Remembering Dr. John Stanley
Tributes by Friends, Family & Colleagues
By John M. Fowler
Whatever John Stanley touched turned into gold—gold of compassion, reaching out to the poorest in our midst, giving them a lift upward in life; gold of education given to those who sought wisdom but had no way to reach that pinnacle, but the silent gift of Stanley sent to that wisdom-seekers account enough to obtain the best of Adventist education; gold of rice or wheat or those colorful and attractive vegetables to turn the pain of hunger into the praise of God’s goodness; gold of personal care and reaching out to touch someone ill, hopeless and afflicted with pain. Because of such caring touch, hundreds of people that God loved came within the shadow of this silent saint, and behold we were witnesses to what God’s love can do through a simple servant of God such as Stanley was. Personally, Stanley touched me in many ways. We were far apart in age, but in sharing God’s goodness, in speaking well of the other, in understanding how God’s church mysteriously works His wonders to perform, in keeping a level head in moments of torrent, in being a friend in need and indeed, Stanley was to me a shining and silent example of grace, gracefully flowing to keep us all rooted to the foot of the Cross. To my knowledge, he never spoke about the cross, but he lived it. A few years ago, I tasted this flow of grace, when Stanley took the initiative to admit me in one of Bangalore’s premier hospitals and stayed by my bedside for 13 days or so, tenderly whispering the power of God into my ears, saying a word here and keeping silence there to offer a prayer on my behalf, and then this mighty accountant and powerful and sensitive auditor somehow transferred into my dying body that power of healing that comes only through prayer and grace. Today, Stanley is missing. Where shall we search for him? We shall find him wherever there is service with unlimited sacrifice; wherever there is quietness and confidence amid criticism and hatred; wherever there is a whisper of love amid voices of rebellion and noises of hatred. Rest well, Stanley. God’s day will soon be here. Until then, farewell, my friend.
By Gordon Christo
I got to know John Stanley very personally through my brother Glenn. What I admired most of John Stanley is that even when the church organization indicated that his services were not appreciated and he left the organization, the interest of the church organization never left him. He always responded readily to calls for his help and services. He attended church faithfully and contributed to the local church and also the higher offices that sought his expertise. Stanley and my brother served as chief administrators/directors of the university in Manipal for about fifteen years during which time they gained a lot of expertise in medical education and administration. They combined to set up universities/institutions in Malaysia, Nepal, Sikkim, etc. They also assisted numerous Adventist students in gaining degrees in medicine. They eventually left Manipal and set up Quintesse Consultants a private limited company that advised on healthcare, community development, finance, etc. The Quintesse website informs us that they catered to clients in such diverse countries as China, Indonesia, the US, and several Gulf countries. Stanley had degrees in law and commerce. His doctorate from Martin Luther Christian University was in the field of educational finance. He also held certification as a company secretary. It was our privilege to recommend him as a representative of Southern Asia to the General Conference Auditing Service as a Board Member. He was serving his fourth term. Though he was so eminently qualified, Stanley was a good friend who helped many. He used his good contacts to assist many in needy situations. I got to know him as a humorous person with sharp wit, and we enjoyed teasing each other. I will miss him, but even more, the church will miss him and his valuable contribution.
By Dennis Dean Tidwell
One of my favorite quotations is:
The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.Ellen G. White
To me, John Stanley epitomized this quote. While he was a “straight shooter,” he was also characterized by gentlemanly courtesy and always maintained a positive outlook. The world was a better place because of John Stanley’s life, and our church was worse off when it found no room for his capabilities. May his family and friends find comfort in Jesus in their hour of sorrow.
By Subodh Pandit, MD
“How the mighty have fallen… I am distressed for you my brother, Stanley. ” It was always delightful to be in your presence. Your crisp, clear thinking; your bubbling sense of humor; your courteous elegance, and sharp insights were all qualities of rare worth. Our rounds of discussions, as we sparred over the conditions in SUD (Stanley and I left the SUD Executive Committee about the same time, in similar circumstances) and our mutual wish to address corruption even in “high places,” taxed as well as challenged our intellectual and ethical capabilities. Your expressions of support and encouragement during my hurtful, stormy patches, spoke of a deep friendship that I cherish; while your towering dignity made you larger than life! These priceless treasures are mine as memories now. I will hold them fast in honor of you. “I am distressed for you my brother, Stanley…How the mighty have fallen amid the battle.” (II Sam 1: 25,26) It is “night” right now, and yes, I weep, but the tears notwithstanding, joy must come “in the morning.”
By Cecil Samuel Marandi & Family
I walked into Dr. John Stanley, former Associate Treasurer, ( then he hadn’t earned his doctoral degree). I noticed that his desk did not have many papers, letters, bills. important documents etc.unlike other offices. So I jokingly remarked, so you do not have much work to do. He told me with a smile on his face that no bills stayed on his desk for more than a day. In all respects, John was a man of honesty, integrity, humility, loyalty, sincerity, and fearlessness. Every committee member became seriously concerned when the Secretary brought up Dr. John Stanley’s resignation. I volunteered to talk him to re-reconsider his resignation. He explained to me the circumstances under which he was resigning and thought it was best not to continue. John was an honest steward and protector of church assets. My wife and I were attending our son’s graduation at Manipal Medical College where he was an Administrator, and he was gracious enough to accommodate us. He was kind, friendly, generous and hospitable. We await the life giver’s call on resurrection morning.
By Sonny Varghese
Dr. John Stanley’s untimely demise left me with a great shock when my brother called me from Bangalore on Monday evening to tell me the news. I believe that many of us feel the same. It was my good fortune to get to known John Stanley since I first met him in 1966 at Kottarakara school. My parents had just been transferred there from Roorkee, and we became friends, more so, when I chose the same line of studies at Spicer College and elsewhere, as he had. John Stanley was the most wonderful person I have known and was a good Christian and a good Adventist throughout his life. He never let all the problems that he faced in his life to pull him down or get in the way of his goals. He was one of the most well-accomplished Adventists from Southern Asia. Despite all the challenges, he had several professional qualifications in Education, Finance, Commerce and Law. He was not only well known throughout the church organization but was well known and appreciated in the Corporate World. He served as a consultant for several small and large organizations, both in India and abroad. John Stanley never complained of anything and was always willing to help individuals, whether he knew them or not. He was happy to be of use to the church and served to the best of his abilities, whenever called upon, without expecting anything in return. He was instrumental in setting up an Adventist fellowship (and later a church) at the Manipal Medical College, along with Glen Christo and some of the earlier students there, and tried to help all the Adventist students that passed through the college. Even after he resigned from the Manipal Medical Trust /Group, Dr. T M Pai, the founder, and his son who took over as CEO, asked Stanley to serve as a consultant and advisor, which he agreed to. On one of his visit to the US, I spoke to him of the advanced techniques in Robotic Surgery for different cardiac procedures, knowing some of his problems, and he simply said that it was good to know about it. The one thing he often said was that he never wanted to be a burden to anyone by getting sick or by being hospitalized when he got older. It looks that in the end, God granted him that one wish and took him away from all of us. Like Doctor Fowler said, Rest in Peace, my friend, We’ll see you on Resurrection morning.
