ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, the Rev Dr William James Stuart, 84 years old, born on June 28, 1936, and passed away on May 29, 2021. We will remember him forever.

It is with a profound sadness that we report the death of our great partner, parent, friend and most Methodist theologian, the Rev Dr Jim Stuart on 29 May 2021. He fought his Parkinson’s Disease until the very end, fiercely and with grace and good spirit. He is welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven and is surely organizing his next protest.

His interest in the workings of grace and social justice never diminished during his many year battle with Parkinson’s. He also never lost his taste for Hokey Pokey ice cream. He is sorely missed.
Stuart, Rev. Dr William James (Jim) 28 June 1936 – 29 May 2021  Loved partner and husband of Gillian Southey.  Former husband of Ingrid. Beloved father and father-in-law of Peter and Marla (Santa Rosa, Ca), Fiona and Clemens (Berlin), Ian and Justine (Wellington).  The Quatsch Opa of Eva, Else and Leon, Sebastian, Magdalena, and of Amber, Alex, Jimmy and their families.  Brother and brother-in-law of Nick and Paulette (Coatesville, Pa) and Jerry and Diane (Augusta, Me).  Born in New York City, he has lived in the USA, Germany,  Switzerland, and Aotearoa New Zealand.  Jim loved life, cared deeply for people and strove for justice.  He touched many lives through his work as teacher, lecturer, community organiser, chaplain, minister and friend.

A celebration of his life will be held at Durham Street Methodist Church on Thursday, June 3 at 11am.  All are welcome.

Special thanks to the staff of the Medical Assessment Team and Ward 23 at Christchurch Public Hospital, Nurse Maude and the Parkinson’s Society for their care and support. Donations in memory of Jim may be made to the Parkinson's Society online only at bit.ly/wjstuart2905 (Memorial gifting website).

The service will be streamed live on YouTube at 11AM Christchurch time, 1AM Berlin time, and 4PM US PT/7PM US ET at https://youtu.be/4U5el7gLPls





Posted by Eva Stuart on June 3, 2021
A lifetime together is never enough. I am thinking of you all with so much love. My heart aches to hear the news. We pray for everyone who has had the opportunity to encounter such an amazing man, I am so grateful to have met Jim and was able to have such jokingly memories with. I am forever grateful for your hospitality and memories that have touched my life forever. Love you Jim, you will be missed. -Cody
Posted by Jerry Stuart on June 3, 2021
Dear Brother-Being the youngest of three brothers I cherish my later years with you. Especially when we had our Family Reunion here in Maine in1996 time surely flies by. You flew in a couple days before everyone arrived and we had a chance to really talk. When everyone departed after a week together we took a day to visit our Camp Ranger Lodge in Naples Maine. As kids this is where Mom & Dad sent us every August to have some time together. Well at camp, I didn't know they had an initiation of new campers. Now remember I was the youngest of three brothers being 12 years old and Nicky 15 and you 18. We were in the main lodge with everyone gathering and Jim calls me upstairs to this room. I walk in and the room is completely dark. Jimmy was in there and I don't remember the the exact words you said to me but you scared the heebeejeebee's out of me..
Thanks you being my big Brother I cherish the time with you on my visit to New Zealand and many phone calls.
Love and miss you,
Jerry
Posted by Dr. T. from Stanford on June 2, 2021
To the Stuart family: I wish all of you all my deepest condolences. Peter Stuart- I never had the pleasure to meet your father - although I hope someday I will. 
I know from your goodness that he was a very special man. I am honored to be your friend. My heart goes out to you and your daughters and wife. Because your father raised you I know he must have had a gifted spirit. You really embody goodness and love and patience and understanding.
And this has all spread onto your family and your lovely wife and beautiful daughters. I am fortunate to have had the pleasure to watch your family grow over the last 25 years. Although it seems like yesterday we met, not a week goes by I don’t enjoy the memories of our family’s times together. I mourn for your loss of your father. my pain for your loss is only a tiny fraction of what you must endure. I am here for you Brother. Your friend Randy
Posted by Nixon Stuart on June 2, 2021
Dear Brother,
We didn’t spend a lot of time together in our later years but as kids we share a bed room together. During our younger years we had our difference and that didn’t include a calm solution to all things but I was bigger and could control most issues. We alway didn’t see eye to eye but we did get along and look out for one another.I will miss you.
Say high to Mom.
Posted by Brian Hartley on June 2, 2021
Dr. Stuart was an avid practitioner of developing connections and collaborating with others in the interest of formulating experiential learning for his students during his teaching stint at Greenville College in the 1970's. Jim reached to Saint Meinrad Seminary and Archabbey to construct a dialogical experience for students enrolled in his Basic Methods in Theology course. Having studied in Europe in the 1960’s, he was deeply influenced by the Ecumenical Movement which developed as a result of the Second Vatican Council. Committed to creating avenues for learning and dialogue between Protestants and Catholics, Jim forged a relationship with a sister institution which continues today, almost 50 years later, as a venue for both student and faculty learning. It has been my privilege to take two trips there annually for the better part of three decades, building on the relationships Dr. Stuart developed a half-century ago.

