Dylan Thomas Stafford, of Muncie, Indiana

Nov. 29, 2001 — March 26, 2021

Dylan Thomas Stafford, 19, of Muncie, Indiana, passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2021, near Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Dylan was born on Nov. 29, 2001, in Muncie. He was a 2020 graduate of Muncie Central High School. Dylan was enrolled and had been accepted into the Ball State University Miller Honors College. He was a Miller Scholarship Finalist and was awarded the Presidential Scholarship.

Dylan is survived by his mom, Erin Smith (husband, Ben), of Muncie, with whom he lived; father, Michael Stafford Jr. (wife, Elissa), of Noblesville; siblings, Ryan Stafford, Riley Stafford, Allie Stafford, Evan Smith, Emilee Smith, and Piper Stafford; maternal grandmother, Laura Joviala (husband Michael); paternal grandparents, Michael Sr. and Susan Stafford; step-grandmother, Barbara Smith; and step-grandparents, Roy and Janet Homan and great-grandmother, Mona Price, as well as several very special Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and countless friends, coaches and trainers, and his long-time girlfriend, Cate Guarnery.

Dylan was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Thomas Gillespie and step-grandfather, Billy Smith.

Dylan held many awards and honors in his young life. He graduated with a 4.7 GPA, was a three-year starter for the Muncie Central Varsity Basketball Team and two-year Team Captain. He was the recipient of the IBCA Academic All-State Award; NCC Second Team All-Conference; Indiana Second-Team All-State and many other honors. He had a passion for basketball which began in seventh grade that spurred the development of countless relationships with coaches, trainers, and his beloved Bearcat and Indy Ice Teammates, as well as many of the kids he coached in AAU and worked with at the Muncie YMCA. He was known as the consummate team player, and his unselfish nature allowed him to become the “Team Chauffeur.” Whether it was a workout, a pick-up game or practice, he made sure they were on time, sometimes driving all over the state to do so. He had a special bond with many coaches and trainers, but his bonds with Dennis Trammell, LaSalle Thompson and his Bearcat coaches, were like those of a father.

His infectious smile, half-smirk and inclusive personality were well-known throughout East Central Indiana, and especially Muncie. He marched in the Muncie BLM Protest and was vocal about his desire to eliminate prejudice. His work ethic was second to none and well known to people throughout the community, and his “We Before Me” attitude was his mantra. He truly was a die-hard Bearcat who bled purple and he loved the Muncie Community. May you find peace now, Dylan. You are still, and always will be so loved. “If love alone could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”- David Ellsworth #

DStaff #DylPickle #Bearcat4Life #OnceABearcatAlwaysABearcat

A life celebration will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the Muncie Fieldhouse, 525 N. Walnut St., Muncie, Indiana. Friends and family may gather to share and remember from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Muncie Fieldhouse.

In lieu of flowers, we have started the Dylan T. Stafford Memorial Fund for friends and family to show their support and to help Dylan’s “We Before Me” legacy to live on in our community. Please send contributions to The Dylan T. Stafford Memorial Fund at The Community Foundation of Muncie-Delaware County, PO Box 807, Muncie, IN 47308. Online donations may be made here:

cfmdin.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1660

Share a memory of Dylan and leave your condolences at www.gantfuneralhomes.com

The Gant and Miller families are honored to celebrate the life of Dylan with his family and community.

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