By Pastor and Mrs. Tito
The sudden demise of Mr. John Stanley is the most shocking news. He was a great friend of ours and a great sympathizer of the suffering and the underprivileged. His demise is a great loss. At this time of great sorrow, we pray for his mother and all the relatives. May God comfort them all.
By G S Robert Clive
The sudden demise of Dr. John Stanley in a foreign country plunged the Adventist and corporate world in deep shock, sadness and sorrow. Truly a stalwart, a jewel and a great giant has fallen in Israel while on duty for the Master. His many years of service to the Adventist Church, before he parted ways, was marked by distinction in various areas. His financial prudence, his penchant for management by systems, developing clearly defined roles for treasury personnel, financial evaluation of units at regular intervals, timely and appropriate corrective measures, rewarding the diligent, enforcing strict budgetary controls, disseminating information and interacting with treasury personnel through a periodic treasury journal, are a few of the several initiatives he has pursued to bring efficiency in treasury functioning. But his contribution to developing models of self-reliance stand out. It began in 1988 during Division Treasurers Council held in Aurangabad, which focused on the theme “Towards a Self-reliant Church.” This focus was continued in the Division Treasurers Council in 2004. The Southern Asia Division is particularly grateful to him for helping it develop a document “Target 2015: A Self-reliant Church in Southern Asia.” He presented it in three sessions during the Division Treasurers Council in 2009. It also included a model for self-reliance which is still being pursued. This document, which was approved by the Division Committee, became a reference point to achieve the goal. He always responded gladly to the calls for presenting professional papers during the division treasurers councils. His association and interaction with the treasurers was deeply satisfying. He had been a personal friend to me and the family for more than three decades. His friendship has touched many lives. His good Samaritan deeds brought cheer to many in dire need. He visited us at our home in Narsapur on November 25, 2018, ultimately fulfilling a long-pending promise. In hindsight, we are fortunate that he was able to make it that day. Now those memories remain until the dawn. It is a great loss and he will be missed immensely. May the blessed hope comfort the bereaved family but all of us as we cope with this loss.
By Rajee Mathew
Truly a man of discipline has left us. I personally will miss him. His firm advice to me was to carry on the fight against corruption. His last email to me was his prayer “I support your intent and objective and wish you God’s blessings in your chosen way to support the church”. He was dear to my father-in-law, and if he was in Pondicherry, his stay with us was always memorable. My family and I will miss him.
By Subhakar Prasad
Our heartfelt felt condolences to the family of Dr. John Stanley. May they be comforted by the Holy Spirit. Dr. Stanley’s untimely demise will remain an unfilled vacuum in the Southern Asia Division. We’ll miss him.
By Purnima Mead
Dearest John Stanley, I wish I could turn the clock around: I am in tears right now just knowing I will never ever see you again. Something that touched me was what you did on January 6, 2019 in Salisbury Park. At a wedding reception, among nearly 1500+ people you found your way to me, rested your hands on my shoulder and with a big smile, whispered, ‘Peenu, remember me?’ Of course I remembered you, the gentlemen that you were, with an ever helpful nature. Your patience to listen to my grievances and silly jokes or simply your way of consolation with a smile and few words, ‘It will fall right, if it has to fall right, else there is enough time to do it over again..’. There is one who can take your place. I will see you when Jesus comes! Till then Rest in Him, my friend, my Anna (big brother)
By Chana Colney
The sudden demise of Dr. Stanley is a shock to all of us. He has touched many lives. He always had innovative thoughts and ideas not only in the financial field but also in evangelism. He once told me about various levels of evangelism, which I thought was interesting and worth developing. With his demise the church has lost a stalwart, that will be hard to replace.
By Vandana Anil Dass
Though we had wished each other on Sabbaths since the year 2006, it was only on 6th October 2012 that I had my first, proper interaction with Dr. John Stanley, when he took Anil and me out for lunch after learning that it would probably be my last Sabbath in Bangalore as I was planning to move Nigeria for work. After that, we met on 7th, 8th, and again on 9th for my birthday when I had an opportunity to make special Rajasthani food – Dal, Baati, Choorma for him. Apart from my family, he was the only one who called me while I was away; this surprised me because I had never met someone who would give much importance to someone they hardly knew. In 2013, when I came back to India after a series of unfortunate events, including the death of my sister, he was a big source of encouragement. He was the main reason I joined an NGO and started working within the Adventist system. He often addressed me as “little girl” or “pretty girl” based on the questions I had for him. His answers often intrigued me. He was one of the few people who would answer with patience, evidence, and references. He was a friend, mentor, and my go-to guy for almost every subject. His humility, intelligence, sense of humor, and love for all made him special to all age groups. I took flowers for him one time and he responded by saying, “It’s not time to bring flowers yet”. I never took flowers for him again and will not be bringing them now. He will be missed.
By Neha Pammu / Boothe
I have known Uncle Stanley since I was a little girl. Some of my best memories are of him asking me if I wanted to go to India with him or if he could kidnap me and take me with him (jokingly). He always made me laugh & had an amazing insight into life. One of my favorite quotes of him was – getting your PhD “Passing High school with Difficulty”. He always inspired me. I loved him so much and will miss him dearly.
By Gideon & Jenifer Dayak
To the family and friends of Dr. John Stanley, Our hearts are in deep pain and sorrow as we all mourn the loss of a wonderful friend, a Christian brother, a great thinker and a humble servant of the Lord. Stanley has been connected to our family since 1978 when we began our work in Bangalore. I have had the privilege of working closely with him when he was in Madras, Pune, Hosur and Manipal. We carry great memories of our work relations, and in all circumstances and occasions, he leaves with us, his smile, a memento of meticulous planning and execution of the projects with sound judgments. We have deeply experienced his simple Christ-like values in life and an exhibition of Christian values. We cherish his memories and keep him in our heart till we see him in the KINGDOM !
By Binu Sam (on behalf of Helping Hand Welfare Society)
“ The sudden demise of Dr. John Stanley on Monday, January 28th , 2019 came as a profound shock to Helping Hand Welfare Society ( HHWS ) family. During the times of our uncertainties, it was Dr. Stanley, with his lovable smile, who encouraged us and showed us the direction that we should go as an organization. His selfless service to this organization through his consultancy and advisory for more than ten years is what we will miss the most. Be it strategic direction or legal matters, Dr. Stanley’s expertise came in as an ever-present help to HHWS. His humility in dealing with the staff at every level is what made him unique and lovable by all. We will surely miss his advice, but most of all we will miss the energy and love he carried around for all.”
