Cover photo for Susie C. Stanley (Cunningham)'s Obituary
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Susie C. Stanley (Cunningham)

May 3, 1948 — November 2, 2022

Susie Cunningham Stanley of Reading, PA, formerly of Portland, OR and Baltimore, MD, among other locations died at age 74 on November 2, 2022. Born in Ashland, KY, Susie was the daughter of Clayton and Sue (Rogers) Cunningham. Susie’s spouse and life partner, John, died in 2020. Susie was the loving mother of Michael, husband of Natsu, of Tokyo, Japan and daughter Mandy, wife of John Miller of Reading, PA. Susie was the proud grandmother of Kai Stanley and Kara and Kean Miller. She is survived by siblings Allen (Jenny) Cunningham, Dorothy Cunningham and James Cunningham along with a niece and nephews from the Cunninghams and loving in-laws from the Stanleys.

At her ordination in 1983 Representative Pat Schroeder wrote, “I trust Susie will seek justice and equal opportunity for all oppressed persons demeaned by institutional structures and misguided priorities.” She earned her PhD from Illiff School of Theology/University of Denver. Susie taught throughout her adult life either at the seminary and college levels imploring others to embrace biblical equality led by the Holy Spirit’s power.

She attended the First National Women’s Conference in Houston advocating for women’s rights in 1977. Susie founded and served as Executive Director of Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy, Intl. from 1991-2006. She was a delegate to the 5th World Conference of Faith and Order sponsored by the World Council of Churches held in 1993. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society. She authored numerous articles and two books, along with editing others. Her legacy continues through her writings and teaching.

Susie loved chocolate, going beyond just consumption to teaching classes on Chocolate at Messiah College and having a Chocolate Symposium at Western Evangelical Seminary. She worked for justice, volunteering for women candidates to political office. Her work for and belief in reproductive rights culminated in the opening of the Susie and John Stanley Health Center at Reading. Her calls for justice came with tangible actions throughout her life.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Susie and John Stanley Health Center at Reading Planned Parenthood or Holy Cross United Methodist Church 329 N. 5th Street, Reading, PA 19601. Services will be held via ZOOM on Wednesday, November 9th at 5pm, please contact the family for instructions. Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.lutzfuneralhome.com.
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