Stanley Stocker, 71, friend of the disabled

September 09, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Stanley Wentworth Stocker, who counseled Vietnam veterans and was an advocate for people with disabilities, died Tuesday of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Ellicott City resident was 71.

In 1967, he joined the Veterans Administration in Baltimore as a counseling psychologist. He retired in 1986 as chief of the vocation and rehabilitation counseling division of the Veterans Administration.

"He worked with veterans who had emotional and physical disabilities, and in his job made sure that they received the necessary rehabilitation services that they needed," said his wife of 37 years, the former Lorelei "Lee" Paul.

"His goal was to get them able to function on their own. He really cared and respected those guys," she said. "It was while working with the veterans that Stan became deeply committed to assisting individuals with disabilities. His devotion to finding ways to enable people to meet their needs characterized his working years and continued into his retirement."

Marian S. Vessels is executive director of the Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, to which Mr. Stocker was appointed in 1981.

Of his service to the committee, she said he "was incredibly active, even in his retirement. He wrote grants for us, a guidebook for the disabled seeking employment and, more importantly, educated and awakened us to other forms of disabilities.

"As an arthritic, which he always pronounced in his New England accent as 'Arthur-itis,' he knew first-hand about it as a disability."

As a consultant, Mr. Stocker successfully developed recommendations that made handicapped parking spaces available throughout the state and helped make Baltimore cultural institutions and state parks accessible to people with disabilities.

He was a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Arthritis and Related Diseases and from 1971 to 1986 was a member of the President's Committee on Disabled Veterans.

The native of Swampscott, Mass., attended schools there and earned his bachelor's degree in 1949 and his master's degree in 1956 from Springfield College. He was awarded a certificate in advance study in education and guidance from the Johns Hopkins University in 1967.

He held numerous counseling positions before coming to Baltimore in 1962 as director of vocational guidance for the YMCA. For a brief period in 1967, he was head of student services at the Baltimore College of Commerce.

Services were set for 11 a.m. today at St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City.

Other survivors include a son, Stanley K. Stocker of Front Royal, Va.; and three grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, c/o Marian S. Vessels, One Market Center, 300 W. Lexington St., Box 10, Baltimore 21201-3435; or Disabled American Veterans Department of Maryland, War Memorial Building, Room B, 101 N. Gay St., Baltimore 21202.

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