Nature 14


William G. Stark, Sr.

August 21, 1948 ~ December 17, 2018 (age 70)

William G. Stark, Sr. age 70, of Portland, passed away Monday, December 17, 2018. He was born August 21, 1948 in Washington D.C., the son of Col. Kenneth B. and Eleanor V. (Vergason) Stark, Sr. He is survived by his wife, Janet (Garton) of Topeka, KS; four children, Kimberly (Jason) Leonard, Natalie Livingston, William (Kathryn) Stark, Jr., and Jessica (Randy) Martin; thirteen grandchildren, Alyssa Sherman, Connor Sherman, Christian Leonard, Austen Livingston, Jordan Stark, Ashlyn Sanborn, Brady Leonard, Drew Livingston, Tara Livingston, Carson Martin, Hudson Martin, Eleanor Stark, and Jaydan Martin; two great-grandchildren, Millie Sanborn and RaeLynn Sanborn; three sisters, Eileen Rose, Vivian Young, and Kathleen (Edward) McCarthy; sister-in-law, Joanie Stark; brother-in-law, Stephen (Susan) Garton; as well as many nieces and nephews. 

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Avery and Ethel Garton; siblings, Diane (Jim) Austin, Kenneth “Sonny” Stark, Jr.; sister-in-law, Claudia Garton Burris; and son-in-law, Adam Livingston.

After meeting for a Coke on a blind date in 1967, Bill and Janet were married on August 17, 1968.  A true family man, Bill was devoted to his beloved Janet and their growing family. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary earlier this year.

Bill had a long career as a teacher in the Lansing School District at Pattengill and Walter French Middle Schools teaching math, science, and history.  A loving husband and father, Bill enjoyed camping, coaching, and outdoor activities with his family.  He spent long hours helping his children with homework and working on their softball and baseball skills. He also specialized in coming to the rescue through many scholastic, automobile, and personal emergencies.

After retirement, Bill spent time with his siblings and their families during reunion vacations.  A highlight of his golden years was when his brother Sonny moved nearby and the two of them spent time golfing, meeting for breakfast, and helping each other with projects around their homes.

Bill took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren as he and Janet provided loving care for them as they grew.  He brought his grandchildren to church each week where he enjoyed time with them and the congregation’s youth while volunteering for Junior Church.

Bill’s life was defined by his faith and walk with God.  Committed to their family’s spiritual growth, he and Janet were founding members of Eagle Wesley Chapel and current members of the Church of the Nazarene in Portland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions are made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the American Cancer Society.

The Funeral Service will be officiated by Pastor Jimmy Guffey at 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 21, 2018 at the Church of the Nazarene, Portland. Interment will follow at North Eagle Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. Online condolences may be made at  

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