January 18, 1935 – August 25, 2021
Reverend Stanley Arnold Sharkey was born on January 18th, 1935 in Hamilton, Ontario. He entered Jesus’ arms peacefully at 5:15 AM on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 with his daughter Monica at his side. He was 86 years old.
He was predeceased by his father and mother (Stanley Sharkey and Ethel Roberts) and his loving wife of 62 years, Leona Sharkey and his two younger brothers, David and Earl Sharkey.
He is lovingly survived by his eldest son, Stanley Sharkey Jr. (Summer), his daughter Monica Thate (Brian), and his youngest son, Stephen Sharkey (Donna), his brother Donald Sharkey (Josiane) and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his grandchildren Nathan Sharkey (Julia), Natasha Young (Aaron), Brandon Sharkey (Jo), Amanda Street (Jonathan), Brook Thate, Stephen Thate, Sarah Thate and his great-grandchildren Taylor, Tyson, Xana, Morgana, Kaleb, Makenya, Emmerson, Everlee, Jaden, Orion, Paisley, Haven, Honour and Leo Stanley, whom he loved so dearly.
Stan was the eldest of four boys and grew up in both Hamilton and Guelph, Ontario before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Morse Code Radio Operator at the age of 21. He worked so hard in his training that he finished with the highest academic average in his class and, because of this, was awarded the privilege of choosing where his first posting would be.
Stan was an incredible athlete and enjoyed a variety of sports, his favourite being hockey. He was so talented at hockey that he was labeled an “NHL prospect” by Toronto newspapers and did in fact come very close to playing in the NHL. He played several years in the New York Rangers “farm system” and many of his fellow players went on to become NHL hall of famers. Stan was still a great hockey player in older age and won the trophy for “most gentlemanly player” on his “old-timers” hockey team.
He also enjoyed baseball, basketball, wrestling and table tennis (ping pong). He was such an amazing ping pong player that he even played against a champion from China and beat him in a 3-game series. The ping pong champion couldn’t believe Stan could return all of his “slams”. He wasn’t used to anyone being able to return his shots before, but Stan sure did.
Even in his 80’s, Stan’s reflexes were so good that while he was vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, he beat the undefeated ping pong player in the whole resort!
Back in 1957, Stan’s first project in the Air Force was on Cornwall Island, one of the uninhabited Canadian islands high in the Northwest Territories. He was there for a period of 4 or 5 months as a radio operator working to photograph and make official claim to the world authorities that those islands were Canada’s and no one else’s. Prior to his work there, Russia had been trying to claim the islands as their own.
After his mission was complete in the Northwest Territories, Stan was stationed at the Air Force base in Whitehorse, Yukon where he met the beautiful and fun-loving Tina Leona Hildebrandt in the midsummer of 1958. Leona worked at the Air Force base in the “Mess Hall” serving food and Stan thought she was the most beautiful girl there.
Leona always said how he was absolutely the most handsome man on the base and called him “Blue Eyes”. Stan and Leona had a whirlwind romance that saw them married on October 28th 1958, only 3 months from when they first met.
The young newlyweds started attending the Whitehorse Pentecostal Church where Stan re-dedicated his life to the Lord and Leona gave her heart to Jesus for the very first time. Stan and Leona soon welcomed their firstborn son, Stanley Jr., and their daughter, Monica, a year and a half later.
After Stan’s time in the Air Force, he enjoyed jobs such as being the manager of a variety food and hardware store in Mayo, Yukon, and later, at the Unemployment Insurance Commission as a Claims Officer in Whitehorse.
Even though he enjoyed this job, after a couple of years, he had a strong feeling that his life should consist of more than just having a good job, a steady paycheck and a roof over his head. He felt that there had to be something more important in life and that was learning God’s Word and being open to be used by Him.
With the support of Leona, they sold their home in Whitehorse and moved to Peterborough, Ontario where Stan started attending Eastern Pentecostal Bible College in 1962 and was, once again, one of the top students in his class.
In 1967, Stan and Leona welcomed their third child, Stephen, into their lives and in 1968, daughters Lisa Sharkey and Judy Maas along with many foster children.
Stan went on to be a minister for over 50 years, a vocation he loved. He pastored and/or was involved in ministry in Carr (Nippissing), Ontario, Fort St. John, B.C., Golden, B.C., Fort Nelson, B.C., Dawson Creek, B.C., Abbotsford, B.C., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Ladner, B.C., and Grand Forks, B.C.
Stan enjoyed being a member of the Gideons and before that was a bursar and business administrator for the Western Pentecostal Bible College for 8 years. He was given a leave of absence from this position to go down to Costa Mesa, California to attend a 2-year Master of Arts program at the Southern California College. He worked so hard that he completed the 2-year program in only 1 year, which was unheard of.
Stan was an intellectually accomplished person but carried himself humbly. He quietly succeeded at just about everything he tried his hand to over the years. For instance, he aced the real estate course, led both college hockey teams and basketball teams to win championships as their coach and was even studying to become a certified general accountant as well.
After Stan retired from his pastoral work, he and Leona bought and operated the Riviera R.V. Park in Grand Forks. They enjoyed their retirement there as they operated the park for 9 years and, after selling the park to their kids, lived on the property for another 14 years while they enjoyed their grandchildren.
Stan’s hobbies included playing music with Leona. He would play his steel guitar so beautifully while Leona played her 12-string guitar and sang. He also enjoyed playing Sudoku, even the hardest puzzles, to help keep his mind sharp, tinkering with broken or tangled items around the house and economizing in any way he could.
He was a pillar in his family and will be dearly missed by many, from all across the country. He’ll be remembered most by his kind and gentle spirit and his faithful service to the Lord. His wish was that everyone would come to know Jesus; the One who paid for our sin so that we can have relationship with God forever. Stan always said how amazed he was when the Lord forgave him of all his sin and he knows the Lord will show His loving mercy to anyone who repents and turns to Him.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, August 28th, 2021 at the Gospel Chapel in Grand Forks, B.C. at 12 pm with the burial to follow at the Evergreen Cemetery in Grand Forks, then a tea at 2:30 pm in the Gospel Chapel gym.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Harry Rusk Ministries – Box 630 Carrot Creek, Alberta, Canada, T0E 0G0.
Funeral arrangements made by the Baker Family of the Grand Forks Funeral Home.
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