By Benny Joseph
I have known Dr. John Stanley since 1980’s. He was a humble, loving, compassionate, God-fearing and dedicated person. The Church has lost a devoted and knowledgeable financial adviser in Southern Asia. On behalf of my family, I’d like to convey my deepest condolences to his family. May the Lord comfort them at this time of grief.
By David Singh
A wonderful and caring person. It was because of his diligence that I was admitted into Mar Ivanios college in Trivandrum for my Pre-Degree course. My mother Muriel Sharma was very fond of him. He cared for her so much that he traveled to the US to attend her funeral even though he had some health issues at that time. He will be missed immensely.
By Franklin G. David
A brilliant mind with a sense of humor and humility. John was a very dear friend. Short in stature but tall in integrity. A very principled person. Never hesitated to speak his mind even if it would cost him his job or future. Always willing to share his wisdom and expertise free of cost to institutions that could not afford his consultation fee. Hard working and meticulously organized. Even in his house, he had a place for everything and everything was in its place at all times. Whenever I visited Bangalore or he came to Maryland, we made it a part of our agenda to have at least one lunch together. He took me to different restaurants that had varieties of fish preparations and he preferred only greek and other salads when he came here. We enjoyed teasing each other and often shared administrative and theological views. It is said that the Greek Philosopher Diogenes went around ancient Athens in the daytime with a lighted lantern “Searching for a Man” A man like John Stanley, a scarcity in the midst of plenty. So I apply to this great man of God, the words of the wise man:
One among a thousand I have foundEcclesiastes 7:28
Please permit me to add my paraphrased FGD version: “One among over a billion of India’s population I have found”. In doing so, I don’t intend to suppress others, I do so to pay tribute to a rare gem of a person. John Stanley was one of kind. His rare personality moved, melted and mastered our hearts. He won the love and admiration of young and old, leaders and co-workers in India and America and where ever he put his foot. It has been my greatest honor to have shared this earthly pilgrimage with him. Until then!
By Justin & Juanita Singh
Very sad!!! We’ve lost a giant of a man in Southern Asia Adventist Church. Also, very tragic. His life could’ve been saved if he was rushed to a hospital in time. But, he was out there in the boonies!!! May his family find comfort and solace in the shining legacy he leaves behind.
By Mohanraj & Subhashini Mesipam
As you go through life you meet a few truly great people—John Stanley was one of them. Affectionately known to us as “Saré”, it has been an honor to have been closely associated with him through the years as our boss, our neighbor, and our friend. His life was so vivid—it is difficult to imagine it ended so unexpectedly. But it was a life lived to the fullest—graciously, effectively, and purposefully. In many ways, he was a trailblazer—never afraid to speak the truth or do the right thing. His impressive intellect, strong convictions about right and wrong, enduring courage, dedication, and integrity were the hallmarks of his life. His deep and abiding faith in God was the core of his life and can be summed up in the words of his favorite song “Day by day and with each passing moment….” His extraordinary life is proof that God places people in different parts of history to make great things happen. The prestigious positions he held in the denomination and the corporate world were achieved through his hard work, ability and integrity. His indelible mark was on everything he touched and he left each place of labor truly better than he found it—be it the Southern Asia Division, the Manipal Group, or any of the other numerous organizations he was affiliated with. In spite of his record of exceptional accomplishments he was unassuming, warm, generous, helpful, and had a delightful sense of humor. Thank you, Saré, for the inspiration your life has been to us and for the many ways in which you have touched our lives. Your signature smile, your words of wisdom, and your exemplary life will remain in our hearts forever. Rest from your labors, dear Saré, and we look forward to seeing you again on that golden morning.
By Kunjachan Daniel
The first time I met Stanley was while I worked in South Kerala Treasury in the 1980’s. From then on we have developed a good rapport with each other as very good friends, in fact, he was one of my best friends. Not only a friend, but he was a guide and counselor in Treasury matters over the years as we had ample opportunities to meet in various Treasury meetings, councils and audit occasions. Though he was not in Church employment during the latter part of his life, whenever we met, the main topic of our conversation was the Church and its financial and related matters which was deep down in his heart. I would like to highlight a few of the qualities and character of my friend from my observation over the years.
- First and foremost he loved his God, was religious, prompt in church attendance and very much committed to obligations to the church.
- Was a man of great discipline which was the basis of his achievements in education and the hallmark of greatness in his profession.
- Was very simple, friendly and respectful all regardless of the background, position and status.
- Was meticulous in whatever he did; kept record of everything that matters in his legible and beautiful handwriting.
- Was a man of minute details; very much reflected in his life and profession; all accountants who worked with him can testify.
- Was professional in all his dealings; nothing was left undone what was required.
- Was very prompt in all appointments whether with an individual, group or for meetings and committees.
- His temperament was exceptionally good; have never seen him get angry with anyone; was soft spoken.
- Was a man of loveable hospitality, which I have enjoyed a lot of times; he was always the host; the bill was on him all the time; sure, lot of others also must have experienced this goodness.
- Was a person without barriers or borders -He had friends from all communities, states, languages and countries as evident from the numerous inquiries and tributes pouring in.
Can go on enumerating the qualities of his life and sweetness of his friendship and association. I will always cherish the times God gave me to spend with this illustrious personality. But the good and wonderful life is cut short; only God knows why. Have a well-earned sleep and rest my friend; rest from all your tiring and non-stop counseling, teaching, advising, consultation and what not, until that bright and beautiful day, when your Good Lord will call you by your name, John Stanley, to behold Him.
By Ellen Paulraj
It was in 1998 I stepped into MAHE Manipal for my counseling for Bachelors in Physical therapy. I had money for the fees but not for dual accommodation. I asked them to give me some time. The seniors were helpful by telling me who I should talk to and I got a room in the NRI floor (Kamaraj Block 310.) It was because of Uncle Stanley (fondly called him) that I was able to pursue my education. In 2000, we were under the Allied health sciences college. The new Dean refused to let us take our Saturday practical exams on any other day. I was a bit shaken. It was after approaching Uncle Stanley that I was allowed to take the two subject exams on the following Monday. He did not ask whose daughter I was or how well I was doing. I thank God that he worked through Uncle Stanley. During the holidays when everyone went home, few of us from church stayed back in our hostels. Uncle Stanley would call us for Sabbath lunch. It was special. He filled the emptiness. He was a mentor when he preached and a friend. After ten years when I met him at Cunningham church with my husband and children, he quickly recognized me. With a smile on his face, he talked to me and wished us well as a family. He is an icon of humbleness and goodness.
By John Hammond
The Asian Aid Organisation expresses its sincere condolences to our brothers and sisters in India on the loss of such a talented and esteemed person. Dr. John Stanley was a giant among men; a man of great judgment and ability and a man of God.
