The Reverend Lester E. Stephenson, Jr.

The Reverend Lester E Stephenson, Jr., 76, Scranton passed away Tuesday morning in the Hospice of the Sacred Heart Inpatient Unit, Dunmore. His wife of 41 years is Ruth Ann Meeson.

Born September 29, 1946, in Reading, he was the son of Marian Brown Stephenson and the late Lester E Stephenson.  He attended Reading Public Schools and graduated from Reading High School in 1964.    Pastor Stephenson went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Albright College in 1970 and then in 1974 earned Master of Divinity Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.  His first call to serve was to the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jim Thorpe from 1974 to 1979.   In 1979 he was then called to serve Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in West Scranton, where he served faithfully from 1979 until 2005.

While serving at Saint Mark’s, he married his beloved wife, Ruth Ann, and they became the parents of Amy and Joel Stephenson.   In 2005, Pastor Stephenson was called to serve St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Scranton.  St. Matthew’s was a consolidation of the St. John’s Lutheran Church, Center City of Scranton and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of  the West Side of Scranton.   Pastor Stephenson served there for 11 years retiring on December 31, 2015.  

Also surviving are his children Amy Grant and her husband, Jeffrey of Pittston, and his son, Joel Stephenson of Scranton; his beloved pride and joy granddaughter, Hazel Grant;  his sister Linda Sweigert and her husband, Karl along with their sons Kurt Sweigert and Gregg Sweigert and his wife, Tanya, and their daughters Courtney and Carleigh; aunts Naomi Reber and Betty Tobias;  members of Meeson family Sandra and Ron Collins and their children, Ryan, Elsie, Luke, LeaAnn, Lacee, and Bryce;  Richard A. Fagerlin, Jr, and his wife, Theresa, and their children, Amanda, Josh and Emily and Stacey Poniatowski and her husband Jay  and their children Julian and Thea;  many cousins.

He was also preceded in death by his in-laws, Robert H and Christine B. Meeson, and sister and brother in law Anne Marie Fagerlin and husband Richard.

Funeral services will be held January 14 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 232 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA at 11 AM officiated and celebrated by Mother Rebecca Barnes, Rector of St Luke’s Episcopal Church.

 In honor of Pastor Stephenson’s dedication to serving others, the family requests in lieu of flowers for  memorial contributions be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 232 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18503 or to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart 53 Glenmaura National Boulevard, Suite 120, Moosic, PA 18507

The service will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person and will be available at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Scranton Facebook page

Arrangements have been entrusted to and are under the care and direction of the Vanston and James Funeral Home, Scranton.

To share a memory or to express your condolences to the family please visit the funeral homes website at


  1. Mariann Moran

    Ruth and sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and father..He was such a nice man..just the other day I purchased Welch cookies and jerry said what about you know anything about him.. I said well I know there’s no more cookies and haven’t heard anything in years…Mariann Murphy Moran

  2. Kennedy Family

    A lifetime together is never enough. We are thinking of you and your family with so much love.

  3. Judith A Kresge

    Ruthie, special thoughts and prayers for you and your family!

  4. Ann Marie Wallick Leber

    I am so sorry for your loss, Ruth Ann. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Theresa Fagerlin

    So sorry for lost and prayers to you and family.

  6. Linda & I fondly cherish our evening dinner out and visit with you and Ruth this past November 18th. We are eternally grateful for that final privilege to spend time with you. Rest In Peace, Dear Brother In-Law.

  7. Judy Sherman Saita

    I am so sorry for the loss of your loving husband.

  8. Rebecca Harmer

    Ruth Ann & family

    I’m so sorry for ur loss of the dear loving Pastor. We all grew up to love him. I had the honor for him to baptism of myself and as I grew up he baptized my son and daughter and gave a honorable service for my grandma Ruth Gill. My condolences 💐 r with u all he was a great Pastor. May god bless u all. Lots of love 💕 Rebecca Harmer

  9. Roy and Peggy Howarth

    Sorry to hear about the passing of Pastor Stephenson. Our prayers go out to you all. May your memories bring you comfort.

  10. Elaine Allegrucci

    Ruthann, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. 🙏🏻
    Elaine and Armand Allegrucci

  11. Ann Fumanti

    So sorry for your loss! I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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