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Stafford Newell Ordahl Jr.


Stafford Newell Ordahl Jr. died peacefully at home in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, on November 29, 2023. He was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota, on April 7, 1935, to the late Stafford Newell Ordahl Sr., and Grace Swanson Ordahl.

The son of a military office, Stafford spent much of his childhood living in and attending schools at various locations and educational institutions throughout the United States. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1957 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He subsequently served as an officer in the United States Navy until 1960.

Stafford was, above all else, a man who possessed and displayed tremendous creativity; it was at the center of his life. An accomplished visual artist, Stafford’s oil paintings were shown in galleries in New York City and across the U.S. He also taught art courses to students around the world. In addition, Stafford was an accomplished musician. As a master of “stride jazz piano” he played frequently, and up until just a few years before his death performed regularly with his band in New York City. Stafford spent his professional career working in advertising, mostly at Cunningham and Walsh, as a copywriter and creative director. There he produced work that received the industry’s leading awards, including two Clios, multiple D&AD Pencils and many others.

Since 1960, Stafford had been a dedicated student and mentor at the Gurdjieff Foundation. He was a leading performer and teacher of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music and performed, recorded, and taught throughout the world.

Stafford is survived by his wife, Micaela Lee Ordahl; children Kristin Ordahl (Jeff Gibson), Rolf Ordahl (Abra Ordahl) and Thomas Ordahl (Naila Ruechel); grandchildren Elsa Ordahl (Nicolas Dinielli), Trygve Ordahl, and Louisa Gibson; his sister, Karen Ordahl Kupperman, and brother, Charles Ordahl.

Stafford was laid to rest privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Stafford’s memory may be made to the Bucks County SPCA, PO Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Van Horn-McDonough Funeral Home, 21 York Street, Lambertville, New Jersey 08530.