Akobaye Drexall Stafford, age 38, died on Saturday, October 31, 2010 in Corvallis, OR. In his short life, Ako was a husband, father, poet, an outstanding athlete, soldier, college-athlete academic adviser and special-education foster-care provider. On Friday, November 19th at 10 am, a military interment will be held for Ako at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in St. Paul. A memoriam will follow at 11:30 am at Progressive Baptist Church on 1505 Burns Avenue in St. Paul. Michael Jackson’s song, “Gone Too Soon” (1991) expresses the feeling we have regarding our lost.
We have learned a lot in the days that followed Ako’s death about his passions, curiosity, generosity, and willingness to lend a helping hand. The clarity came not because of something Ako said or did, but through the outpouring of love and support we all received from so many friends. It became clear that the friends he made and the depth of those friendships revealed Ako’s beautiful spirit. He never said, "This is how you treat people." Instead he modeled it.