God gave Stan Wilging one set of leadership principles for his life and his relationships. As a husband he was a servant-leader, as a father he was a servant leader, and as a deacon in the church he was a servant leader. The most critical need in churches, in communities, and in families is principled leadership that does not seek to exalt, but chooses the path of humility, following the example of Christ himself.
A humble carpenter himself, Stan was a Christ-follower who strove to model his Lord and Savior in word and deed. Stan went to be with the Lord Sunday morning December 15, 2013, from Lexington Court Care Center. He was 85.
Born July 27, 1928, in Mansfield, he was the eighth child born to Philip and Catherine (Wenhardt) Wilging. He was graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1947, served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in the Army Hospital, and was honorably discharged as Corporal.
After the war, Stan returned to Mansfield and began a 44-year career as a building contractor. Reputation was more important than status, and Stan guarded the value of the Wilging name in Mansfield. He operated his business with the high moral values of honesty and generosity that resulted in countless friends and continued respect for the Wilging name. He was a perfect model of a man who taught not so much with words – but by example.
He also carried out those principles in his home. A “hero” to his girls, Stan taught them the value of a good work ethic and admonished them to always “go the extra mile” for others. He taught them confidence, kindness and generosity. He modeled a strong love for people, peppered with an amiable sense of humor.
Stan was a member of Gideons International and Berean Baptist Church, where he served the congregation in numerous capacities including the overseer role of deacon.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years and best friend, Virginia “Ginger” (Brownfield) Wilging, whom he married September 30, 1950; daughters, Taylor (Thomas) Lombardo of Howard, Ohio, Brenda Locke and Lee Ann (Don) Starkey both of Mansfield; grandchildren Nathan (Whitney) Paff of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Jolene (Nick) Sarno of Elida, Ohio, Emily Paff of Mt. Vernon, Christopher (Amber) Locke of Richwood, Ohio, Shannon (Josh) Lykins of Mansfield, and Amanda (John) Doyle of Mansfield; 19 great-grandchildren; brothers and sister, Merle (Dayle) Wilging of Baton Rouge, La., Adaline Schlegel of Mansfield, Robert Wilging of Moreno Valley, Calif., and Bruce (Sondra) Wilging of Mansfield; brother-in-law, Harlan Laser of Mansfield; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Lillian (Hod) Bolesky, Viola Wilging, Eleanor (Sam) Korday, Catherine Laser, Charles Schlegel and Ruth Wilging.
The Wilging family will receive friends 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Snyder Funeral Home, 2553 Lexington Ave., Mansfield. A worship service giving glory to God for the life of Stan Wilging will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Berean Baptist Church, 2145 Middle Bellville Road, Mansfield, with Pastor Jim Berry officiating. Burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park, where American Legion Post 535 will hold graveside military honors.
Contributions in Stan's memory to Mansfield Christian School or Harbor Light Hospice may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Wilging family, and private messages of sympathy and support may be made at SnyderFuneralHomes.com.