By Dr. RajKumar Chavakula & Family
Dr. Stanley will truly be remembered as a courageous proponent of the values of the Adventist church. We all know that he served under several prestigious positions of leadership, one that I remember vividly is when I was undergoing my postgraduate degree in KMC, Mangalore. Studying in a non-christian college quickly I was confronted with the Sabbath issue. Being a Postgraduate student, my professors & colleagues expected me to be present on Saturday for the routine work & classes. Initially, I managed by taking leave but time soon ran out and I was left facing the ire of the Head of Department. He demanded that I fall in line with protocol or drop out. I tried explaining to him, but to no avail. Dr. Stanley was the Financial Director of Manipal institutions then and I decided to approach him. Although little known to him, I could see his courteous nature in listening to my predicament with a smile. He asked me to pray about it. Though the meeting was brief I left with an unburdened heart. What transpired behind the scenes I do not know but I noticed a visible change in the attitude of my HOD from the very next week. It was a paradigm shift to accommodate me and give me the Sabbath off with the necessary compensation on other days. Only recently did I learn from Pr. Johnson Koilpillai that even Dr. John Stanley faced the Sabbath issue while pursuing his course in Chartered Accountancy. In fact, I understand that he had to shift the course because of the Sabbath. Truly, he was a man of principle willing to sacrifice for the cause of truth. Besides the Almighty God, I owe a debt to Dr. Stanley for his support in my time of need. Because of that incident, even after 17 years I’m still in touch with my HOD and he asks me for special prayers. On behalf of all the faculty, staff and students of Manipal, I would express my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. May God comfort you in this time of grief. We have this hope that we will see Him soon, the one who was a bastion of unswerving fidelity for the cause of truth.
By Johnny Philip
Not too long ago Dr. John Stanley told me that he still had a black and white photograph of us with black short pants, shoes and bowties, white shirts and socks when we were kids in the Kottarakara School Choir. He loved to sing. All his life. I quit at the age when my voice broke and discovered that I really couldn’t sing for nuts. Recently my teenage daughter even assured me that my whistling in the bathroom was better than my singing. It wasn’t a compliment. I used to call him ‘Sir’ (or ‘Saaray’, in Malayalam) when he was my boss for a while. I didn’t know it irritated him until one day he told me, “Just call me by my name the way you have always done. Okay?”. Even though he was a PhD and a ‘big shot’, titles and pompous salutations always embarrassed him. Perhaps he, rightfully, mistrusted them too. Apart from being together in the choir almost 60 years ago, my earliest interaction with him was when I worked with him in the School Press, where we learned the basics of the magic of book-creation. My stint was very short as my father, K P Philip, just wanted to keep me out of trouble during the summers. But Stanley continued for a while and soon went on to work with my father in the school’s business office where he got exposed to bookkeeping. Later he worked with my father for many years in different capacities, including, as a founding member of ‘KUSASA’ (Kerala University Seventh-Day Adventist Students’ Association), a registered organization. I think he was its first legal Secretary. From his childhood Stanley was identified with three things, nay, four: briskness, diligence, a great work ethic, and neatness – in appearance, studies, work, and human interactions. [Have you ever known him otherwise?]. His diligence and productivity, in fact, was inversely proportionate to his stature, if I may say so. Word got around. The rest, as they say, is history. Bachelors in Madras, and not fascinated with cooking, along with other Adventist bachelors in the vicinity Stanley, and I used to hunt for the best and most affordable places for Masala Dosas, Idlis, and plain rice and sambar. Unencumbered by family burdens we spent many free hours discussing accounting and organizational issues. In fact, it was while working with him at IFA that I honed my accounting skills. He gave me many opportunities to develop skills in accounting, financial reporting and public speaking, which proved to be valuable when I became a teacher. When I made up my mind to leave Spicer he offered me the opportunity to work with him on many valuable projects at Manipal. He valued my critiques of his reports and asked me to edit many of his works, which I did till fairly recently. Whenever he visited the DC metro area (at least once a year) he never failed to call me. Though he always had a busy schedule, we spent at least an hour together reminiscing, catching up and discussing current issues. Stanley kept in close touch with the people in his life – friends or foes (though I know of no one in the latter category), especially his teachers and contemporaries from Kottarakara School. He loved them dearly and always looked out for them. Wherever he went, one of the first things he would do was to phone whoever he knew in the area. He just loved to be in the company of the people he loved. He met them in person whenever feasible. When my brother and my father died, Stanley made it a point to spend time with my family. Whenever he was in Bangalore, he made it a point to visit my mother. The last time my mother was in India, Stanley took his mother along and the old friends had a great time together. My mother looks back with fondness on that visit. Whenever he is in England Stanley makes it a point to contact or visit with his friends and relatives. He never fails to contact my sister, Pearl Ann Thomas (Molly) and Dr Boban Thomas. In fact, just before I had met him last year, he had spent time with both families and they had an enjoyable time together. Stanley has often told me that most people take ‘opportunities’ and the ‘people’ around them for granted and grossly underestimated their value. I later discovered the value of this observation. To me, personally, he was family, friend, protector, de-facto guardian, boss, and mentor. When we shared the news of his unfortunate and untimely demise, my family members and friends had basically the same reaction: it was going to be difficult to come to terms with missing a “true friend and elder brother”. People with greater privileges than Stanley had, have proven to be a burden, at the very least to themselves. I don’t remember a single occasion when Stanley was a burden to anyone. Quite the contrary. Stanley never wore piety on his sleeves. But his life demonstrated his religion and his dedication to his church was undebatable. But wait a minute! I didn’t say he was a saint. I remember 3 incidents where he reminds me that it’s ok to be human: one involved me, the other involved my father, and the third involved one of his senior colleagues who was also his mentor – someone who always affectionately called him “KochuStanley” (ie. little Stanley – due to the differences in their age and, perhaps, stature). But Stanley isn’t around anymore for us to reminisce (and laugh) about it. We last met at the end of July 2018. We reluctantly assured each other that finally age wasn’t on our side. He told me that he didn’t accomplish the 10,000 steps his doctor had advised him to do each day and that he was going to walk around the hotel after I left. He also asked me to try and locate a document we had worked together on about 20 years ago, if possible. He sent me the following email less than a fortnight later:
Aug 3, 2018, 6:57 AM MAHE Computerization of Accounts Hi Johnny You have sent me the right document I was looking for! The guys in Manipal could not locate it. Your filing and archiving system is awesome [not accurate - I was pretty lucky to find it]. Reminder: Please let me know when you plan to visit Ammachi [my mother] so that I can also come along.
This was my last communication with my dear friend. From creating books – to bookkeeping – to financial administration – to financial consultant, yours was a worthy life, my friend and brother. Rest in peace.
