Andrew W. Stabler Jr. 5/28/13

Andrew W. Stabler Jr., who rose from clerk at The Grit, which billed itself as “America’s Greatest Family Newspaper,” to president of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association while providing generous support to his family and community, died on Tuesday.

He was 86.

He died of heart failure in his home in Montoursville.

Stabler’s strong Christian ethics defined his life and guided his business practices, extensive donations and volunteer work. He served on the board of the American Rescue Workers and for many years volunteered as a chaplain in the Susquehanna Health System. He was an active member of Community Baptist Church in Montoursville, and in the past had served as an elder there.

His business savvy enabled him to guide the Grit through years of growth, until he became President of its publishing company and Lamco Communications. Later, he served as chair of the Christian Businessmen’s Committee and president of Williamsport’s Industrial Management Club.

While making careful management decisions, Stabler also freely gave his time and money to innumerable worthy causes. His family, friends and city remember him for endless generosity.

Stabler was born on Dec. 1, 1926. After graduating from Montoursville High School, he entered the Air Force and joined the occupying troops in Italy at the end of World War II. When he returned home, he earned a business administration degree from Bucknell University.

His survivors include his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Ulmer Stabler of Montoursville; his sons, Dr. Craig Stabler in Williamsport, Kurt Stabler in Dunn, N.C., and Kevin Stabler in Bolivia; his daughter, Saundra Stabler Diehl in Park City, Utah; his sister, Edna Strouble in Montoursville; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate Andrew’s life will be held on Friday, May 31 at 6 p.m. at Community Baptist Church, Rt. 87, Montoursville, with Pastor Michael E. Wright officiating. Friends will be received following the service in the church foyer.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorials be made to Ministry to Missionaries, 145 Dohl Road, Berwick, PA 18603, for its Bolivia School Project or the missions fund at Community Baptist Church, Route 87, Montoursville, PA 17754. These should be made In Memory of Andrew W. Stabler. Arrangements are by Spitler Funeral Home, Montoursville.

Submitted by family.