Rev. Dr. Charles F.'s Story

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The Reverend Dr. Charles F. Stratton, devoted husband of Jean Thomson Stratton, died peacefully in Rochester at the age of 90 on May 30, 2017, surrounded by his family. Dr. Stratton was born in Paterson, NJ and was a Presbyterian minister for 66 years, serving congregations in Cornwall-on-Hudson, Ballston Spa, and Youngstown, NY. During 26 years of retirement in Hadley, NY he continued pastoral work as Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls, NY. He trained as an aerial combat pilot in the US Navy Air Corp and studied aeronautical engineering at RPI before graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1948. He received a B.D. and D.Min. from Princeton Theological Seminary and was a missionary in Meshed and Teheran, Iran, for 8 years, where he taught, preached, and employed engineering skills in projects that included constructing a well to supply the Mission Hospital in Meshed with clean water.
Dr. Stratton was a dynamic preacher, compassionate pastor, encouraging mentor, and generous friend. He was sincerely interested in people and cultivated a wide circle of friends across many years and miles. As a community leader, he was particularly skilled in guiding people to develop and creatively use their gifts. An early advocate for LGBT rights and inclusion in the Presbyterian church, he was a tireless champion for human dignity and justice. He shared his love of aviation, mountain climbing, canoeing, and stargazing with family and friends by sharing a Citabria with his son, leading canoe trips on the Delaware and Hudson Rivers, swimming in Lake Luzerne and Lake George, climbing Mt. Demavand in Iran, and hiking in the Adirondacks. He enjoyed the wind in his face as he navigated winding country roads on his motorbike. A skilled woodworker, he built furniture for his family, and with his wife, Jean, designed and hand-built three cabins where they lived in retirement.
He is remembered with gratitude and deep appreciation for his personal warmth, integrity, strength of character, and enduring curiosity about the natural world. Wonder, mystery, beauty, and goodness were themes he celebrated, and are an enduring legacy among the many lives he touched.
Dr. Stratton was devoted to his family and is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Jean Thomson Stratton of Rochester, NY; son, David Stratton (Wendy) of Dickinson, TX; daughters Anne Stratton of Rochester, NY, Ellen Stratton (Bill Westhafer) of Malvern, PA, and Amelia (Scott) Stratton-Smith of Rochester, NY. Also survived by four grandchildren: Thomson Westhafer, James Westhafer, Jeremy Stratton-Smith, and Lydia Stratton-Smith.
Memorial donations may be given to the Charles F. Stratton Scholarship Fund, care of the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, 100 Church Street, Youngstown, NY 14174. A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held at Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY on Saturday, June 24th at 2:00 PM.
For directions or to leave a message for his family, visit www.MillerofRochester.com.
Published on June 3, 2017
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