Shown here, taking part in the reading of the World Court decision on nuclear weapons in July of this year at an OREPA Sunday vigil, Leonard Stark was, into his tenth decade, an indefatigable adherent to the principles of nonviolence and the cause of peace. (continue reading: click on photo at left)
Len died this week at home in Pleasant Hill. We lose his body, but his spirit will continue to inspire and motivate us. At age 91, he made the two mile march from the park to the bomb plant in August’s heat without complaint. It was classic Leonard—like his longtime compatriot Charlie Lord and his brother Walter, for Leonard doing what was the right thing to do was a clear and simple imperative.
It led him into alternative service as a conscientious objector during the second world war; he spent much of the war serving at Philadelphia Mental Hospital in Pennsylvania. It was only one way he spent his life in ministry.
If you only met Leonard, his stern visage would tell you instantly that this man was a serious man, who dedicated himself with vigor to the causes he believed in, whether opposing nuclear war or establishing a Victim/Offender Reconciliation Program in Cumberland County.
But if you hung around, even for a few minutes, you would have discovered the sharp wit and appreciative sense of humor that he carried with him as surely as he carried his faith. His compassion was ever-present; it marked him as a true disciple.
Leonard, Joe, Duncan and Don have been regulars at OREPA’s third Sunday vigils and the potlucks that followed them; they’ve also been part of our gang at School of America demonstrations in Columbus, Georgia each November. Our visits to Pleasant Hill will be diminished by his absence.
We send our deeply felt condolences to friends and family. A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, November 1 at 2:30pm (Central Time) at Pleasant Hill Community Church.