David Paul Stark Sr. passed from this life to heaven on November 22, 2021, at St. Luke’s East Hospital, Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He was born March 10, 1942, in Muskegon, Michigan – the fourth of ten children of Rev. Charles William and Dorothea Mae (Vermilya) Stark. Dave had many fond memories of his father preaching and often leading the singing, while his mother played the piano or other instruments in accompaniment. Dave’s love for the Lord and singing became one of his life’s greatest passions. From childhood to his final days, Dave carried the Word of God in his heart. A family favorite chorus at mealtime was “Thank you, Lord.”
While still a young child, the Lord spoke to his heart about his sin, and he knelt by his bed, accepting God’s gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This decision guided him throughout the rest of his life.
After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1960, he attended Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri and was a beloved tenor in choir, quartet, and a mixed group. As part of the college’s musical groups, Dave traveled and shared his love of the Lord in song, meeting and making friends that would last a lifetime. He also worked in the camera department at Bruce Smith Drug Store. This fueled his love for photography and developing pictures in his dark room.
In 1964, he married Carla Johnson, and God blessed them with four children. He began his own business, The Repair Shop, specializing in heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing. With his children often in tow, Dave managed to create a career fixing what others broke and taught his children “on the job” to be craftsmen and children of God. While he worked, he often whistled, or sang praise songs to the Lord. His customers soon knew of his faith in the Lord Jesus. His work reflected his desire to please the Lord in all things. Dave enjoyed his work and often said he would never retire.
After being single for several years, Dave fell in love, and married Jolyn Thiessen on November 30, 1985. God blessed them with 36 years together. The children and grandchildren were important to both of them, and attending their sporting events, plays, concerts, piano recitals and church/school Christmas programs brought much joy. As Dave and Jolyn prayed together, each family member was brought to the Lord by name.
He enjoyed traveling, and as often as possible wanted to go to Michigan to visit family and see the Lake and places of interest along the way. One trip was especially memorable. In 1995, The sons treated Dave and Jolyn to a 3-week visit to Germany where they were all living.
Church was a vital part of Dave’s life. He served in various capacities but most often in the music area. This involved directing the choir, leading morning worship, singing solos or specials with men’s quartets, and singing duets with Jolyn. They ministered together at various events and Christian Women’s Club meetings. He so enjoyed the Christ Community Friday men’s Bible study and would often pick a hymn to have them all sing together. In more recent years, he joined the Creekmoor Men’s Bible study, and learned how to use zoom when he couldn’t attend in person. These men blessed his life in many ways, and he often prayed for their concerns.
Sharing his faith in Christ and wanting others to know Him was a passion for Dave. While dining out, his food often got cold as he was getting to know the server so he could share God’s good news with them. He had a gift of asking the right questions and would soon know an area of need in their lives. He shared with them answers from Scripture. As a teenager he memorized scripture as he ran cross country, and these verses were often quoted in visits with individuals or at Bible studies. Navigators’ Bible memorization packs were shared with others to get God’s Word into their lives.
The past few years of health challenges, and rehabilitation from several strokes didn’t stop him. When he reluctantly realized he could no longer work outside the home, he found projects to do at a slower pace at home. During his last hospitalization, he lamented that there were so many unfinished projects. He never lost his love of learning and fascination with history. He was very creative in finding ways to make a tool to accomplish a task when one wasn’t readily available.
Those who he loved and will miss him most include his wife, Jolyn; sons David (Doris), Phillip, Stephen (Rachel); daughter Robyn (Keith) Payne; grandchildren: Phillip Jr. (Hannah), Lukas, Brandt, Lucia, Joshua, Simon and Sam, and two great grandchildren, Drew and Alexander. Four sisters: Joan (Don), Jan (Butch), Julie, and Janell (Harvey), one brother, Jim (Sue); brother-in-law, Gene Whittum; sisters-in-law JoAnn Thiessen, and Lavada (Dan) Klinger, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Louis, Shirley, Charles (Chuck), Jack, sister-in-law, Sandra, and brother-in-law, Lauren Thiessen.
Memorial Services will be held on December 4, 2021 at 11:00 am at Christ Community Church 14200 Kenneth Rd, Leawood, KS 66224.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to:
Restoration House of Greater Kansas City, 25713 S State Route K, Harrisonville, MO 64701
Restoration House offers long-term, residential housing with faith-based restorative programs and services for adult women and minor girl survivors of human trafficking. https://restorationhousekc.org;
Elam Ministries USA
5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 217, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Elam Ministries was founded in 1990 by senior Iranian leaders with a mission to strengthen and expand the church in the Iran region and beyond. Christ Community partners with Elam Ministries to support their outreach and equipping efforts through prayer, educational events, financial support and an annual Bible drive https://www.elam.com;
Christ Community Evangelical Free Church 14200 Kenneth Road, Leawood, KS 66224. This is the church Dave and Jolyn have called home for the past 20 plus years. The service will be live-streamed at https://cckc.online.church/
David will be missed. He was a passionate witness for the Lord.
A remarkable father and self-made man. There are never enough words or time to say we love you. Your voice will echo in our minds for generations to come.
I love the choices for “in lieu of flowers”….all very worthy and meaningful causes. Though I’m considerably younger than Uncle Dave, I share many of the same memories of the Stark family. Especially grandma playing the organ at church and Grandpa leading the family in singing “Thank you Lord” at mealtimes. I also have fond memories of visiting our Missouri cousins…camping in the Ozarks and other fun things. I even remember one of my first times of being in a real theatre watching “Swiss Family Robinson!”? Also, Aunt Carla’s beef brisket!
Uncle David will be missed, especially for our 4th of July annual family picnic at our favorite Lake Michigan. Though I don’t see her often enough, Jolyn has been such a special part of our family and wonderful wife to Uncle Dave for 36 years❤ He will be missed along with our other beloved family members who preceded him. One day we shall meet again thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who made it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins. And I’m eternally grateful for our upbringing and for those who taught us the Truth in God’s Word. Love, Denise (or “Peaches” as Uncle Dave still called me?)