On a more personal note, Jim’s oral and written examinations (structured on the European model) were my most formidable tests as an undergraduate. They challenged me to think both broadly and deeply about the subject matter and honed my skills as both a speaker and writer. And, my trip with his class to Saint Meinrad in the spring of 1976, alongside the project I developed for the Religion Seminar on Ecumenism a year later, contributed mightily to my thirst for learning more about church history, in general, and monasticism, in particular. In addition, Dr. Stuart served as marriage counselor for many students, including Darlene and myself, and my wife claims that his course in Christian Ethics was probably the most stretching academic exercise she ever undertook.

On behalf of Darlene and myself, Jim's many former students here at Greenville, the faculty and the administration, we thank God for Dr. Stuart's ministry among us and send our condolences to his family.

Brian T. Hartley, Ph.D.
Dean of the Faculty and Chief Academic Officer
Posted by Kim Tay on June 2, 2021
I remember Jim with much warmth from many years ago when I was a student at Canterbury University. Jim was chaplain and he and Gillian were fabulous - helping get our peace activities off the ground. Jim brought wisdom, humour, and kindness - and a lot of fun. Thank you Jim, for your presence. Much love to you, and to Gillian, and my heart felt condolences to your family. Thank you for setting up this page - it's wonderful to see photos and be able to remember this great human. Arohanui.
Posted by Peter Stuart on June 1, 2021
Dear Dad - miss you greatly. I regret only not spending more time in the same hemisphere with you. My girls developed a nose for good Cafés under your tutelage - I suspect that skill will be passed on. May you find the Kingdom of Heaven you were always looking for, and may you find good company there (and maybe a good caf or two).
Your loving son, Peter

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Eva Stuart on June 3, 2021
A lifetime together is never enough. I am thinking of you all with so much love. My heart aches to hear the news. We pray for everyone who has had the opportunity to encounter such an amazing man, I am so grateful to have met Jim and was able to have such jokingly memories with. I am forever grateful for your hospitality and memories that have touched my life forever. Love you Jim, you will be missed. -Cody
Posted by Jerry Stuart on June 3, 2021
Dear Brother-Being the youngest of three brothers I cherish my later years with you. Especially when we had our Family Reunion here in Maine in1996 time surely flies by. You flew in a couple days before everyone arrived and we had a chance to really talk. When everyone departed after a week together we took a day to visit our Camp Ranger Lodge in Naples Maine. As kids this is where Mom & Dad sent us every August to have some time together. Well at camp, I didn't know they had an initiation of new campers. Now remember I was the youngest of three brothers being 12 years old and Nicky 15 and you 18. We were in the main lodge with everyone gathering and Jim calls me upstairs to this room. I walk in and the room is completely dark. Jimmy was in there and I don't remember the the exact words you said to me but you scared the heebeejeebee's out of me..
Thanks you being my big Brother I cherish the time with you on my visit to New Zealand and many phone calls.
Love and miss you,
Jerry
Posted by Dr. T. from Stanford on June 2, 2021
To the Stuart family: I wish all of you all my deepest condolences. Peter Stuart- I never had the pleasure to meet your father - although I hope someday I will. 
I know from your goodness that he was a very special man. I am honored to be your friend. My heart goes out to you and your daughters and wife. Because your father raised you I know he must have had a gifted spirit. You really embody goodness and love and patience and understanding.
And this has all spread onto your family and your lovely wife and beautiful daughters. I am fortunate to have had the pleasure to watch your family grow over the last 25 years. Although it seems like yesterday we met, not a week goes by I don’t enjoy the memories of our family’s times together. I mourn for your loss of your father. my pain for your loss is only a tiny fraction of what you must endure. I am here for you Brother. Your friend Randy
his Life

Celebrating the Life of Rev Dr William James (Jim) Stuart

Order of service

Celebrating the Life of Rev Dr William James (Jim) Stuart

Order of service

Short personal retirement statement 2006 Dr. Jim Stuart

I don’t think I’d be very good at writing a ‘short’ biography at this stage in my life.  So I share a few impressions of ministry after fifty years at it.  For me ministry has meant many different challenges: the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made along the way, the places I have been, the joys I have shared with others, the disappointments I have encountered, the challenges and excitement of new ideas, the many hats I have worn: minister, teacher, counsellor, community activist, chaplain, theologian, some time scholar and writer.



