James A Stahr, age 93, a resident of Wheaton, IL, died Thursday, July 4th in his home, surrounded by family. He was born June 7, 1926, in Oak Park, IL.
James grew up in LaGrange and, in 1944, moved with his family to New Jersey. Later that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He studied Engineering at Villanova and Rutgers universities. Following graduation enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary graduating in 1952 with a Masters of Theology. James returned to New Jersey, married Betty Lou Ewen and worked for Western Electric as an electrical engineer. In 1954 they were commended to Christian ministry and boarded a ship in Boston, with their young son, bound for Newfoundland, Canada
Looking back over his life and ministry James Stahr saw four chapters. (1) First came evangelical work and church building in fishing villages on the rugged coast of eastern Newfoundland.
(2) In 1958 he and his family moved to Canada’s other island province, Prince Edward Island, to shepherd a 3-year old assembly in the capital city of Charlottetown. Building up the assembly involved pastoring, preaching, youth work, conducting a weekly radio broadcast, and directing Emmanuel Bible Camp. Jim and Betty were also the Atlantic Provinces’ Regional Directors for the Emmaus Correspondence School.
(3) In 1971, Jim was appointed Editor of Interest Magazine.
Interest served North American assemblies and home-field workers the way Missions magazine serves foreign missionaries. Jim was Editor for the next 15 years, traveling widely to report on assembly activities.
(4) After 1986, Jim returned to itinerant preaching and writing. He served on the Executive Board of Emmaus Bible College, traveling regularly to Dubuque, Iowa.
Jim is remembered by his family as a wise counselor who provided his family with a Godly sense of security and stability. He expressed a great sense of humor with entertaining riddles and jokes. He was widely read, an “open-minded conservative”, with a variety of interests that included current world events, trains, geography, travel, collecting and teaching God’s Word.
James is survived by his son, James (Melissa) Stahr, Jr. of Wheaton, and three daughters, Rebecca (Wayne) MacDougall of Wheaton, Rachel (Michael) Maletich of Wheaton, and Ruth (Matthew) MacPherson of Morrisville, NC.
He is survived by fourteen grandchildren: Taunya (Michael) Madden and Steven (Annie) Stahr and, Melanie (Ben) Stackhouse, Lisa (Sandy) Prosper, Kathryn and Nate MacDougall, Hannah and Peter (Carly) Maletich, Esther (Brian) Carrick, David (Megan), Daniel (Victoria), Ian, Stephen and Grace MacPherson. Thirteen great-grandchildren: Madeline (Adam) Hild, Timothy, Megan and Isaac Madden, Alex, Eli, Gavin and Laura Stahr, Leah, Eric and Carley Stackhouse, Frea MacPherson and Matias Maletich. One great-great grandchild: Audrey Hild. He is also survived by a sister, Audrey (Frank) Barton.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty Stahr, his brother Robert Stahr, a grandchild, Sarah Stahr and a daughter-in-law, Brenda Stahr.
Visitation will be held at Hultgren Funeral Home, Wheaton, Illinois on Friday, July 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will take place at Bethany Chapel, Saturday morning, July 13 at 10:00 o’clock. A private Interment will follow at Forest Home Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to Emmaus Bible College or Emmanuel Bible Camp.