Harold Stanton was born on a wheat and cattle ranch in Western Kansas in 1925. He grew up during the Great Dust Bowl and Great Depression. He was born a Quaker but became a member of the Methodist Church at the age of 14. This greatly shaped the course of his life as he became and remained enormously active in his church until his death.
Harold met his wife, Joyce, at her sister's wedding in 1943. Harold joined and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He and Joyce married at the conclusion of the war on July 8, 1945. Together, they raised a family of three children in Birmingham, Michigan. Their family has grown to include six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
After the war, Harold completed his engineering degree at Kansas State University. He went on to complete his Master's degree at the University of Arkansas where he later taught agricultural engineering. During his research years he developed the flame cultivator for cotton which eliminated the use of chemicals for cotton crops. He also developed a method of sprinkler irrigation which saved billions of gallons of ground water annually. His career took him away from research and education to Michigan and the Ford Motor Company, Tractor Division where he worked for over thirty years. Harold received the Complexity Reduction Award at Ford Motor Company for saving the company over fifteen million dollars annually.
After retiring from Ford in 1987, Harold began giving increasing amounts of time to the United Methodist Church. He became intensely involved in the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in Southern Africa with a focus on sustainable development. Through these experiences he gained recognition and was ultimately appointed to help plan Africa University in 1988. He was instrumental in the planning and development of the College of Agriculture. Africa University came to fruition in 1992 and is thriving today with over 1, 200 students enrolled annually.
Harold's experiences in Africa contributed to his passion to eliminate hunger the world over. He became a vocal and persistent champion for those locally and globally plagued by hunger. His experiences in Africa led him to get his local church more involved in fighting hunger. He has taken high school students to Washington D.C. to participate in Bread for the World events and education. He has been instrumental in advancing Peace with Justice in Michigan and several surrounding states. His efforts to end hunger have been tireless and he has received numerous awards for these enduring efforts.
Harold's final chapter began in August of 2011 when he was diagnosed with a blood cancer called Myelodysplastic Syndrome. He underwent three rounds of chemotherapy before his failing health halted his treatments. He battled back in rehab but was ultimately diagnosed with a progression of his illness to Leukemia. Despite his valiant efforts and tireless battle, he died with peace and Joyce by his side on March 16, 2012.
Loving husband of Joyce. Dear father of Michael (Susan), Mollie Stanton-Fuja (Steve) and Tim (Sharyn). Also survived by six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Brother of David and Marshall (Janice).
Memorial services were held Tuesday 2 pm at First United Methodist Church in Birmingham.
Memorial tributes to the hunger project of your choice.