Natalie Ann Stafford

April 6, 1975 ~ December 17, 2023 (age 48) 48 Years Old

Natalie Stafford Obituary

Natalie Ann Stafford of Malibu passed away on Sunday December 17. Natalie and her husband, Scott Tenzer were southbound on Pacific Coast Highway in Oxnard when a north bound driver lost control of his auto, crossed the center divider into incoming traffic, and hit Natalie and Scott head on Saturday December 16. Scott passed instantly and Natalie succumbed to her injuries and passed away the following day.

Natalie was born April 6, 1975, in Granada Hills, California. She was raised by her loving parents, Mark and Marie Stafford in Pacific Palisades. She attended Pacific Palisades Elementary, St. Matthews Parish School in Pacific Palisades, and Marymount High School. She furthered her education at Santa Monica College, graduating from Loyola Marymount College with a bachelor’s degree. She followed her passion, graduating with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Development from California State University Northridge in January 2007, as well as becoming a graduate in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University Of San Diego in late 2007.

Natalie immediately became immersed in her passion of working with autistic children. Natalie worked at IECP for over 20 years, where her students witnessed her warmth, laughter, and caring.  In her 20+ years she made the world a better place for hundreds of children and young adults, and countless families and schools.   She originally loved preschoolers and young children with disabilities, and over the years expanded her love to high schoolers and young adults. She was a true advocate of inclusion, the importance of play and of friendship development for autistic children.  She was passionate about supporting people’s happiness, and of moving people forward. Natalie was absolutely loved by many and will be immensely missed.  However, the impact she made and the memories we have of her will last forever.

Natalie wed Scott Tenzer of Malibu on July 31, 2009, with whom she shared her passions of travel, family, and friends. Natalie absorbed her travels with an amazing ability to find and photograph the beauty of people and places. That passion shown through with her work with children. Her talents working with autistic students found her spreading her time between many schools and school districts. A normal day might find her starting at a school in San Pedro, then Mid-Wilshire, Westwood, and ending in North Hollywood followed by a school in Canoga Park. To her friends and family, she almost felt tireless.

Natalie remained extremely close to her parents, Mark and Marie Stafford, her brother David Stafford, and his wife Neosha. Natalie was the perfect daughter-in-law to Regina Tenzer, and emersed herself in the Tenzer family --- Scott’s brother Keith, his wife Paulina, and her favorite nephew Jonas.

A celebration of life is being planned for Saturday January 13 at the Tenzer Family Home in Malibu.

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