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Pastor had a love of singing, preaching

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, 11:00 p.m.
The Rev. John H. Stubbs of North Huntingdon died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, of congestive heart failure. He was 75.
The Rev. John H. Stubbs of North Huntingdon died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, of congestive heart failure. He was 75.

John Stubbs was a quiet man.

“But he absolutely loved to talk,” said his wife of 20 years, Janet Stubbs. “At the hospitals and nursing homes, they used to call him a social butterfly. He just loved to talk, visit and preach.”

The Rev. John H. Stubbs of North Huntingdon died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, of congestive heart failure. He was 75.

The Rev. Stubbs was born Aug. 3, 1942, in McKeesport to the late John and Sue (Jones) Stubbs. He graduated from Sewickley Senior High School in 1960 and earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and American history from the Indiana State Teachers College.

He earned the “reverend” title after graduating with a master of divinity degree from Dayton Theological Seminary.

During his time at the seminary, the Rev. Stubbs was a member of the concert choir and was featured in several solo performances, kick-starting a lifelong love of Christian music.

“He loved to sing,” Janet said. “He had a professional baritone voice.”

The Rev. Stubbs entered ministry with the United Methodist Church, serving in several northern Pennsylvania churches before transferring in 1994 to the Church of the Nazarene denomination and retiring in 2005.

The Rev. Stubbs and Janet met at Calvary Assembly Church in Irwin.

“I was one of the pianists there, and he was a member of the choir and a Sunday school teacher,” she said.

They were married in June 1997 at Arona Church of the Nazarene. They enjoyed attending Christian concerts and occasionally going to the movies.

“But it was mostly just hanging around the house,” Janet said. “He was so busy with the church. It was kind of our focal point.”

In later years, Rev. Stubbs attended Circleville United Methodist Church, sang in its chancel choir and was a member of several church groups. He and his wife also regularly visited the elderly.

“We went to several different nursing homes. We'd hold services and he'd preach to the folks there,” Janet said.

The Rev. Stubbs also had one final chance to enjoy the family's Christmas tradition of preparing “Johnny Bull pudding,” a dish made from suet, molasses, candied fruit and spices.

“It started with his mother, and his two sisters made it,” Janet said. “Now his two nieces, Susan McAvoy and Diane Rhodes, make it.”

Janet said her husband prized his loved ones above all else.

“He was very proud of his Welsh heritage on his mother's side, he loved the grandkids to pieces and he loved being with his family and my family,” she said.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret V. (Westfall) Stubbs.

He is survived by his wife, Janet (Switzer) Stubbs; three stepchildren, Wendy M. Yedlick; Adam Switzer and wife, Katie; and Jennifer (Paul) Goldstrohm and husband, Paul; five grandchildren; and two granddaughters due in March.

Viewing will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at Norwin Church of the Nazarene, with an 11 a.m. funeral service to follow. Interment will be at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in McKeesport.

Memorial donations can be sent to Norwin Church of the Nazarene, 110 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon, PA 15642 or Circleville United Methodist Church, 11600 Parkway Drive, North Huntingdon, PA 15642.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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