LOYALSOCK - The Rev. Stratford C. Taylor, 89, of Loyalsock Township, passed away Friday, June 27, 2014, after a four day stay, at the Sun Home Hospice Care Center in Sunbury.
He was born Feb. 24, 1925 in Alum Bank, as the first son of the Rev. and Mrs. Harter S. Taylor. Both father and son were pastors within the Central PA Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In July of 1947, he married the former, Esther L. Mayhew of Shawville. On July 5, they would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.
Surviving besides his wife are 17 nieces and nephews, and a sister, Linda Kopp, of Boalsburg.
He was predeceased by his parents; two sisters, Elizabeth Dexter and Dott Hooten and a brother, Carl Taylor.
The Rev. Taylor was recommended for ministry by his Shawville Methodist Church in 1943. His leadership was in the former Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference (now Susquehanna Conference) of the United Methodist Church.
After graduating from Clearfield High School, Dickinson Junior College (now Lycoming College), and Dickinson College, he went on to complete a graduate degree at the Theological School of Drew University in Madison, N.J. in May 1947.
In their respective ways, he and his wife served in ministry to the following United Methodist Congregations: Vira from 1943 to 1945; Summerdale/West Fairview from 1945 to 1947; Thompsontown from 1947 to 1959; Trinity in Philipsburg from 1959 to 1973; Superintendent of the Williamsport District from 1973 to 1979; and Faith Church in Montoursville from 1979 to 1995. Following retirement, the church conferred on him the honor of pastor emeritus.
Among his many conference responsibilities was serving for many years as chairman of the Board of Missions. A leader on the Conference Council of Ministries, he served on several important committees including Health & Welfare, Structure, Archives & History, Equitable Salaries, as well as the Board of Ordained Ministry.
He was appointed Superintendent of the Williamsport District, composed of 130 churches in Lycoming, Clinton and Sullivan counties. During these six years he served as Dean of the Bishop's Cabinet with other superintendents whose districts extended from the New York to Maryland borders throughout Central Pa. He served as chair of the District Board of Church Location and Building, along with being on the Board of Managers for Central Oaks Height and Camp Loyalsock.
During this time he was also a Board member of the Lewisburg Home, now Riverwoods, and trustee of Lycoming College.
He was an assistant to Bishop John B. Warman and filled his position during the bishop's sabbatical leave.
He was an avid Phillies fan and was interested and participated in most sports, hunting, fishing, bowling and baseball.
Prior to his retirement in 1995 he was active in the Montoursville community serving terms as President of the Ministerium treasurer. He and his wife, Esther, were beloved for their unending care of all people and ministering in the name of Christ during his 16 year pastorate in the 1,200 member congregation at Faith United Methodist Church. Stratford will be remembered by his love of family, church and its members.
The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at Faith United Methodist Church, 700 Fairview Drive, Montoursville, PA 17754, with the Rev. Dr. John F. Piper, Jr. and the Rev. Larry L. Leland officiating. Friends may call at the church from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. Graveside services will be held 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 2, in Shawville Cemetery in Clearfield.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Faith United Methodist Church; Shawville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 162, Shawville, PA 16873 or to Sun Home Hospice Care Center, 350 N. 11 Street 3rd Floor, Sunbury, PA 17801.
Arrangements are by Spitler Funeral Home, Montoursville.