By Sean Calvin
It was in the year 2016 when we, the Vellore SDA English church, decided to have our Christmas choir program in the Scudder Auditorium at CMC Vellore. We had a tough time looking for sponsors to raise some money for the program. One of the things we wanted to do that day was giveaway the book “Steps to Christ” as it seemed apt to share our love from our church to the extended Christian community. To purchase 600-700 books of a color version of that book seemed like an impossibility and a dream. However, I remember asking God to show us what to give people that day as a reminder of this special message we have to share. My mother had approached Dr. John Stanley just like we approached any other person to contribute a little bit for the books. To cut the story short, he wrote back asking “Who should I make the cheque out to?” He ended up covering the entire expense of the books. Here was a man I never met nor had even heard in person, but so willing to give. When I wrote him a letter of gratitude, he replied:
Hope you will have a wonderful time at CMC witnessing for God and representing the Adventist church. God bless all those who participate. Best wishes, Uncle Stanley
That to me was an angel sent by God. I am filled with hope that the very first time that I will ever get to see Uncle Stanley in person and thank him will be with my savior Jesus. Until then, he will be in my heart.
By Mathew Karmel
It was about six decades ago that our parents, the late Pr. P. K. Mathew and Ammukutty, met John Stanley in Adventapuram, Trivandrum. In the year 1959, our dad was appointed as the headmaster of the Adventapuram SDA School where John Stanley was his student. An intelligent, energetic, and active young student full of enthusiasm, John Stanley won our parents’ hearts. He was like a son to my late parents and a brother for us. Growing up we lovingly called him “Kochu Stanleychayan” and were always thrilled to be around him. His smile was captivating and his laughter contagious. All of us loved him so dearly. Dr. John Stanley lived by example and was always willing to help.
Everyone was of importance to him. Although Dr. John Stanley had an accolade of professional degrees, honors, and recognition, relationships with people was his foremost capability. Despite his medical restrictions, Dr. John Stanley traveled from Bangalore to visit our Dad, who was in his last days, admitted in a hospital in Quilon, Kerala. Irrespective of his fading memory, our dad was able to recognize Dr. Stanley’s voice and said “KochuStanley,” which made “Stanleychayan” joyful. In recent years, we made it a point to meet with Stanleychayan whenever he was in town. Whether it was meeting at church, celebrating birthdays, or spending time at home, it was always a joyous occasion. On the event of his passing, we remember these fondest memories and keep them close to our hearts. On January 28th, 2019, we lost a family member, visionary, mentor, and leader who lived a life of selflessness for the benefit of helping others.
And if the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in youRomans 8:11
Kochu Stanleychayan, we hope to meet again. Until then, rest well. Love, Stella Varghese, Mathew Karmel, Dr. Abraham Mathew, Dr. Neena Eapen & families
By Jessie Joseph
I am his niece. Uncle was my guardian when I did my studies in Manipal. He was my everything. What I am today is because of him. No words can express my love for him. I hope that I will meet him on that beautiful shore.
By John Fred Samuel
The untimely demise of Dr. John Stanley leaves a great big void, in many a heart and life, that no one can fill. My Friend, Stanley was loving and real. He was caring and generous. Generous with his time and money, as many can attest. He never let a chance to help someone slip by. His beautiful spirit lives on in hundreds of lives he touched and enriched. His personal needs took a back seat while caring for and nurturing many young minds and lives. The many lives he touched bears witness to his passion for life and excellence. His smile was contagious, and I will miss that welcoming smile forever. Others can more eloquently attest to his many virtues. His sense of humor was engaging. One could fill a book with his various accomplishments, both personal and professional. He never burdened others with his struggles but put the needs and well-being of others first. (This was evident to his last day) Knowing my friend, this is what he would probably say to us today: Do not fill your heart with pain and sorrow. Remember me in every tomorrow. Remember the joy, smiles and the laughter I shared with you. I have only gone to rest a little while. Though my departure causes pain and grief, my going has eased my hurt and pain and given me relief. So, dry those tears and remember me not as you see me today, but as I used to be. Remember I have only gone to rest a little while. And finally, if I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts of each of you. So, farewell my friend, rest a little while and we will see you soon on that glorious morning.
By Nischal Pintu Ravi
It has been extremely difficult for me to accept the demise of Uncle John Stanley, a man who has been a great source of inspiration to me. Uncle Stanley had so many accomplishments and achievements to his credit, but what set him apart was his humility and selfless heart. His gentle smile lingers in my memory and I will always remember him for his thoughtful advice, gentle care, and concern. It may be hard to accept that he is no longer with us, but I’m comforted by the words of Paul,
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8
I believe that this verse sums up the life of Uncle Stanley and I look forward to that day when we will see Him again.
By Ravindra Shankar
It is unbelievable that Dr. John Stanley is no more with us. A man who was known for his knowledge, compassion, and a gentle smile played an important role in the lives of many in the Seventh-day Adventist community and also in the corporate world. Dr. John Stanley was loved by everyone who associated with him and admired greatly for his forthrightness and diligence. He had a genuine concern for those in need and guided and molded many young people. He played a very significant part in aiding the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Southern Asia and shared his expertise in reconstructing institutions like Lowry Adventist College. The Lowry Adventist College administration is greatly indebted to him for his guidance and advice given in financial, academic and administrative matters. He lived his life by example and has left behind a rich legacy for us to follow. The church will miss his endearing personality and magnanimous heart. At this hour of grief and disappointment we the administrators, staff, and faculty of Lowry Adventist College, along with my family members pay our tributes to him and our heartfelt condolences to the family. It is our desire that we see him face to face on that glorious morn. Until that day may God strengthen and comfort the near and dear ones of Dr. John Stanley.
By Rajamma Sighamoney
Your sudden loss has left a void that can’t be filled. Your life has touched and helped many lives. You will be missed in such a way that nothing can and will be able to replace it, RIP.
By Amelia David
Some of my earliest memories of Dr. John Stanley (Uncle Stanley as I always called him) date back to when I was a kid. He was a good friend of our family. He always spent time with us during his frequent visits to New Delhi. One of my most memorable childhood memory is of a time during one of Uncle’s visit to Delhi when my brother and I wanted to order Domino’s Pizza for dinner with Uncle Stanley. Dominos Pizza was new to Delhi and the concept of ordering by phone and home delivery was very new to us and we were excited. Assuming that Pepperoni was a kind of pepper, we ordered a Pepperoni Pizza. When the pizza arrived, Uncle smiled knowing what it exactly was! He did not want to disappoint us kids. Therefore, he joined us and enjoyed the Pizza! Only later did he mention to us what that Pepperoni was! To this day the incident remains a joke in the family and we laughed about it each time we met. Even after my family and I moved to the United States, Uncle visited us and enjoyed roti and bhindi (one of his favorite vegetables) at our home! It was always a pleasure to meet Uncle Stanley – he was always interested to know how my brother and I were doing in our studies. He would inspire and encourage us with stories — some humorous, always advising us to be focused and aim high. When I attended Manipal University, Uncle Stanley was transitioning out of his position there. He, however, remained affiliated and connected to the university and was well respected and known by all. Uncle would often introduce me to everyone in Manipal as his niece, and not so surprisingly be asked: “Is she your real niece?” To which he would always smile and say “yes, I have many nieces and nephews”. He was always fond of and mentored young people, and was always available when they needed any help from him. He selflessly helped many students in need — those who could not afford a semester’s tuition or those who did not have money to pay for the dorm. Uncle would always say I help because God has blessed me and also because he/she is my nephew/niece. During my time at Manipal, I came to learn of and witness the greatness of this man of short physical stature who towered over everyone when it came to integrity, discipline, selflessness, humility, and knowledge, demonstrating a Christ-like love to all he met. As known to all, Uncle’s accomplishments are plenty but it took him a little longer than usual to complete his PhD as exams would always be held on a Saturday. He did not take the exam year after year, until the University finally agreed to hold the exam on a different day. Uncle would always tell me this story with a big smile on his face stating that the Lord truly blesses the faithful. I was honored to be invited to attend his convocation and witness the moment when he was awarded his PhD at Manipal University. Uncle made it a point to let me know each time before he visited Loma Linda. We always met and talked about many things, including Pepperoni Pizza! We spoke on Christmas day and on December 31, 2018 I text messaged Uncle wishing him happy 2019.
