Reverend Clarence Earl Stanley was born on September 3rd, 1924 in the rural Mercer County, North Dakota farm home of his parents, Theodore and Martha (Clark) Stanley. He died at the age of 89 years on Monday, February 24th 2014 at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Clarence’s elementary years were spent at a country school near his home. His desire for further education led him to attend Hazen High School. While he attended high school, he worked at the local drug store to pay for his room and board until he graduated. In September of 1943, he came to know Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour and felt the Lord calling him to preach the Gospel. He was inducted into the United States Army in July of 1944. While in basic training, Clarence was injured during an ammunition explosion causing a hearing impairment which led to a Honorable Medical discharge in January of 1945.
On August 14th, 1946, he was united in marriage to Melva Karges of Stanton, North Dakota. Following his marriage and while raising a family, Clarence ministered to the congregations of McClusky and Goodrich, then furthered his ministerial education graduating from Hillcrest Christian College at Medicine Hat, Alberta, Westmar College in Lemars, Iowa and the Naperville Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois. Following ordination into the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1955, he was assigned to the North Dakota Conference where he served the congregations of Drake, Balfour, Anamoose, Upham, Bantry, Elgin and Zoar over the years. In the summer of 1974, he began a new ministry at Crossroads Range, a Christian family retreat center located in the Turtle Mountains. In 1987, the couple moved to Rugby, North Dakota where he ministered to several congregations in the area including, Emmanuel United Church in Rugby, Presbyterian Church of Towner, Leeds Evangelical Lutheran and North Prairie Church, and if not enough to do, he served as the Chaplain for the Heart of America Medical Center and Haaland Estates, both in Rugby. His love of the Lord and his great love and concern for people continued long after his 62 years of official ministry. Some of his other ministries included leading the United Methodist Trail Rides in the Badlands, youth camps, overseeing the building of a handicapped accessible home for a family. Although he was busy with his ministry, he found time to use his artistic skills, enjoying his hobbies of woodworking, gardening, designing jewelry, ceramics, fishing, horse back riding, bird watching, writing and telling children’s stories, playing with the grandchildren, writing to and visiting friends and family. Melva died March 8th, 2010.
He is survived by his children, Leonard Stanley, his daughter Cindy (Brian) Dakken, their 3 children; Sharon (Jim) Canfield, their son Andrew, his 2 children, their son Adam; Eugene (Ruth) Stanley, their children, Lisa (Clayton) Birkland, their 2 children, Michael (Kayla), their 2 children, Jennifer (Wesly) Loughman, their 2 children; Alice Abrahamson, her children, Christopher (Melissa), their 3 children, Aaron (Amanda), their 5 children, Amanda (Derek) DePauw, their 2 children; nieces, nephews; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Melva; siblings, Roy Stanley, Gay Stanley, and Donna Reinhardt; his son-in-law, Gary Abrahamson; and his parents.
Funeral services was held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at the Calvary Evangelical Free Church, Rugby. Pastor Jason Wood and Rev. Nathan Steen, officiating.
Pianist: Cathy Wissink
Soloist: Walt Schott
Casket Bearers: Leonard Stanley, Eugene Stanley, Adam Canfield, Christopher Abrahamson, Aaron Abrahamson, Michael Stanley
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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