda who brought pride and joy to her life.

Sissy’s life was passionately devoted to family, friends, and volunteering in her community. Sissy was energetic and vibrant- she loved to talk and there was never a quiet moment when you were in her presence. She was a gracious hostess and an amazing cook. Her kitchen was always open for family and friends to gather for a delicious homemade meal. She especially enjoyed cooking and baking during the holidays. An assortment of freshly baked pies and Christmas cookies were just one of her many specialties.

Sissy also truly loved being outdoors and tending to her garden. Her yard was beautiful, full of lush greenery & vibrant flowers. Her green thumb brought beauty to the world through her love of gardening.

Sissy was a breast cancer survivor at the early age of 42. She spent many years as a volunteer providing care, support, and counseling for women undergoing breast cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery at hospitals in Austin and San Antonio. She was driven by a passion to help others. Her life was a living example of a Bible verse she had engraved on the front of her Bible, Psalms 118:14 “The Lord is my strength and my song.”


Sissy was a woman of faith who led an enduring life rich with dedication, love, and kindness. She will be remembered fondly for her love and devotion to her family and friends. She is survived by her children, Gary Stanford and wife, Judy; Debra Garrett and husband, Curtis; and Glenda Shreve; her grandchildren, Stephanie Hooten and husband, Jody; Gary Stanford, Jr. and wife, Alisa; Kimberly Monk and husband, Chris; Bryan Garrett and wife, Laura; Geoffrey Shreve; and Micheal Shreve and wife, Tiffany; 11 great-grandchildren, Caroline, Carter, and Christian Hooten; Casimir and Stetson Stanford; Tanner and Addison Monk; Elizabeth, Andrew, and Blake Garrett; and Ella Shreve; and sister-in-law, Tina Kanetzky.

Her loving parents, Joseph John and Bess Earnest Kanetzky; husband, John F. Stanford, Jr.; brothers, Billy Joe and Earl Kanetzky; and sister-in-law, Lois Kanetzky preceded Sissy in death.

Friends and family will be cordially invited to a graveside service and a reception in September to honor Sissy’s life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the:

American Cancer Society; Donate Today | The American Cancer Society6801 Ardmore St, Houston, TX 77054, 
Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer's Association | Donate to Fight Alzheimer's Disease ; 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, or  Hospice Brazos Valley; Donation Form (donorperfect.net)502 W 26th St, Bryan, TX 77803 who did a wonderful job for 11 months caring for her. These charities were all dear to Sissy’s heart.
To order memorial trees in memory of Bessie Laverne Stanford, please visit our tree store.

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