His reply: “Very Happy New year my kid! I assume you are in the midst of new year partying, have fun” My reply: “I’m home with parents, no new year party!” His reply: “you should’ve joined the Bangalore city party” My reply: “I could’ve, and should’ve” His reply: “relax, sleep well. I hope to party with you in the earth made new.” To which I responded “yes that will be great, however we still can in 2019” Uncle responded “sure”. Then on Friday January 25, 2019 I got a message from Uncle: “Hi doc, how are you?” I responded: “Hi Uncle I am fine, how are you?” He responded: “Thanks I am fine too. Travelling Saturday night to Montenegro. Will be back on Feb 7.” “Oh wow. Enjoy!” was my short reply.
On Monday, January 28, 2019, I received the shocking news while at work. Uncle Stanley was no more! Truly like Uncle said, I along with many of his nieces and nephews, await to party with him in the earth made new. I am reminded of the verses in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 that appropriately applies to Uncle Stanley’s life –
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8
We will miss Uncle but rejoice in the assurance that we will meet him on resurrection morn!
By Pr. T I Francis
The sudden demise of Dr. John Stanley was shocking to me and my family. I have known him closely since 1975. I am very much indebted to him for his encouragement to me during my tenure as Secretary-Treasurer of North Kerala Section. He was a loving, compassionate and God fearing person. At this time of sorrow, I pray that our heavenly Father comforts and console his elderly mother and his family.
By Livingston Sam
My first acquaintance with Dr. John Stanley was while I worked for Anantha Ashram. We sort his counsel. My second meeting was while working for Helping Hand Welfare Society where we had rounds of discussion about NGO standards and administration. Dr. John Stanley then referred me to His friends. My last meeting with him was regarding financial checks for our NGO. His insights were sharp and we appreciated it. Together we had the taste of Kerala cuisines. He was always cheerful. The sudden demise of Dr. Stanley makes me realize that life is short. I will miss him.
By Joseph Manuel
It is a sad day for many of us who have known Dr. John Stanley. It was 1976 and I was just transferred from Karnataka Section, Bangalore to North Kerala Section, Moospet Road, Trichur, Kerala. When I reached there I was told that John Stanley who was studying B.Com. in Trivandrum and was working as an accountant on weekends, had taken their books to Bangalore for audit. He brought the books back to the office after the audit and that was the first time I met him. We took a bus to Trichur town and we had dinner at a restaurant. Soon after, I joined Spicer and I met him occasionally at the SERVSDA office in Madras. Our paths crossed more often when he moved to the Division Office in Salisbury Park, Pune. He taught Business Law at Spicer after completing his Law degree from Symbiosis Institute. During that time we discussed doing Chartered Accountancy but gave up after finding that the same exams fell on Sabbaths every year. He went on to do his Company Secretary course and Doctoral Studies all while working full time. Afterwards, we went our separate ways and the next time I met him was in 2009, when I was working for ADRA International as an Auditor. He had joined the GC Audit committee and was attending their meeting. We talked for some time. It was a Friday and we had lunch together at Woodlands and I took him back to Marriots where he was staying. I admire John Stanley for his great sense of perception. He had the uncanny ability to grasp complex issues and come up with meticulous ways to solve them. He was very organized both in his official work and personal life. He was very intelligent, very knowledgeable and hard working. He gave that freely to whoever came to him seeking his advice and counsel. He used the power of his position, whether in the Division office or in Manipal Medical Group to help people in need. He lived a true Christian life. All the people he touched in his life will sorely miss him. Rest in peace John Stanley, for the resurrection morning when Jesus will come and take his faithful home.
By Raveenth Benny
I’m sorry to have lost my greatest mentor. I worked with him in Southern Asia Division as an accountant and he was the Assistant Treasurer. The kindest & loving person I knew. When my dad died, I quit college and worked at Southern Asia Division as a cashier. Dr. John Stanley who I called Sare encouraged me to go back and finish it. He put forward a challenge to me one day asking me if I could bring the division’s account up to date because they were behind by two years. He asked me to work night and attend college during the day so I could earn some money as well as attend college. In 6 months I had the accounts up to date and he was pleased with my results. I have had a lot of day to day experiences with him including the time the two of us ate all three meals together at Mr. Melvin’s place with Nirmala cooking for us. Whenever I had ups and downs, it was Stanley who I called for advice. When I met him after he received his Doctorate, I said, Sare, “What should I call you”, he smiled. He was one of the kindest hearted and honest people I knew.
By Kurian (Eddy) George
Whenever I think of Dr John Stanley I am reminded of a quote by Ellen White where she says “A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful argument that can be produced in favor of Christianity”. I was happy I briefly got to meet him at the Southern Asian Seventh-day Adventist church Maryland in July 2018. When I was in India some 20 years ago, I stayed at his home for a few days at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal while I was visiting there. I observed that he was organized, tidy and a brilliant individual well versed in his field and strongly cemented in the Adventist faith. He will be missed greatly, but I am sure we will see him again when Jesus comes.
By Paulson P H
My acquaintance with Mr. John Stanley goes back to the 1970s when he was a college student in Kerala. Even at that young age, he showed great interest in church activities and stood out as being intelligent, hardworking and gentle, always seen with a smile. These qualities followed him as he took on various responsibilities in the Section, Union and Division. He was a great encouragement to us who were working in the field at that time. His way of thinking, considerate approach and burden for the church is an example of faithfulness for the coming generation to follow. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Even though he will be missed, may we fix our hopes on the glorious morning when we will meet him again.
