John Stanley of Reading, PA, formerly of Vandergrift, PA, and Portland, OR, among other locations, died at age 77 on August 11, 2020 in his home. Born in Connellsville, PA, John was the son of Harvey and Sarah (Robb) Stanley. John was the spouse of Susie Stanley whom he identified as the wind beneath his wings for 49 years. He was the loving father of Michael, husband of Natsu, of Tokyo, Japan, and daughter Mandy, wife of John Miller, of Reading, PA. John was the proud grandfather of Kai Stanley and Kara and Kean Miller. He is survived by siblings Charles (Connie) Stanley, Cathy Stanley, David (Carol) Stanley, Beth (Mo) Mahuron, and Jerry (Kate) Stanley; along with many nieces and nephews.
John taught throughout his life either in the pulpit or classroom. Ordained in 1973, John served churches in Ellicott City, MD, Detroit, MI and founded Long Reach Church of God in Columbia, MD. He earned his PhD from Illiff School of Theology. He taught at Warner Pacific College from 1983-1995, serving as Chair of the Religion and Church Ministries Department. He then spent several years teaching adjunct at Messiah College, Howard University School of Divinity and elsewhere. He then became a professor at Messiah College and ultimately led their Humanities Core Program.
John was an avid fisher. Even after moving to Pennsylvania, he made countless trips to the Deschutes River in Maupin, OR. He would meet friends and family around the country to fish. He was a long-time member of Trout Unlimited and taught kids how to fish in summer programs on the Susquehanna. A sports fan since the 1950s, following the Pirates and Steelers.
John worked for biblical justice and racial equity. Everywhere he lived he sought avenues for civil rights, most recently as a member of Reading’s NAACP. John joined Holy Cross United Methodist Church to support his daughter. John was a friend to everyone—including those he just met.
In lieu of flowers, memorial Contributions can be made to Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited PO BOX 520 Carlisle, PA 17013 or Holy Cross United Methodist Church 329 N. 5th Street Reading, PA 19601.
Services will be held on ZOOM at 6pm Friday, August 14th, please contact the family for instructions. Arrangements have been made by Lutz Funeral Home.
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