Elise Stratford Profile Photo
1934 Elise 2023

Elise Stratford

June 30, 1934 — September 16, 2023

Gulf Breeze


Elise Dorothea Stratford (nee Barkemeyer), a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on September 16, 2023, in Pensacola, Florida, after only one day in Hospice, at the age of 89. Elise was born on June 30, 1934, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and had a rich and fulfilling life.

Elise was a loving and nurturing individual who found joy in working with children. She began her career as a substitute teacher in Perdido Key, Florida, in 1956 and eventually became a full-time teacher. By 1970, Elise was teaching 2nd grade in Puerto Rico while accompanying her husband, a Navy pilot, on their worldly travels. Upon returning to the United States in 1974, Elise continued her teaching career at Gulf Breeze Elementary School until her retirement in 1999. Her dedication and passion for education were recognized when she received the honor of Gulf Breeze Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Even in retirement, Elise continued to share her knowledge and occasionally tutored students in her home.

Throughout her life, Elise had a strong spiritual connection and was an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church since 1974. She found solace in participating in Bible Study, singing in the choir, and engaging in worship and fellowship within her community.

In addition to her professional and spiritual pursuits, Elise had several hobbies that brought her joy and fulfillment. She enjoyed gardening, spending time with her grandchildren, and vacationing with them when they were young. Elise cherished moments with her great-grandchildren, creating lasting memories with them. She also participated in Kairos, a program that supports spiritual growth and rehabilitation within correctional institutions.

Elise is survived by her son, David Stratford, and her daughter, Deborah Stratford Dinwiddie (Glen). She was a proud grandmother to Christina Dinwiddie Swicegood (Andrew) and Gregory Dinwiddie (Fe Hontiveros). Elise was also blessed with twin great-grandchildren, Marshall Coleman Swicegood and Lilly Elise Swicegood. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Robert Stratford, as well as her father, Erol Barkemeyer, and mother, Elsie Hellbach Barkemeyer.

A funeral service in celebration of Elise's life will be held on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, located at 1 St Francis Dr, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561. Following the service, a joyful reception will take place. Elise will be laid to rest alongside her husband in a private burial service at Barrancas National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church Discretionary Fund in Elise's memory.

The family would like to express a special thank you to the minister and parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi for all their help during the past few months.

Elise Dorothea Stratford will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her legacy of love, devotion, and dedication will forever be cherished.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elise Stratford, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, October 13, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

1 St. Francis Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

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Graveside Service

Friday, October 13, 2023

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Barrancas National Cemetery

1 Cemetery Rd, Pensacola, FL 32508

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