Ministry has taken me from the ghettoes of North Philadelphia to the narrow streets of Tübingen, Germany, from Tübingen back to Philadelphia, from Philadelphia to Zürich, the home of the Reformer Zwingli, from Zürich to a small college in Illinois, from Illinois through the South Pacific to Auckland, New Zealand, from New Zealand back to Oregon, from Oregon back to New Zealand at the bottom of the world.



Along the way ministry has afforded me ‘stopovers’ in England, Spain, Italy, Israel/Palestine, Australia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Mexico – even Alaska.  On this journey I’ve met some extraordinary people who have expanded my understanding of the complex world in which we all live, who have taught me the importance of compassion and commitment, of hospitality and generosity, of acceptance and grace.  Although separated from them now they have left an indelible impression on me.Much of who I am today in the best sense is their legacy.  I am profoundly indebted to them.



Finally, along the way, I’ve experienced numerous kairos moments, moments that have taught me the importance of such Gospel values as justice, love, the power of forgiveness, the necessity of faith, and the enduring patience and grace of God.  These moments have included the civil rights struggles, the Clergyman Concerned movement during the Vietnam War, the Anti-apartheid movement, the struggle for human rights in Central America and Singapore, the recognition of Maori self-determination under Te Tiriti O Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand and many more.  I have come to believe that God speaks to us most clearly in those moments where people yearn for justice and dignity and, in so doing, reminding all of us what it means to be a human being created in the image of God.



The Methodist Church has offered me the framework for my ministry.  It has nurtured me, supported me and given me the freedom to grow into the fullness of God’s grace.  Like its founder, John Wesley, I now understand my ministry as a ‘following the leadings of Providence’.  This has been my guiding principle and Wesley’s own life and ministry has helped me to understand my own journey and the presence of God in myself and the many people I’ve met along the way.  So I close with Wesley’s words, “I know He will do all things well.  And therein I rest.  As to the things which I do not understand, I let them alone.  Time will shew.’ (September 13,1774)



I regret I can’t be at Conference and send my warmest greetings to the members of Conference, especially those who I know and worked with during my years at Lewis and Clark College



Jim Stuart

29 May, 2006

Recent stories

Lifting People Up

Shared by vanessa musgrave on July 26, 2021
I was a student of Prof Stuart's at Greenville College in the early-mid 1970s. I took care, or baby sat as they call it, for the kids sometimes, and hung around the house on other occasions. I remember standing in their kitchen, relishing all the activity with the kids and family, and Prof coming in shortly before leaving with Ingrid for some other campus event or commitment. Ingrid and Prof Stuart introduced me to Nutella which was not available in the US at that time.  Ingrid's family would send them some from Germany. It was the first time I ever had anything chocolate on bread-which is now very common in the US. And Toblerone!  I remember the pet guinea pigs and soccer matches and classes.  And I most treasure his wisdom and advice when I had serious personal decisions to make. He was not judgmental. He was helpful, spiritual, calm, thoughtful, compassionate and persistent, all things I needed at those times, whether while at GC or later in my life. He demonstrated excellent ways of handling crises, ways I internalized and use to this day.

He also gave me an opportunity while at GC that taught me many things. It was the experiential learning that I craved, constantly nagged at GC for, and he was good at. He received a grant to help a small group of minority families living in crowded trailers in the middle of a cornfield near Greenville. They had been ripped off by a land development scheme. They were impoverished families, trying to escape the crime and despondency of East St. Louis IL. The grant was for three actions: 1) legal action against the perpetrator, 2) provide gas money for GC students to tutor children from this group who were falling behind, and 3) get some neighborhood development and infrastructure. I was one that would go to the school 1-2 times a week for a semester to tutor a second grade boy. He was smart but underprivileged.  He taught me what that meant, what it means to grow up without the exposure to society and opportunities that I had, as poor as I thought we were.  I have stunning, simple, gut-wrenching stories with that boy that imprinted on me deeply. Prof Stuart leveraged that grant into trips with the children from this development to eat at a restaurant-which they had never done before. They didn't know what a menu was. We took them to Southern IL University dental school to get dental exams, cleaning, toothbrushes and toothpaste and learn how to use them. We took them to the St. Louis Zoo and other places to show them life can be better. They never received mail-they didn't know what a letter was. So I sent mail to my student and his family. Through Prof's persistent initiative and pressure on government agencies the neighborhood got electricity and sewers, a basketball court, a geodesic dome neighborhood center designed and built by SIU, and roads to their homes so the kids didn't have to trudge through muddy fields to get to the school bus. He brought some dignity and hope to them. I don't recall what happened in the legal case, but I know Prof did all he could.