By Anu Ebenezer Paulson
Yours was a life well lived, your work never ceased- I’m compelled to liken it to a beautiful masterpiece, Painted on the canvas of time. You allowed brilliant strokes by the Maker’s paintbrush, Always engaged but smiling and never in a rush Was the scenery on the canvas of time Trees of kindness and compassion A stream of knowledge and a canopy of humble grace All on the canvas of time The first to arrive at church or to lend a helping hand Words of appreciation and encouragement like gentle showers in a dry land Impressions on the canvas of time Thrice during your sermon you made me repeat these verses, Habakkuk 3:17-19
17: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19: The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
In high places indeed you walked- In Spite of the health issues that struck you early, you could tread this way with an ever smiling face. You were called at your appointed time, uncle, and you have left a vacuum that few can fill. We find comfort in this – that we will meet again- until then, the memories live on.
By Reza Chowdhury
I convey my sincerest condolences from the bottom of my heart to the family of Dr. John Stanley. I write this with great sadness over the incomprehensible loss of my dear friend, Dr. John Stanley. I had known Dr. John Stanley for over three decades. He was a wonderful person inside and out. He had a gentle and caring nature. He always believed in being authentic, saying what needed to be told since he believed that it is good for the relationship and for the soul. He believed that having peace is essential for a healthy and joyful life. I always admired him for he never judged or forced his opinions on anyone, but offered valuable and truthful advice that I surely will miss. The vacuum that is created by his departure can never be filled. Dr. Stanley was ever so ready to help anyone whoever was in need and asked for his help. He was a gentle but a spiritual and intellectual giant with a generous heart and had great compassion for his fellow beings. He was a man of integrity and moral standing. He never ever compromised his values. He always wore his faith on his sleeve and was never afraid of wearing his heart on his sleeve either. He lived a life that exemplified attributes of Christ’s teachings. He truly was a Saint. I pray that may God forgive his sins and may the grace of God reward him generously. I pray that may God bless his family and friends during this difficult time. Let me quote the words of John Taylor when he wrote: “While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.” John, we love you and you will forever be in our hearts. I pray that may your soul rest in eternal peace.
By Anand Jayapaul
My acquaintance with Uncle Stanley began over 20 years ago as my boss, soon he became my mentor, role model, friend and father figure. I began to learn from his wealth of knowledge that will always be the fundamentals for me in understanding finance and business. He hugely shaped my views on life, career and other aspects. “Judge a man by his questions, rather than by his answers’’. His questions to me helped me ponder on those issues that I went to him with and arrive at my own answers. I must acknowledge at this point that He was the brains behind the initiative, the person who motivated me to start up my future projects here at Hosur. He has always stood by me in my happiest and my weakest moments and guided me when I looked up to him for advice. At one point he was instrumental in boosting my carrier and encouraged and inspired me when I climbed the corporate ladder, at the same time he valued family so much, that he advised me to slow down and be more family oriented. There are several memories of him that that still resonate with me, now these memories have turned into some valuable life lessons. One thing that I admired in him and learned from him is that “SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION”, and is elegant. His generosity involved more than just outward giving. It was clubbed, with his underlying thoughts, feelings and motives to truly uplift the beneficiary. I am sure that all those students, many of who are now professionals would agree with this. Death can never take a good man away. His name is etched in our hearts and in the minds of all people he inspired. The lessons he taught us and the legacy he left will continue through the generations. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at the day”. These words of Apostle Paul are so apt for Uncle Stanley. We love you and will miss you. Anand, Bindu and Kids
By Powlyne Manoharan
A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.Bob Proctor
I believe everyone has a mentor. That person who has guided you, supported you, molded you, instructed you and who most importantly, you looked up too. Uncle Stanley was one such mentor to me. He was my hero. I knew him first when he would visit Sunshine Children’s home. I was very little then but would see him often at the Orphanage growing up. But my first real interaction with him was when we (a few of us from the Orphanage) were accepted in MAHE, Manipal because of him. Even though he held a high position in Manipal, he always had time for us. I want to recount my personal interactions with him to bring out how much impact he has made in my life. I applied to the BSc. Radio diagnostics program at Manipal and was accepted. On our first day at the University, I was very excited to start when I got called to the office of the Vice Chancellor. Walking into that office that day, I considered it to be the worst day of my life at that time. Uncle Stanley was in the office with the Vice Chancellor and they persuaded me to not take chances with radiation in pursuing the program. In spite of my arguments that day, I was directed to the Physiotherapy program. Three months into the PT program, I got called again into the office and this time to persuade me to do the Nursing program. I hated nursing and would not accept it. However, I did not win the argument and joined Nursing. Uncle Stanley said that he wanted the best for my future. I went through the program with the intention of not passing just to prove him wrong. I look back today and realize how right he was – to be a nurse working in IT and making an impact on how doctors and nurses document in the US would never have become a reality if not for him. Before I went to Manipal, I was an extremely shy, introvert person but during my time with him in Manipal, he taught me to see my abilities and believed that I had good leadership skills. He would have me take the lesson study often in Sabbath school. I would be very nervous, and he would encourage me that all would be well. Thus, started this mentorship – relationship. I admired his spiritual life and his knowledge of the Bible and strove to be like him. Today, I am not afraid anymore to stand up in front of an audience and take the lesson or worship any more thanks to him. Uncle Stanley was not only an influence during my college days, but after as well. During my years after college, we argued a lot every time we met. I rebelled about everything and so we ended up arguing. There was this time I was working in Manipal Teaching Hospital in Nepal when one of the doctors from our Mission hospital in Banepa visited and stated that 6 nurses left at the same time and that they needed help. I felt very impressed to go and so gave in my resignation, packed my bags, took the bus to Banepa and told them that I was there to help. That same week, Uncle Stanley was in Banepa hearing about what I had done. He asked me to go back right away and that I would regret what I did. He called the Medical Director at Manipal and asked him to take me back. But I was adamant and refused to go back since I had given them my word. He called me a foolish girl and so agreed to let me be there for 3 months after which I needed to go back. I realized as soon as I started working how right he was again. Those three months were the worst days of my career and couldn’t wait for it to get over. And sure enough, as he had promised, two weeks before my three-month ended, I received an offer letter from the Medical Director of Manipal and this time to join the faculty of the newly started School of Nursing. I remember this other argument that I had with him. He asked me to find a partner and get married. I said, “no.” I told him that I was comfortable the way I was and wanted to be like him and Uncle Seva and accomplish great things like they had. He was mad with me as usual and called me foolish again. Years later when I found my husband, he was there for my wedding with that look of satisfaction, his smile and a nod of approval. I knew he was at last happy with me. After my wedding, I moved to the US and we only encountered each other when he visited Loma Linda. I had kids of my own now and we did not argue anymore. Every time we met, words never passed between us much. He would just give me that look, smile and nod with approval. That would be enough because with him, there was no faking “it.” I just knew that he was proud of me and my accomplishments. Uncle Stanley left a legacy in my life and I know that it is going to be difficult to be like him. He shoes are too big to fit into but I know that he will be a part of my family for as long as I live. He sleeps now. I will miss a mentor. I just can’t wait for the resurrection morning to see him give me that look smile and nod with approval. Until then, hushhhh Uncle Stanley, sleep tight.
