Obituary: Larry Stamper, Pastor Emeritus and Former Mayor

Larry Lee Stamper May 23, 1935 – October 5, 2021

Known as Larry Stamper by most, he was also proud to be called Brother Luv and Poppy by his family and friends. He was born to Minerva and Norman Stamper on May 23, 1935, in the small town of Muncie, Indiana. Larry was the youngest of six children, two girls, and 4 boys, all of whom pre-deceased him.

Larry Stamper

Larry graduated from Helix High in La Mesa in 1953, received a BA from Point Loma College in 1958, and in 1965 received a Master’s Degree from the Claremont School of Theology. In 1992 he was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Letters from Woodbury University.

He lived most of his childhood in the San Diego area where he met his late wife, Marilyn “Sue” Colvin. Larry and Sue were married in 1955 and began their ministry in the Church of the Nazarene in Orange California.

Larry left the Nazarene Church in the early ’60s and began his journey with the
United Methodist Church starting as an Associate Pastor in South Pasadena. He also served as Pastor for the congregations of Knollwood and Crescenta Valley until he landed at Burbank First United Methodist Church in 1972.

In Burbank, they raised their three children, Jeanette, Jimmy, and Judie, who have given them eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Larry faithfully served Burbank for 32 years, which was an unheard-of timeframe in the ministry, and a sincere blessing for him and the congregation.

Anyone who had the pleasure to meet Larry knew he had an endless number of stories to share. He had an amazing storytelling gift and used his stories to teach, provide meaning and understanding, and inspire all of us who had the pleasure of listening.

Larry and Sue lived their lives proudly serving the Burbank community for almost 50 years. Larry served on the Board of Directors of Wesley Homes Inc., Burbank Community Hospital, Gene Autry Foundation, and the Metropolitan Water District. He was a past member of the Burbank Kiwanis Club, Chaplain for the Burbank Police Department and was honored to serve on the Burbank City Council, serving as Mayor in 1983-84.

Out of all the stories he told, his life was the most poetic of them all. He once said that he was the richest man on earth because of all the beloved people he was surrounded by. He never measured life by how much money he had or what kind of car he drove. Instead, he experienced the world around him by sharing and receiving love from everyone who walked into his life.

Larry was the most selfless man because he did not live his life for awards or status, but rather to form unbreakable bonds with those he loved. Larry was on his way to his happy place in Spain when he closed his eyes peacefully and forever. God blessed him with the opportunity to spread his message of love at every stage in his life. As a husband caring for his wife Sue and later his companion Lynda McCourry, as a father caring for his children, as a grandfather/great-grandfather caring for his grandchildren/great-grandchildren, as a pastor spreading the word of God to his congregation, and most of all as a light that will forever shine down on this earth.

Larry Stamper

Larry was not easily forgettable, he left an impression on everyone he met. His heart was filled with love and kindness and he had a sense of adventure! His life story is a lesson we all need to learn, live your life to the fullest, do the things you love with the people you love, and share your love with everyone you meet!

A celebration of life for Larry will be held on Saturday, November 13th at 2:30 PM at the Burbank First United Methodist Church, 700 North Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank CA 91502.

Larry loved the Burbank community with all his heart and shared his love with many Burbank charities. In lieu of flowers, here are a few he would love to have donations be made in his memory:

  • Burbank First United Methodist Church Larry and Sue Stamper Scholarship Fund
  • Burbank Family Services Agency – 2721 W. Burbank Blvd. Burbank 91505 (818) 845-7671
  • Family Promise of the Verdugos – P.O. Box 7151, Burbank 91510 (818) 562-7778
  • Burbank Temporary Aid Center (Larry had a role in establishing BTAC) – 1304 W. Burbank Blvd. Burbank 91506 (818) 848-2822

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