This was a profound experience for me and I have shared it many, many times to help  the rest of us understand, even a little bit, what it is like not to have what we take for granted. I have had opportunities to do similar things, and I am happy to say it saved human lives, wildlife and farms, and the environment for military veterans, immigrants and others. Not that I didn't have compassion before, but Prof showed me other ways, higher ways to recognize opportunities to demonstrate it and use it for greater good. 

My own mother passed away 7 June 2021. She also was an outstanding example of how to live and serve, and how to move on to heavenly rewards. She went easily and happily, looking forward to having my father help her across the river, as she tends to stumble alot. She said Jesus and my Dad had to wait a long time for her and she was ready to meet them again and get on with it.

I have just retired and, of course, been thinking about what I have accomplished in my career and life to date. The opportunities from Mom, Dad and Prof Stuart are the highlights of my life. All my education was but the backdrop, a resource, for the true life tools one gets from experience and people such as them. Tools we can use to contribute and be a good steward of our world, and serve God. The world was a better place for having them all here. There is a huge void now that we must fill with wonderful memories and the lessons and examples they taught us. 

"Perhaps they are not stars but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost one pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." Inspired by an Eskimo legend.

Jim's hospitality

Shared by Jim Zahniser on June 13, 2021
I remember visiting Jim in Aukland back in 1984 and he took me to a black sand beach and several other cool places. But the amazing thing was that he thought to include me in an overnight at a Maori maera, where we were treated with such wonderful hospitality, respect and grace. Even though I was relatively young and clueless (21), I was aware enough at the time to realize it was a very special experience and that I should be very grateful to have the opportunity to be a participant-observer in the community's meetings and rituals. What a precious memory that was, and it has stayed with me over these past many decades. It made me want to be hospitable to and welcoming of strangers - to treat them as occasions for joy, just as the people at the maera had treated me. (I'm sorry for any mis-spellings.) 

Jim had a capacity for connection and inclusivity, a passion for justice and mercy. (When he found out I was going into clinical psychology after graduating from college, he encouraged me: "Yes, you will learn some techniques, but never forget to be compassionate.")  Jim's qualities have both challenged and inspired me over the years, especially because he lived them out - he embodied them - and didn't merely espouse them.  
Shared by Johj Thornley on June 3, 2021
I had some contacts with Jim in the course of collating material for my journal Music in the Air.  He shared the stories of his  ministries in inner city African-American congregations, where there had been a move by White families to the suburbs, and later, to a rural country congregation in the Appalachian mountains.  Jim told me he was always happier in small size congregations at the margins of society, than in big city congregations full of academic people.



In an issue of Music in the air Winter 2004 he wrote the story of his ministry in Hardwick Creek, population of around 1000 people where the members referred to their Sunday worship as ‘meetings’ in ‘the little brown church in the valley’.



The article is titled ‘Stumbling into Grace’, and was published in Music in the Air Winter 2004.



I want to share his encounter with Joe Mountz, senior steward at the Hardwick Creek church, who introduced him to the church and its people. Joe,known as ‘Mountain Man Joe’, was a busy man who ran a delivery service, but he gave some time to make Jim feel at home in his first weeks of ministry.



‘In the period of a few short weekends he introduced me to just about everyone in the region, taught me to what he knew about local customs and practices of the mountain folk, and along the way, pointed out to me where the local stills were in the hills and warned me about entering those areas unannounced. Joe listened intently to my first three sermons after I arrived, but from then on began to fall asleep when I was preaching. One day I asked him why my sermons were putting him to sleep and he smiled and replied, ‘Well, preacher,’ he said, ‘I listened carefully in your first three sermons and figured you were all right.’ After that , I didn’t need to know about you.’ As far as Joe was concerned, I knew the Gospel and he could rest easy in church after a week of long hours and hard work delivering goods.’



Apart from us both sharing a progressive theology, we also felt the gospel strongly in the arts of music, story and  poetry.



I shall remember my short times sharing with Jim as fellowship in depth.



Haere Ra, e hoa



John  Thornley, Palmerston North