By Eliah Srikakolli
The peace and calm of Montenegro was shattered by the news of the sudden passing away of our beloved brother Dr. John Stanley. His death has sent shock waves across the Adventist community. I was looking forward to hearing him present his paper when the horrific news came in. How can I possibly sum up the feelings and memories I have for Dr. John Stanley? How can I describe one of the greatest sons of the Southern Asia Adventist Church, someone so special, so erudite and so friendly in mere words? It was a privilege and an honor to be associated with him. Invariably, every meeting with him was an enriching one that eventually added value to my work. His warmth and generosity of spirit, his unmatched brilliance, his business acumen, reliability and friendliness and above all his humility has left a profound influence on me. Very seldom do we meet individuals and feel that one is in the presence of greatness of both intellectual and moral. Being a distinguished academician and an eminent scholar, he embodied extensive professional experience and outstanding competence in education, healthcare, and community development. A much-decorated man, he was conferred with the ‘Community Service Award,’ the ‘Centennial Research Award’ and the ‘Rising Personalities of India award.’ He served at various leadership positions in boards of corporate companies including Manipal Academy of Higher Education as CFO and was a member of the General Conference Auditing Services of Seventh-day Adventists for 20 years. As a consultant, he was known for transforming and turning around many corporate firms across the globe. His passing has left a void that will be very hard to fill both within the church and outside. He has left footprints on the sands of time – footprints that all would love to follow and emulate. Southern Asia Division has lost a giant on their advisory and will forever be indebted to him for the policies and amendments made in the interest of the church and the welfare of its members. I will miss him greatly and will always remember his smile. I think of his grieving mother, his siblings and host of friends and relatives during this difficult time. We can all but wait for that day, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus shall descend from the heavens to gather His loved ones home. On that glorious day, we shall all be reunited with Brother John Stanley to become heirs of salvation and journey upward to a place where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying. What a day that will be! Please accept my deepest and heartfelt condolences.
By Vincy Nelson
I am honored and blessed to have known Uncle Stanley. He was truly a blessing in my life. He was my mentor and above all like my guardian angel in the initial days of my career. The most brilliant, peaceful, intelligent observant, inspiring compassionate, responsible and humble person I have ever known. He will be truly missed and will always be remembered. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands to rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes “The Best”.
By Elvin Baby John
It was truly an honor to get acquainted with one of the best minds in India. I was one of those privileged people on the long list of lives he touched silently. Even though we were family I had a one on one experience with him ever since I started my own business. We have lost our precious mentor but we will cherish those memories and business wisdom he used to give is from time to time. It gives me immense pride to be part of the legacy which he leaves behind for all of us to emulate. I am waiting to meet him in heaven and continue from where we left off on earth- those intellectual discussions in the company of our beloved Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!
By Philip John
From Kottarakara, Mar Ivanios, Hosur & Takoma Park, he always loved the fish curry. Stanley Achan has gone home to sleep with the unrelenting hope of resurrection. He has fought the good fight, finished his race & kept the faith, henceforth laid for him the crown of righteousness, which the King will give it to him. Until then. Goodbye Stanley Achan
For more pictures visit- http://bit.do/johnstanley
Funeral Livestream (Archive)
- Order of Service – Click image to View
How He Passed Away
Shared by Sunny Wycliffe on SUD News (Tidwell’s Yahoo Group)
Here are some details of Dr. Stanley’s passing away. He apparently had a heart attack on Monday afternoon while attending a G.C. Auditing Services meeting in Montenegro, (part of former Yugoslavia). I believe there were 17 delegates from India and this was the second time they went to Montenegro for such a meeting. He went for a walk in the morning and later was telling Mathew that he barely did only 5,000 steps, while his doctor told him to do at least 10,000 steps a day. Dr. Stanley was to do a presentation later in the afternoon and a few division auditors were there. This was at a resort with beautiful surroundings but unfortunately the closest hospital was around 25-30 miles away. Montenegro is mostly mountainous and in the Balkans. He later complained of some stomach trouble and back pain and I believe he told the guy from the GC and Mathew of a pain radiating from his back to his hand. He was advised to see a doctor in the morning itself, since he was a bit unwell. He did not take it seriously and took some tablet and said that he would be fine. Then at around 2 o’clock he threw up and soon agreed to go to a hospital and went with the GCAS coordinator from England and the local church pastor. Because he got a bit serious on the way to the main hospital, the pastor diverted to a smaller local facility. He must have had a heart attack and passed away before they could reach the local facility. Now since the death occurred before they got to the hospital, the police require an autopsy, after which they will release the body to the GC. Adventist Risk Management will take responsibility to send the body to Bangalore for funeral arrangements. They have to coordinate it with the Indian authorities, but Montenegro does not have an Indian embassy and the closest mission is most probably in Belgrade, Serbia.
About Dr. Stanley
Dr. Stanley was born on May 5th, 1953 in Trivandrum, Kerala, India to John Peter and Joyce (neé Joshua) Lazarus. He was educated at the Seventh-Day Adventist school in Kottarakara, Kerala, and went on to finish his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Kerala. Ask anyone who knew him and they would tell you that Dr. Stanley had a gift when it came to numbers. He was known for his meticulous work and going the extra mile. While still studying, Dr. Stanley worked in the Kerala Section of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in September of 1968. He grew from the modest position of a bookkeeper with the church office to a globally renowned auditor – a testament to the faithfulness and favor of God. Quiet and assiduous, Dr. Stanley is proof that you are never too old to keep learning: he bagged diplomas in taxation and finance in the 90s, and finally a doctorate in philosophy in 2005. Through this he moved in his career, serving roles as Assistant Auditor for SERVSDA Private Ltd, Madras; Secretary for Indian Finance Association School Development Authority; Finance Consultant for General Conference of SDA Church; and Director, Chief Financial Officer for Manipal Academy of Higher Education. He consulted on finance for various other corporations, educational institutions and universities, health and wellness organizations, relief organizations, and more. Dr Stanley was also a member of High Power Committee on Savings & Efficiency, University of Grants Commission, New Delhi; Cost of Education Committee of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences; General Conference on Auditing Service Board; the American Accounting Association, and the Institute of Company Secretaries; as well as an associate with Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc. His accomplishments have been many and great, but the most striking legacy he left with us has been the lives he has touched and the people he has served with his compassion, kindness, and generosity. A close friend, John M. Fowler, said, “Stanley was to me a shining and silent example of grace, gracefully flowing to keep us all rooted to the foot of the Cross. To my knowledge, he never spoke about the cross, but he lived it”. For most of us, Dr. John Stanley was more than a colleague or a fellow churchgoer, he was a dear friend who in his small way made an impression on our lives.